Be creative, be authentic, be knowledgeable and be passionate are all great traits for sales people.
For most sales people it takes time to feel comfortable with who you are and the message that you want to bring to your clients. It's not something that you can change over night. It's something that successful level sales people develop over time and sometimes it's coupled with trial and error. The great thing is that we all learn from our mistakes. Trust me been there done that.
Clients Can Sense Your Expertise
It's more about that feeling that the client gets when you're on the phone or meeting with them. They feel comfortable with you, they are comfortable with your message, comfortable with your tone of voice. Selling today is nothing like it was back in the eighties, the hard close is all but gone along with those leading questions to make the client say yes. I'm not saying that getting a yes is bad, however clients are so educated they can sense where you're trying to take them down the "yes" road and that's when the walls go up.
A Recent Cold Call
Last week I wanted to pay a visit to an existing account where we just placed a new wide format. Actually I was chopping at the bit to visit them because I noticed there were four other companies in the same location that were wide format users.
My last cold call was probably the best of the afternoon and it wasn't because I developed a lead. I was greeted by the receptionist and I stated my name, my company and explained that I had meet one of the principals at a recent event. She corrected me on the first name of the principal (yeah, I had a senior moment), I asked if she would forward my information to the person in charge (I knew who it was, but did not mention their name). I then stated. "when you're in need to replaced or add a new wide format we'd like to me included in that process". KISS
The receptionist then thanked me and told me that I was the most courtesy sales person she had meet in some time. Also stating that others would ask too many questions. I told her, "thank you, that means a lot, I've been doing this for a long time". I followed up with a call just today, spoke with our receptionist and she put me through to the decision maker. Appointment was then scheduled. Seems this was more about being comfortable with myself and the message I wanted to send.
After returning from Virginia for a few the days the wife and I needed to go on some errands. Lowes, Hobby Lobby (for me), food store and I had to find a place to ship a package to Virginia.
My wide told me about there was a UPS store just up the road. It was Saturday, I was dressed in boat shoes, shorts and a tee-shirt. Of course the first thing I noticed was the three KonicaMinolta copiers as I arrived. I made my way to the counter and was waited on by a clerk. Next to the clerk was an older man and I surmised that he was the owner because of the way he interacted with the clerk. I got my package shipped and then asked the owner, "how is the copy business", his reply was "it's okay". I then stated, "good, but does anyone really make copies anymore?". "No, not really, but UPS mandates that I have to have three copiers, one for color, one for black and one has to have a Fiery" he said. "Wow, I'm surprised, is that because of the franchise agreement?" I asked. "Yes, are you in the copy business?" the owner asked. "Yes, I am"
We chatted for another 35 minutes which included one major point that I was not aware of. UPS wants the franchise owners to diversify away from shipping. UPS wants them to add other printing devices such as wide format, and color wide format.
Boy was my wife upset when I finally got back to the car. I apologized and told her about the chat. She stated. " I would expect nothing less".
What started as a routine visit to ship a package ended up with a casual conversation about copiers and then some. I was not a sales person, I was a customer in his eyes and that led to conversation that he and I was comfortable with. Needless to say, he wants me to pop in when I'm in the area again. Always be prospecting!