Say No! Yes, I mean it!! If your client or prospect (or customer) wants to buy something that is not in their best interest (it’s too small, it won’t satisfy their needs), say, “NO, I don’t want to sell that to you,” and make sure to add something like, “I’d rather you be unhappy with my competitor than with me.”
A while back I posted a question on the TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) Group on LinkedIn about the use of promotional products. There were 45 comments soon after and the discussion is still going strong. Comments ranged from those who thought promotional products were a waste of time and resources to those at the other end of the spectrum who found them very useful.
Tote bags, pens, mouse pads, lanyards, CD’s, note pads, candy, gizmo’s for your computer, stress balls, luggage tags, buttons, pins, card holders, golf tees, sweat bands, mugs… don’t you just love it? Lots of people do. Ask visitors why then attend certain shows or what they remember best and they say – “all those cool giveaways.”
Thinking back to one of the great cult films of the 1980s…Caddyshack. There is a conversation between Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) in the locker room after Ty has just finished a round of golf. Judge Smails asks Ty what he shot that day and Ty responds by telling the Judge that he doesn’t keep score. Puzzled, Judge Smails says, “How do you measure yourself with other golfers?” Ty responds by saying, “By height.”
Sometimes watching sales people in action is like watching a tennis match; the prospect asks something and we lob back an answer right away. Other times the prospect will make a comment, and we slam back an answer, at times with more top spin than one would ever need. While there are a number of good lessons in sports for sales people, a meeting should not look like the final match at a Grand Slam event.
When you get in front of a prospect or customer for that important meeting – What are you saying? Are you clear on what you need to say and how you are coming across? Are you prepared and presentable? What is your prospect or customer hearing and seeing?
While I think it is important for experts and pundits to challenge sales people to stretch and evolve, to stay on top and ahead of evolving trends and technology, it is also important to keep it real. Since the advent of technology, especially from the start of the last century on, there has been a debate about the impact of technology on selling and sellers. The recurring prediction that sales people will be replaced or diminished in importance by automation, seems a favorite among some.