Is It Lack Of Interest Or Is It Your Sales Approach?
Do you know how you’re perceived by others? When’s the last time you spent time and money promoting a product/service and had nobody buy from you? Did you blame the lack of interest on the product/service or did you wonder if it was your overall sales approach?
A Bad Sales Approach
A few days back I was in a local business having a service performed. The shop was busy and every employee working was engaged with a customer. A woman walked in and stood by the front door. One of the employees greeted the woman and asked if she could help her. The woman loudly announced, “I’d like to leave a flyer for an event I’m having next week.” The employee kindly offered the woman to leave her flyer at the front desk. She then said, “I’d also like to make an announcement so I’m just going to do that now.” Then in an even louder voice, she said, “I’m having an event across the street next Tuesday for XYZ company and everyone who works here is invited.” She then went on to give details about the event. Once she was done, she turned around and walked back out the door.
As soon as she was out the door, everyone went back to what they were doing. As a matter of fact, while she was making her announcement, I was scanning the room to see who was paying attention to her. Not so surprisingly, not one person was making eye contact with her. I’d be willing to guess that if you asked anyone there that day what company the woman worked for no one could tell you. I doubt anyone except for me has even thought of her since she walked out of the store.
I’ve actually thought of her many times since then. A big part of me was horrified at what a terrible job she did representing herself and her company. Another part of me felt sorry for her as she clearly had no idea that her sales approach was so unsuccessful. And the last part of me, the one that keeps me motivated to teach people how to effectively use relationship selling to grow their businesses keeps finding examples of others showing up and applying the same ineffective sales approach as she did that day.
None Of Us Have “Free Time”
Interrupting someone’s day to promote your own products and services is by far one of the least effective ways to sell. Let’s be realistic, none of us have “free time” where we’re just waiting for someone to randomly contact us (by phone, social media, email, etc.) and start selling us on their product or service.
Forcing your agenda on to someone else is not going to open doors and build relationships. And yet, every single week someone contacts me and launches into their sales pitch. They don’t even take the time to inquire whether or not I’m interested or have time for their sales pitch.
A Better Approach
It’s been my experience that building authentic relationships with a few people is more effective in generating revenue than to blast out sales propaganda to people who don’t even know who I am. I’d rather target a few people who know my work and who I have some kind of a relationship with then to buy a list of 5000+ email addresses and send out a sales pitch to hire me. Buying an email list is not something I’ve ever done or would do in my business. It actually makes me feel sick to my stomach when people tell me they do this as a way to market themselves.
This same principle applies when sending friend request and LinkedIn requests. People who send a message selling me on their product/service as soon as I accept their friend/LinkedIn request are instantly deleted. I don’t spend money with people who use this approach. I buy from people I have a relationship with and if I don’t have a relationship with someone selling what I need, I do my own research.
You Should Be Prospecting
This is not to say you shouldn’t prospect or follow up on leads. You should absolutely do both of these things. In order for either to be effective, there are strategies you can and should follow. As a matter of fact, in my group coaching program, Sticky Selling Mastery Academy, we discuss these strategies on a regular basis. Once you have the language to prospect and initiate follow up calls, the selling process gets much easier. And more importantly, the relationship stays intact even when the other person isn’t quite ready to buy from you.
Now, back to the woman who made the announcement and left the flyer, had she applied just a few relationship selling skills, her message may have been positively received. Here are just a few things she could have done differently:
- Asked to speak to the owner/manager of the store
- Waited patiently or offered to schedule a time to come back when it was more convenient to the store owner/manager
- Build rapport with the owner/manager
- Asked permission to share about her upcoming event
- Used her flyer as a way to walk the owner/manager through the details
- Explained the benefit to the owner/manager and employees to attend the event
Before launching into your next pitch, take a moment to think about how the other person may perceive your message. Is there anything you could do differently to improve the experience for the prospect? Is the person expecting you to pitch them? If not, you need to ask permission before launching into your pitch.
Wishing you continued success in all you’re doing.
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