By Frances Pratt
Ok now I have your attention … what do I mean it’s like dating? If you want to ask someone out on a date, what’s the first things you would do? Let’s explore that.
Think about how you look and present to people, do you sound confident and comfortable about what your company does. Confidence is a great sales tool because when you present your information confidently, other person i smuch more likely to believe and trust you.
If you walk up to someone at a bar … you don’t start by talking about yourself. Normally you start by asking them a question about themselves. Obviously the more original the question, the easier it is … so ‘Do you come here often?’ might not be the most successful choice. Anyway the point of this opening question is to get them talking about themselves so that you can learn more about them and their business and engage them in conversation.
If you just ask them about themselves and don’t share anything about you … well … it won’t work because the other person notices and ends the conversation. So share something about yourself and your company, something that relates to your target and what they have been saying. Once you have opened up and shared something about yourself, the other person will be more likely to do the same. This is called the law of reciprocity.
There are signals that will tell you if the other person is engaging with what you are saying. Basic eye contact and their body positioning are the best cues. Listen to these and if you lose them, check in with and find out why. It could be that you have used jargon they don’t understand or you might have hit on a key issue.
So .. you have been getting on well and learning lots about the other person – fantastic! But you came here to get a job done, you had a strategy in mind, something that you wanted to do. You have to ask them for the next step. So in dating it’s going to be a date …. Right ??? Not straight to the money question! In selling it’s the next logical step in your sales process – so that might be a proposal or getting them to sample your product. Thing is you have to ask them to do what you want them to do.
In the end, just like any relationship, good sales relationships are borne from honesty and integrity. They can only start with your commitment to try and try again - so get out there, be bold and strike up a conversation with someone new. You never know … you could get a new client out of it.
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