Sometimes when we think we’re doing a fine job, we fail badly. Marketers, salespeople often make the same mistake – rushing to give the big answer. Here’s how to avoid that.
Yesterday I observed a salesperson, a potential client, making her pitch to a small gathering. She was with her colleague, the company’s technical person. The technical person did a fine job; she was helpful, patient, and respected her audience. She spoke slowly, clearly, convincingly, with no pushiness. She had adjusted very well to the audience of only six people, sitting six feet away.
The Salesperson Made Mistakes
The salesperson didn’t do any of those things. She rushed her part. She started her answers before the questioner had barely finished speaking. Worse, she was overly enthused and optimistic in her answers and minimized the audience’s concerns. If the product is that fine and worry-free, why is a sales seminar necessary?
She’s young and probably teachable. She’ll improve. Will you?
Do You Make That Mistake?
Almost all of us marketers, business development managers, and salespeople start out making the same mistakes this salesperson was making: talking too much, talking over the speaker, almost interrupting, being overeager and overly sunny. We think we’re doing a good job of putting across the product’s benefits, but how do we know what the audience thinks is a benefit if we don’t patiently listen first?
Here’s the part where I remind you that you REALLY want to hear the potential customer’s full question, the customer’s tone of voice, and the undertones. If you wait a beat or two and don’t speak, they’ll feel relaxed and feel invited to go on talking about their desires about the product, which is what you brought them there to do!!
They’ll Tell You Everything
If you’ll listen quite patiently for the customer’s choice of words, the implications of what’s important to her or him, if you clarify their true need with a clarifying question, and solve that need in your crisp clear answer, they’ll like the way you communicate, they’ll buy your product, you’ll have happy customers, and be a more successful presenter and salesperson. You’ll be proud of yourself. Wow. All that from being a patient polite listener.
Anxiety Is Ugly
I could tell you all that. But what I’ll tell you instead is that if you don’t do those things, if you don’t listen patiently, if instead you rush to answer with a big overeager answer, you look unattractive, pushy, ill-mannered, and untrustworthy. Does that convince you to listen patiently? Listen as if you are grateful they came. You are grateful, aren’t you?
Who Do People Do Business With?
People do business with people they like. Will they like you?
Their Comments Are Golden
When you feel rushed or nervous about the sale, and you’re tempted to push and talk more, remember this. They’re already here. They already came to your meeting. They want to be here. They want to like you and trust you. Treat their questions and comments – especially the negative ones – as what they truly are. Gold ore. Everything a potential customer says is gold ore. You can mine out of it exactly what you value. Their business.
Do you agree? Do you ever see yourself or your colleagues rushing your answers? What’s your best advice? Please click “comment” and give us your best advice.