“Act now, this offer won’t last”
“Limited time only”
“You get what you pay for”
“Quantities are limited”
Slick lines like these are met with derision, as they should be. Effective marketing is credible, concise, and compelling by making clear the value the client will receive. As the marketing evangelists for their companies, salespeople must avoid suave approaches, canned responses, and feature-benefit laden speeches that only serve to put off customers instead of turn them on to what’s in it for them.
Recently I watched a pair of salesmen at the Birmingham, Alabama airport thoroughly plan everything they were going to talk about in a meeting later that day. For 45 minutes, they focused on all of the points they were going to make, not once referencing any questions they would ask, fixated as they were on their beloved talking points. At one point one them actually said, “If he says that, here’s how we’ll talk him into changing his mind.” They clearly had a gift for gab, and were gleefully planning to use it.
Just like “Come here often?” is a terrible pickup line in a bar, planned, canned sales pitches are a horrible way to conduct a conversation with a buyer. The new ABC’s of selling—Always Be Collaborating—require salespeople to be completely present, hear the buyer thoroughly, and concisely respond to what they hear with the truth the buyers need to hear. Instead of “but wait, there’s more,” good salespeople are saying, “please tell me more” to thoroughly understand their customers and what would be of value to them.
My new book, Sales Yoga: A Transformational Practice of Opening Doors and Closing Deals, can now be pre-ordered at a 20% discount.