If you think Too Much Information (TMI) can make it difficult for people to help you then think of what it does to your sales process. I just recently had a call with someone that wanted to sell me marketing space on their very interesting business and entrepreneurial-focused website, but all they did was talk. I got to ask a couple of questions but more than 80% of the time this sales woman simply threw details of what she had to offer, which was overwhelming and disconnected. I could not see the value in this conversation because it was everything she had and it did not specifically relate to me.
Let me share with you the 3 things that can help you show value to your clients during your sales calls.
Know About Your Client
If you do not know your client before this call make sure you spend a substantial amount of time at the beginning of the call to find out about what is happening in their business or life. People want to purchase from people they know, like, and trust and they cannot do that if there is no relationship. Start building this relationship by showing you are interested (genuinely) in what they are trying to do.
80-20 Rule Applies to Listening
Take inventory of your conversation. If you have not heard their voice in the last two sentences then you are talking too much. Shut up and listen.
At the beginning of a call your potential client should be doing all the talking. You may get an opportunity later in your call to go into more detail when they have identified that they want something from you. In-between you should mostly be listening and asking questions.
Be Prepared with Questions
It may be difficult for people to know what to ask about your product to get a good idea if it is a fit for them. You have just learned not to regurgitate your product features, so what do you do when there is silence. A good sales person asks questions. Try these three questions to get the conversation moving towards a sale.
1. Ask them what works best for their business (with respect to what you want to sell). Get them talking about their business or lifestyle.
2. Ask them what they are doing now that works (again with respect to what you want to sell). Get them talking about what works best for them so that they will know that they are capable of doing without your product or service. I know this seems counter intuitive, but if you find that they absolutely do not need you then you can stop at this stage and they will appreciate not having a “hard sell” for something they probably don’t need.
3. Ask them what else they wish they could do to get better results. This is where you might get an opportunity to tell them how you can fit into these required needs. Because they are talking about what they need they are really asking for your help. Remember to do this with integrity. If you can help them, then offer to share what would work.
There are of course numerous other steps to a great sales process, but by following these three small points you will come across as someone that wants to help and not someone that just needs a sale.
As for my sales call, I even stopped the person and told them she had given me too much information. I asked if I could share a little about my business and after two sentences she continued on her trek through her offer with little focus on my specific needs. I actually had to break into her talk to ask my second question after 10 minutes. It was painful and irritating and I did not buy, even though there may have been great value for my company. I just could not take another answer from her so I asked for information in an email and bade her goodbye. What a waste of her time and mine.
What is your worst sales experience? Let us know in the comments below.