Posts tagged with first meeting

Best sales advice ever. Get curious or get out

March 3, 2015 by   •  Leave a comment

Right now we at Bering McKinley are putting the final touches on our Sales Workshop.  It’s a compilation of everything I’ve learned about sales from partners over the last decade and from my own experience of selling every work day for the last 16 years.  Super excited to see it all come together.  As I stare at the screen for hours at a time, I sometimes have to remember what it is I’m trying to accomplish with the workshop.  Someone who is helping me put this together asked me earlier today “What’s the NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE you’d give to a seasoned or rookie sales person?”  I was frustrated that I couldn’t come up with a great answer.  Right now, sitting at Panera Bread in Alexandria, Virginia, the answer struck me, so here it goes.

GET CURIOUS OR GET OUT!

Now, let’s get some background.  The Salary Surfer has contributed a ton to this blog so I do have to give her credit here.  The initial advice I came up with is not as eloquent and is almost offensive but I’ll put it here anyway.  “Leave your d*ck” in the glove box.”  What does that mean?  Well as the Salary Surfer might tell you, women are better sales people because they don’t go into a meeting preparing to show their prospect how knowledgeable they are or how smart they are.  Women, the Salary Surfer might tell you, are their to learn everything they can.  They don’t come at it like a man would.  They are OK learning about their prospect, their business, and their needs.  Often time men want to take control and show that they know everything about the prospect, know about their business, and know exactly what they need to do.

So, let’s draw on that Curiosity…

1. It’s ok to to ask what somoene’s title means.  CFO?  I know it means Chief Financial Officer, but what does a CFO do?  Show your curiousity.  Shut up and learn something

2. How did you become CFO?  Were you a CFO somewhere else?  Were you responsible for IT there too? How did you budget for IT at your last position?

3.  What does your company do?  Oh you make nuts and bolts for NASA?  Can we go see how a nut and bolt is made?  What are they made of? How did you learn so much about this?

4.  How does technology play a part in the making of nuts and bolts?

5.  Why do you make nuts and bolts that way?

6.  How can we help you do what you do better?

That’s what we call establishing meaningful rapport.  Your curiosity in your prospect demonstrates your intelligence, your humbleness, and your difference as a sales person.  You don’t need to be the one doing all the talking.  Establish your credibility by listening, not talking.    And for God’s sake don’t bring a technician with you on the first call.  That ruins everything and interrupts the order of selling.  Remember, sell yourself first, company second, and goods and services last.  Bringing a tech rushes us to goods and services and makes the curiosity part almost impossible!

Good luck ou tthere!

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