The amazing windup salesperson!
I had the pleasure and privilege to speak at Multifamily Pros' Optimization Summit this past week and talk about email marketing in the modern age (click here to watch the recorded version). One thing that hasn't modernized, however, is that new sales folks still aren't getting trained to be effective sales people.
What do I mean?
As part of shows like this, I enjoy walking the expo floor, seeing what new and innovative things people have come up with in their industries. I stopped at probably 30 different booths to see what was new and next. Amazingly, out of those 30 booths, a stunning 57% of sales folks never once asked me what I did.
It was almost comedy - wind up the sales person and hear the pitch come out like a child's toy. They never qualified me by asking question (they would have quickly realized I had no need for their services) and they made the assumption that I was there as a multifamily building manager/owner like everyone else. There were two people who I was amazed managed to get to the end of a fairly lengthy pitch while breathing only once. They probably thought I wasn't listening, but I was looking for the defibrillator in case they passed out from hypoxia.
Of the 13 vendors who were trained to actually let prospective customers talk, most made a "what do you do" question within the first couple of minutes. Some people led with that, which is one of the easiest and best strategies for building rapport and trust. As a sales person, one of the best things you can do is get the prospect talking about themselves early and often so you can gather information.
Here's a simple test: If you're a sales person, record yourself selling, then watch the video or listen to the recording and see how long it takes you to get to "so, what do you do?".
Want to see how this applies to your marketing online? Jason Falls recommends checking out WeWe Calculator to see how much of any given web page's language is centered around you the company instead of me the customer. It's illuminating to see that most corporate web pages get so wrapped up in boasting about the company that they never give prospective customers the opportunity to mentally engage with copy that is customer-centric. Try it out and see how your content and company score.
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