What We Know Can Hurt Us
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time management, cold calling, prospecting and career coaching
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I recently purchased some advertising space in a national
magazine. I have been a subscriber for years and knew everything
I needed to know to select them as an advertising vehicle. I
called them with one intention, to place an order.
When I called their office, the salesperson began doing what she
felt was appropriate; to start selling me. She began with the
history of the magazine, then moved into a discussion about her
subscriber base, how effective an advertising campaign can be
and ended with information about her ad design team. She was
unaware that I already knew all the information that she decided
to share with me.
She never took the time to ask what my intention was in running
the ad or what information I might be interested in hearing more
about. While she was speaking at me, I could only think about
how many selling opportunities this must have cost her when
dealing with prospective clients who didn't have the time or
patience to listen to information that didn't fit for them.
This is not an unusual problem. Many salespeople spend much of
their time during a sales call attempting to educate the
prospect about their product, service and industry. They think
it will stimulate interest and increase the odds of earning a
new client. In many cases, this is the same strategy that
compromises their opportunity to create a relationship with that
Unfortunately, this is the easiest way to lose their attention.
Once a person hears something they aren't interested in or if
they feel you are providing information that doesn't apply to
them, their interest is lost and they stop listening.
A sales call is not the time prove how much you know. It's the
time to find out what you don't know about the prospect and what
the prospect doesn't know about you. It is not your knowledge
that sells, but how effectively you customize your knowledge to
meet each of your prospects' specific needs.