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World's Worst Saleman Part 2

World's Worst Saleman Part 2

Hello and good day!

When I left off befor, I was standing in a parking lot with my free hot chocolate sign. A salesman from Yelp called me out of the blue and I picked up the call. He asked if I was busy, and I told him I was. He ignored what I said and launched into his pitch.

This offended me on two levels.

It offended me as a human being who appreciates it when people treat me respectfully. And it offended me as an experienced and successful sales professional who hates to see a salesperson using bad technique.

The heavy irony was that I am a perfect prospect for what he was selling. He could easily sign me up if he knew what he was doing. After the adrenaline from being ignored cycled through my system, I was able to bring my emotions back under control.

"Do you have a computer in front of you? I'd like to show you what I'm talking about online so you can see it for yourself," he said.

"Dude, I'm standing in a parking lot talking to you on a cell phone. I just told you that. How could I look online?" I asked.   "Can you get in front of a computer?" he asked. "I'm in a parking lot my friend," I said.

"Oh. Well, is there another time that would be good for us to talk when you will be in front of a computer?" he asked. "Actually, I'd like to turn it around and ask you a couple of questions if you don't mind," I said.

"Uh. Ok." he said.

"How long have you been in sales?" I asked.  "Five years," he said. "How long have you been with Yelp?" I asked. "A few months," he said.

With that little bit of information, I could surmise that he moves around. He is a journeyman who goes wherever they will hire him.

"Please listen. I am telling you this in all honesty. I am a very, very good, experienced salesman, and I want to help you. Is now a good time for you?" I asked.

"Um, I guess," he said. I could hear the impatience in his voice. He wanted to hang up and move onto the next call. He felt I was becoming combative.

I planned to tell him something that would be worth far more than all the commissions he'd earn this month. It would probably be worth more than all the commissions he'd earn in the entire year.

"First, send me a text with your contact information and a few of the benefits of your service. Not features. I want to know about results produced for your other customers. Will you do that?" I asked.

"It's just that, we don't do things that way. We prefer to show you online," he said

I want to point something out. This kind of thing happens a lot. Many people are willing to tell you exactly what it would take to go about convincing them and instead of taking advantage of this intel, we tend to focus on our pet points. Persuasion rule number one with a bullet is that you must speak to what the other person finds important.

What you think is important truly does not matter. It is very hard to admit and accept that. Every single person sees the world differently. You can't even begin to fathom what a person is thinking about when you look at them.

Isn't that strange? You see them. They're right there. ou can reach out and touch them. But what is going on in their brain is a total mystery. They could be thinking about anything.

One of the best sales strategies I ever learned was to have a short meeting before the real sales meeting. You give a brief intro about your company, very brief, and simply ask if you can have a couple minutes whenever their schedule permits to ask them a handful of questions.

Nothing else. Nothing about your service. Just a five-minute question asking session. A lot of people are fine with this. And when you have that meeting, you honor your word.

After five minutes, you say thank you and you hang up. This is very counterintuitive because so many salespeople want to close you while they have your attention. They don't realize that by asking questions and seeking to develop a deep understanding, you have created a certain intimacy. A spark of trust has been fired.

The next time you reach out, your purpose is to provide information specifically about what interests your new friend. Anything else would be pointless and frivolous, mechanical and selfish and would violate the intimacy you've developed.

Back to the sales call.

"And what about what I prefer? Does that not matter? You called me. I didn't call you," I said. I could feel him becoming defensive. "Yes, it matters, but we work with a lot of companies, we know what we're doing. Its best if you follow the process," he said.

"I'm going to hang up in a second. But I want to help you. Please listen. A sale like the one you are trying to make requires several brief conversations. Each conversation should reveal a little bit more about how I perceive the potential benefits of your offering. Are you with me?" I asked.

"Uh-huh," he said. He wasn't paying attention.

"You're not paying attention, but I'm going to continue anyways. Only when you know what is truly important to me and feel certain that you can satisfy it should you try to ask for my business. Does that make sense?" I asked.

"Uh-huh," he said.

"It isn't too late for you. If you send me a text with your contact information and a couple of benefits, and if you are patient and do discovery and work to get to know me and if you'll be persistent, you might be able to make a sale. Will you do that?" I asked.

"Uh-huh," he said.

"Goodbye for now. I wish you the best," I said.

He won't do it.

Before signing off, I have to point out the obvious. What I've written above applies to any situation in which one person wishes to persuade another. It will very likely take many touches. The bigger the commitment, the longer it will take, and more patience will be required. Most of the work is in research and discovery, not presentation.

That means asking and listening. Trust and intimacy must be formed. Once you know what matters to a person, your position must be wrapped up in the proper context. Only after all of this has transpired will you have a legitimate shot at winning somebody over.

That can be a hard pill to swallow because it takes time, commitment, and diligence. But that is the reality. And therefore, an important question must be asked.

How much does it really matter whether you convince the other person? If you have to make sales to put food on the table for your family, doing it right should matter a great deal.

If you are trying to save somebody's soul or help them turn their life around, that's pretty important too. It's worth doing right.

If you're doing it for pride or to show off your intelligence, to brainstorm, or if you're fine with collecting a meagre paycheck for your so-called sales work, craft is much less important.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!