Like many business owners, I get approached by individuals trying to sell me their services or products. You’d think in this day and age that certain approaches would have died decades ago, and yet I still hear them, repeatedly.
To sell successfully, you first have to sell yourself. If you don’t have a pleasing approach or reputation, you aren’t going to be signing many clients. You want to be able to say you nailed it, not you killed it. In life, I may have to suffer fools gladly, but that doesn’t include foolish salespeople. Here are the top three ways to guarantee within the first thirty seconds that I will never do business with you.
- The “No One Knows You Exist” Approach. I find this used most often by groups selling SEO (search engine optimization) services. If I had a nickel for every time a salesperson called me or sent me an email stating that I was “unfindable” on the web I would be a rich woman. Telling someone that they are invisible will never persuade them they need your services, especially when coming from a complete stranger. Just who do you think you are? Leading with a negative will guarantee a quick end to the phone call or a one-way trip to my spam folder.
- The “You’re Nothing Without My Product” Approach. This person will compliment your product offerings then explain how it has a glaring hole because you do not carry their product. After all, you would be so much more successful if you did! I’m not sure how telling a business owner they are incomplete without you will get you any purchase orders either. I steer clear of people who think it’s all about them. This goes double for salespeople with this egotistical approach. There is no room for arrogance in sales.
- The “Your Reputation Precedes You” Approach. Before I engage in business with anyone, I check them out. You can find out anything about any person or business these days. I once had a now-defunct management consulting firm hand me a business card with a Better Business Bureau credential on it. When I looked them up online, they were under investigation and had a BBB rating of “F”. You can also find lawsuits, unpaid bills, and unfavorable reviews online. Sales people need to remember that their personal reputation and the reputation of their company precedes them. I don’t care about how much money you can make me; if I can’t trust you, I ain’t buyin’.
Always remember that sales is about getting people to like you, trust you, and feel that you are going to offer them value. So avoid these poisonous behaviors lest you kill any chance of a deal with the first words out of your mouth.
search engine optimization
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