It’s amazing to me how often sales reps start off their elevator pitch with “we’re the leading provider of..” or brag about an award they just got and how great they are to a prospect. It’s also interesting how the first three slides of almost every corporate slide deck are exactly the same: 1) company background/history, 2) Awards, 3) clients. I have news for you – our prospects/clients could care less about how awesome we are. All they care about is themselves.
Here are two questions to ask yourself that that will prove to you why the approach of telling everyone how great we are is not effective.
- What is the #1 thing in the world that people love talking about?
- How long do we have to get someone’s attention in today’s world?
If you answered “themselves” and “seconds” respectively you’d be right. If you answer those two questions correctly then I have one more for you:
- Why do you think talking about how great we are would get the client’s attention or earn their interest in any way?
People love talking about themselves which is the number one problem in Sales. We love talking about ourselves so we do. Unfortunately the client doesn’t care since all they love talking about is them. This relates to prospecting, presentations, relationship development and almost any other aspect of Sales.
So, when prospecting, do some research and find something interesting to reference about a client before calling them and use that as an intro. When meeting with clients, ask open ended insightful questions that put them in the position to be an expert. Don’t just ask them the typical qualification questions (at least to start) and pleeeeeease don’t ask “What keeps you up at night” or say something stupid like “Tell me about your business.” My daughter keeps me up at night and my web page can tell you about my business. Finally, when presenting, don’t take the first three slides out of the slide deck (or else Marketing will kill us) but simply start the presentation by saying “How much of our background and history do you need to know? I can go into as much detail as you want but I’d really like to focus on what is most important which is you.” If they tell you to go into detail then do so, if not then have a handout that you can leave with them that covers that info about your background, etc. Good luck and happy selling!