It’s been over 20 years ago that I ran one of my first sales calls in this business of sales training and speaking. And one of those early sales conversations taught me a lot about what prospects really want.
The vice-president of sales, Michael, was my champion and set up a meeting with the company president, Bob. The three of us met, I framed up the sales call asking the president what would be of most value to cover in the meeting today. I still remember his no nonsense, very direct answer.
“I don’t want any bull$%&*.”
I’ve never forgotten Bob and the great lesson he gave me that day. He taught me what prospects really want. They want a transparent, real world sales conversation. They don’t want a sales meeting full of outdated sales technique, one where they feel like they are taking part in a bad role play.
And yet, with all the great sales information and training on the market, salespeople are still showing up to sales meetings using weird sales approaches. I experienced a meeting a few weeks ago where I was reviewing a new service. As we were wrapping up the call, the salesperson asked, “Would there be anything that would prevent you from moving forward?”
Yeah…the way you are wrapping up this phone call.Does anyone talk that way in real life?
I could feel my brain slowly moving into a fight or flight response as the closing gate was lowering.
The better approach would have been the no BS approach. “Colleen, we’re at the end of the hour here. It sounds like there might be some ways you can use this service. Tell me what would be a good next step as I don’t want to get into chase mode or stalker mode.” Savvy buyers know the sales process. They know a next step is needed if they are really interested in your services. If not, give them an easy way to tell you no.
What do prospects want? They want real people to show up to sales meetings.
Thanks, Bob for that great sales lesson you taught me twenty years ago.