I think we have another convert to the Sales Dating philosophy.
Here is an article by Greta Schulz. http://www.b2bsalesplaybook.com/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=2173&pubmenuoptID=24674 Greta Schulz is the President of Proactive Training.
Dating and Sales – It’s Not That Different
Remember when you were dating, and you went out with someone for the first time? For example, let’s say you’re female (though the principle applies to both). You really felt from your first meeting with a gentleman that he was charming, romantic, seemed to love kids … you know, different from other guys.
Then you go out on a date. He takes you to a nice dinner at a beautiful restaurant. After you order the meal, he starts the conversation and it sounds something like this:
“You know, I’m really glad we had an opportunity to get together. I’m so busy with my career that I don’t really date a lot. It’s a shame because I’m really a romantic person and would love to share that side of me more often. I can’t wait until the day when I can settle down and have a family. I would love to have kids and spend all of my time with them. I really want to be a great dad …”
At this point in the date, if you have half of a brain in your head, you’re ready to bail. Why? These are all of the things you want in someone, right? Right. But this guy is probably none of them. He just told you he is all of these things and more, so why don’t you believe it?
Because when someone tells you how wonderful he is, especially right up front, do you believe it? Of course not. Besides, if these things were true, he wouldn’t say them. He would demonstrate them. And a wonderful way to do that is to ask about you. He needs to find out what you like, get you talking and stop telling you about him.
Selling works the same way. Until we start selling to robots, we’re dealing with humans. Human nature is the same, whether it’s personal or business.
“People often make decisions and assumptions from the things we don’t say, not the things we do.” – Greta Schulz
Am I suggesting you just sit there without talking? Actually, yes. At the beginning, you need to ask and not tell. No one believes how wonderful and terrific you and your product are until they trust you and your word. You have to build credibility.
Credibility isn’t something you establish by telling someone how great you are or how great your company is. Most of you are saying right now, “Greta, I don’t do that.” Really? Let me demonstrate.
“So John, why should we go with your product when we have been using ABC’s product for so long and it has worked fine?”
“Well, Mr. Jones, one of the reasons we stand out is the blah blah blah, and we also have superior customer service and blah blah blah …” Sound familiar? So many of you do this. This is exactly what I’m talking about. You gain credibility by listening. So shut up and listen! Ask some good, solid questions and listen to the answers. Listen for some things that you may be able to help with, then when it’s your turn, use the answers your prospect gave after your questions to compare back.
Let’s go back to our dating example. What if you went out with this same guy (in this case), and, after dinner, he asked you a few questions.
“So, you said you’re an attorney. Do you enjoy practicing law? How long have you lived here? Do you have family here? Yes, mine is up north, too. I love it here, but I do miss them sometimes. How about you? I hope to have my own family some day.
You say: “Really, do you think you’ll be a good dad?”
“I don’t know, but I hope so.”
Sound better? Yes, of course. Did you learn something? Sure did. Do you want to learn more? Ask and listen, don’t tell. This is for both on a date and in a sales call. Remember, it’s just about people. Relax, learn, ask and stop selling!