There are things you dont say in a sales meeting.
Sometimes sales is just about not shooting yourself in the foot.
Over the years I have seen so many sales people ruin any chance of a sale by talking too long, or worse still offending the prospect.
My first sales manager always used to say,
“You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion.”
And realistically, if you just ask a question then WATCH and LISTENyou’ll know if you are talking too much.
You’ll also know if you are getting any sort of response to the questions you are asking.
If the response you are getting is a blank stare, if they yawn, if they fall asleep it’s likely you are not on the right track.
I thought I’d list below ten things NOT to say, so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot with them.
1. Tell me a bit about your business?
This is a waste of the prospects time.
Find out the basics of their business BEFORE you walk in the door.
Otherwise you are just insulting your prospect with your first words.
And, first impressions count!
2. What problems do you have?
I must admit I asked this question at times in my early days of selling.
I can’t honestly remember anyone having any problems.
Maybe the problem they had was the inexperienced salesperson in front of them wasting their time?
3. Are you satisfied with your current supplier?
Is everything OK with the company you’re buying from now?
The problem with this question is that they are not very likely to be doing business with someone they are not happy with and worse still admitting it to you can make them seem foolish.
It’s much better to ask more specific questions.
If you know your competitor your questions can focus on their weaknesses.
For example, if you know your competitor works on small stock holdings and has to supply a lot of material from interstate, you might ask, “What’s the minimum lead time you need to give for a rush order?”
4. I think this is the best product/service on the market.
Oh! And what makes you the expert?
It’s your product; of course, you’d think it’s the best.
Anyway, who cares what you think.
5. Don’t you know we are the biggest supplier in the world of this product/service
I was in a meeting once with a supplier from overseas who used this line with a customer of mine while trying to convince them to switch from a competitor and buy another product from us. The meeting was over very quickly after that. The next day I got a call from the manager of the company who told me if I ever brought that guy to see him again not only would we be thrown out by security but he’d cancel all the orders for products he already bought from me.
6. We supply your major competitor with this product/service.
Please don’t ever use this line.
The business you have with a customer is between you and them.
If your customer finds out you’re telling everyone you supply them you reputation will likely take a serious dive.
In any case you may not gain much from saying this.
It may just make the customer keen to buy at a lower price than his competitor and even if you make a sale there’ll be no profit in it.
Maybe your prospect will even decide that you are in the opposition camp and decide not to by from you.
7. Let me be perfectly honest with you.
Why, aren’t you always honest with me!
Were you honest with me when you said that was your best offer?
8. Do you have any questions?
Hard for them to answer.
Be more specific.
“As you look at all the advantages of our service, which is the MOST interesting to you.”
9. What do you look for in a service?
Once again, a little too vague.
What are the main criteria you used when you selected your existing vendor?
What’s the most important thing you want from a supplier of this service?
How specifically do you decide on a supplier?
10. What would it take to get your business?
What are you really saying with this question?
It is literally saying: “Look, I don’t have a lot of time here. Could you just tell me the quickest way to get this order with the least amount of work on my part?”
And if you want to learn a lot of good things you can say please consider my eBook on influence and persuasion.
Until next month, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and
Here's to YourSalesSuccess.
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