Naturally, I am always watching people’s selling styles in hopes to learn something new and see what isn’t working for them so I don’t make the same mistakes. I had two memorable meetings with sales people last week and unfortunately, they didn’t impress. SOOOO, I wanted to share what I felt were their pitfalls so that we can all learn from them.
The marketing company. I scheduled a meeting with a marketing company for a client I am working with to level up their brand. We met at a coffee shop to discuss. Their brand representative/owner came in hot!!! He told us everything he knew about the industry, about marketing and his thoughts on what we were doing wrong. I am all for constructive criticism, educating, building credibility, but how did he know what we needed? He didn’t. That was the BIG problem with the encounter. He didn’t ask us what we needed or why we wanted to meet with him in the first place. When it comes to sales, it’s important to listen to what your potential client thinks they want/need and then advise/sell/educate accordingly. In short, it’s important to LISTEN!
The used car salesman. Unfortunately, this guy fed into the stereotype! Mike is shopping for a truck and found a used option for sale through a dealership. He scheduled the appointment a day in advance and asked that I come along to check it out. We show up, and the guy then introduces himself, asks us to wait and pulls the truck around. We all (Mike, Car Salesman and I), go for a drive, Mike asks him several questions which he doesn’t know any answers to. I am reasonable in that he’s a used car salesman so there are many makes and models coming across his desk, BUT, we made an appointment, he could’ve opened the file folder and read it for 10 minutes before our meeting. Later, we had interest in the truck, so we went to discuss the details. The guy opened the file to find some answers all while bad mouthing Jeeps (as a Jeep driver, I was quite put off.. but everyone has an opinion) and didn’t once ask us a single qualifying question. For example, “why do you need a truck?”
I hope these examples can highlight the importance of listening to your potential clients. Ask them qualifying/open ended questions to help you best serve them. Listening will make you a better sales person and relationship builder!