Often I hear these comments from sales agents in the field: “The prospect is just blowing me off.” or “The prospect doesn’t take me seriously.” or “The prospect doesn’t value my time at all.” This situation prompts the sales agent to say things to the prospect such as: “Are you actually serious about moving forward?” or “I have come here over and over again and am starting to feel like I am wasting my time.” or “Don’t you realize to whom you are talking?” All of these statements will prove your point, but they will lose the sale.
To get a lot of sales, you have to make that your only goal. When I meet a business owner, my goal is to sell him or her my service. My goal isn’t to get the merchant to like or respect me or even to treat me with dignity (even though the merchant usually does all of the above.) My goal is to get the sale. I may need to adjust my attitude if: >The merchant forgot the statement for the third time; I pretend to believe that. >I realize the merchant is a strong personality; I need to act like I work for him or her. I will adjust my attitude and behavior immediately without even a second thought because I want the sale. If you find yourself constantly feeling like the customer doesn’t appreciate you or you are being used by your prospects, step back and realize this is only your pride speaking. Your pride will not make you any money.
Serve your prospects and your customers. Let me repeat that again: serve your prospects and your customers. If they want something, give it to them. If you need to be a different person to make the sale, become that person. If you have to swallow your pride, swallow your pride. You will find you eventually get the sale if you consistently do what the prospect wants with a positive attitude, preserving a good relationship. Once you have the sale, you will feel all the pride and respect you could want. You will feel like your time investment, no matter how great, was worth it. And you will continue to improve your ability to adapt to each prospect to win the sale rather than just winning the argument every time.
Let’s take a quick look at how this sounds in the field: You have stopped by a business four times to get the statement; this is your fifth visit. You walk in and have the following conversation:
Merchant: “…I forgot the statement again. Sorry about that.”
Agent Responds with a big smile and easy attitude: “No problem at all; I was in the area today anyway (even if you drove twenty minutes just to get the statement!) I will swing back another time. Do you think you could have it for me tomorrow?”
Here is another scenario. A manager has told you three times that the owner is in on a certain day. However, the owner has never shown up. You now walk in the fourth time and have the following conversation:
Manager: “Bob is here, but he is actually really busy right now. Can you come back another time?”
Agent Response: “Sure, no problem at all. Could I talk to Bob real quick just to reschedule?” When Bob walks out, you say, “Bob, I know you are really busy today, so I will not take any of your time. I am just looking at my schedule for next week and wondering if there is a good time for me to meet with you for fifteen minutes?” Your odds of getting these two sales are still probably 60% or 70%. But your odds of getting the sale would probably be 10% or less if you had said something like, “I just drove twenty minutes to get the statement; are you serious?” or “Tell Bob I have already been here three times, so I need to speak with him for a few minutes.” So again, this all comes down to what you want to win. Do you want to win the sale, or do you want to win the argument?
Good luck in the field!
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