I’ve talked a lot in the last few months about some of the steps you can take to build trust and credibility with your prospects. The reality is however, if you’re not prepared to act and apply these elements within your sales conversations with prospects, you’re not going to get results.
One of the key things I know from being in sales over a long period of time is that if you’re lazy and can’t really be bothered to engage with prospects, you certainly are not going to achieve the goals and dreams that you have.
I have seen a good example of this recently in the car industry. I have been looking to purchase a new car for my wife over the last few weeks and we searched online and found a couple of options that we felt could be suitable.
We drove to one of the garages, parked our current car in the car park, and then went to have a look around 2 of the cars that were on our list. The doors of the car were open, so my wife got in, sat inside and tried to imagine herself driving that car. We probably spent around 5-10 minutes in this particular car but during this time none of the two car salespeople within the office could even be bothered to come out and say hello to us.
I understand and totally appreciate that car salespeople don’t want to appear as pushy. They don’t want to interrupt our conversation or get in the way, but one of the fundamental elements of sales is to at least reach out and have a conversation with your prospect.
If the sales person had walked over, smiled, looked smart, been friendly and opened up with a question such as:
- Good morning, thanks for coming to see us at xx, how are you today?
- Hello there, what brought you to see us today?
- Hi, what a great colour that car is, is Red your favourite colour for a car?
- Hello sir, thanks for coming to x Garage today, my name is Paul, is there any other information I can provide you about this car?
Then they probably would have been able to start a conversation with us that could have resulted in a sale. It would not have resulted in a sale there and then, but it would have given the salesperson greater insight into what we were looking for and how to approach the next stage of the conversation.
If the answers meant we weren’t ready to buy, the sales person could have said,
“Thanks very much, great to hear this information. I will leave you to it and I’ll be in the office, if you need me. My name is Paul”
Or they could have said,
“It’s great you’ve mentioned you’re looking for a new car as I have a couple of other options which could be of interest. Come on in if you would like me to show these to you.”
Because we were looking to find a solution to our problem, we may well have said ‘let’s have a chat with him’.
The reality is though, we will never know. The two of the people in that garage that day decided, it was better to sit in the office and look at their phones rather than to come out and try and have a conversation with us.
In sales, you must be brave.
You must be prepared to come out and have a conversation.
If you make that conversation focused on you, then you’re going have a challenge.
If, however you make it your goal and your duty to talk to your prospect, to really focus on them and to try and understand them, then you will be amazed at the results you can get. Sometimes prospects do need to chat with sales people to learn more about options and ideas and to get a feel of the company itself.
In most cases, prospects want to engage with someone who is keen to understand them and build a rapport. If you focus on serving them, helping them and even providing advice which doesn’t benefit you then prospects will appreciate this. It may not result in a sale now, but it will leave the prospect with a positive feeling about you and your company and that could result in business further down the line or maybe a referral to someone they know.
The reality is unless you reach out and engage with a prospect, you will never know.
Lazy salespeople like the 2 guys in this garage will struggle to be successful in sales if they can’t be bothered to even have a conversation with someone.
We chose, in the end, to go with a company that not only was helpful but who went out of their way to try to provide a service to us. This gave us assurances on how they operated as a company which, when combined with a nice approach and good product, worked.
The moral of the story is this: In sales you don’t want to appear pushy with your clients, but if you don’t reach out and have conversations because you’re too lazy then you’ll never know if you could stand a chance of doing business.
Don’t be lazy. Do the basics. Go out and approach a prospect or pick up the phone. Talk to your prospect. Ask them questions to understand them and focus on them and not you. Do this and it’s a big step towards achieving consistent sales success!
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