How (not) to sell

This week I was involved in two, quite different, sales situations with two vastly different outcomes (for the sales person that is). Coming out of one meeting feeling irritated and somewhat patronised,  and the other feeling excited and energised, I set to thinking about what makes a good sales person.

Here are four really very simple rules:

  • Be prepared. Yep, as every boy scout will tell you, this really is fundamental. No excuses here, it’s so easy. Ask what your client wants to get out of the meeting, who will be attending and what their role will be. Google them, you may even find a mutual connection.
  • Listen. Find out what your client or potential client needs and then, and only then, tell them how you can solve their problem. Avoid at all cost lengthy lectures about your wonderful, yet totally irrelevant, credentials.
  • Never assume. It’s the oldest one in the book. Focus your attention  equally amongst the individuals in the meeting. It’s not always easy to spot the decision makers and influencers.
  • Be professional. Well that’s obvious isn’t it? Not always it would appear. Bring something to take notes with; can you really remember everything you client has told you in an hour-long meeting? Arrive on time, have a business card, dress appropriately. Small things that make a big difference to how you are perceived.

You are right, these are all easily achievable, and should come as second nature to most business people. It just takes a little forethought.

One response to “How (not) to sell

  1. Thanks for the great list. You are right, these rules should be second nature but I always seem to forget something when I am showing people my work Now I have this I have no excuse.

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