Don’t do what this guy did at a sales meeting


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I am mortified by what I’m overhearing at the table next to me …

I don’t mean to be eavesdropping. But I couldn’t help but listen in when the guy next to me in the coffee shop started selling his consulting services to another businessman. In the past 30 minutes, he’s asked maybe two questions. Aargh! That in itself drives me crazy.

Here’s just a snippet of what I’m hearing, as well as my commentary on the mistakes he’s making.

Establishing Credentials: “I’ve been president of a company which we took nationwide. I’m also doing lots of consulting and now I’m coaching entrepreneurs just like you. There are so many things people like you don’t know.”

(Impressive, right? I love how he unwittingly called his prospect dumb. If I were the prospect, I would have much preferred to learn about the results he’s delivered for entrepreneurs who have similar businesses to mine. How do you establish credibility upfront?)

Developing a Relationship: “Lots of wives don’t understand what you’re going through. That’s why it’s so important to have people like me to talk to. I have lots of tools and techniques you can use with the wife – like how to handle the “honey do” list.”

(A botched attempt at bonding! Plus, if it’s so important to have people to talk to, why is he doing all the talking?)

Creating Opportunities: “Do you need some writing done? I’m a good writer, not a great one. I write to the best of my ability. But here’s how I get people to help me by using Craig’s List.”

(Clearly the guy needs work. What he doesn’t realize is how much his fear and desperation is showing through. He started out as an executive coach and now is trying to do writing for the guy. BTW, Lots of sellers go through their laundry list of products/services hoping their prospect will bite on one of them. Ever done that?)

Building Credibility: “I’ve read all the great coaches books — like John Maxwell. I use his strategies. And other people’s too. That’s my job. To read those books so you don’t have to. I read about 3-4 books per month. I’ve read a lot about blogs and social media. I can advise you on those. The last thing you want to do it go to a web developer. They’ll charge your $5000 or more.”

(By mentioning what he’s read, he’s actually distracting from his own credibility. The best way he can turn himself into a trusted advisor is by asking intelligent, business-oriented questions … but he never did that. Do you plan your questions?)

Closing the Sale: “I’d love to work with you. Perhaps we can meet 1/2 hour each month just to get started. I’d just give you advice for free, till you decide you need a regular consultant. I’d be willing to do that for you.

“If there’s anything I can do to help you, just let me know. If you ever want to go through a senior executive planning session, I can help you with that. Tell you what, I’ll shoot you an email with all the personal services I can do for you.”

(This guy’s closing shows his fears. Lots of salespeople, when they know they’ve blown it will try to do whatever it takes to ignite the opportunity, hoping something will materialize.

You know what’s the worst thing? This guy is probably a sharp businessperson. But he’s had a bad time recently. He’s scared. His fears are driving his behavior and making things even worse for him.

And, he has no idea how he’s perceived by his prospects. I see it happen all the time. As sellers, we need to be aware of — and in control — of our emotions.

YOUR TURN: How do you prevent your emotions from screwing up a sales meeting? Comment below!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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