Article Summary:A sales tip gleaned from Hollywood; talk less, listen more.
Maybe everything you need to know you can learn from the movies. A friend of mine is a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Over a glass of wine, we were discussing his business and the nature of the beast in Hollywood. He's a boy from Canada who gave up his much-loved Honda, his life savings, and his broadcasting career to move to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute. Not an easy feat in your mid-30s. After 8 years of hard work he is now becoming the new discovery of LA. He said the most difficult thing to adjust to was all the talking.
Collin slouches into his chair. "Everyone lies in this business. It's all big Cheshire cat smiles - but essentially people have the 'Enough about you - more about me' mentality." After our conversation I thought about his last statement.
Are You On A Blind Date With Your Customer?
We tend to love what we do. So we get all excited about it and then proceed to tell everything about ourselves to the potential customer. It just reminds me of a really bad date! A one-sided conversation becomes tired pretty quickly. Customers feel like they are on a bad blind date with you if there isn't a connection to what they need.
Minus the cynicism, our clients are also thinking like the Hollywood set, "ENOUGH ABOUT YOU blabbing about all the wonderful things about your company, your product, your requirements. MORE ABOUT ME - and what I need to survive and thrive!"
The Helium Test
Are you talking your face off when you are speaking with your client? When they ask you on the phone what you have to offer - do they hear a massive intake of air and then you giving your best "I just sucked in helium and can talk really fast" act?
If so - you aren't making a connection with your customer. You sound like everyone else, you act like everyone else and you aren't positioning yourself as someone who can help. Because at the end of the day -what you really do is HELP PEOPLE. The only way this is accomplished is by discovering what your customer needs and researching other areas of need - areas your customer may not even have thought of yet!
Questions Are The Answer!
Sounds like a paradox doesn't it? In order to help your customer you first find out what they need. Or THINK they need. Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Princess Leia in Star Wars said "Instant gratification doesn't come fast enough." Now for a girl with cinnamon buns attached to the side of her head this is a pretty profound statement.
Your customers are demanding instant gratification. They want their needs met. In most cases, it just isn't happening. The first thing out of your mouth should be "May I ask you a few questions?"
Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are the foundation of selling. Customers buy when they feel an emotion NOT when they've had information dumped on them. How do you do this? By asking questions! Our customers become engaged when they feel curiosity....NOT boredom.
Our customer contact should be handled with this premise - Create Curiosity With Questions.
Would the Academy Want You?
Create your own Academy award winning sales success by talking less and listening more. As Collin says, the best agents ask a multitude of relevant questions. Then they listen to the answers and make it happen. Are you acting like a star with your clients or are you being an agent? Your success lies in the answer.
Kim Duke, The Sales Diva, provides savvy, sassy sales training for women small biz owners and entrepreneurs. Kim works with clients internationally, showing them The Sales Diva secrets to success! Sign up for her saucy and smart FREE e-zine and receive her FREE Bonus Report "The 5 Biggest Sales Mistakes Women Make" at www.salesdivas.com.