While on vacation, my wife and I agreed to a brief timeshare presentation. In my field, think of it as getting a front-row ticket to a spectator sport.
In this case, we were actually interested in a new program offered by the company. My dad owns a property, and I wanted to learn more about their new system to see if it would be useful for him. When setting up the appointment, we asked how long it would take, and even mentioned our specific area of interest. Where the session went wrong happens to be in three areas where most sales calls go wrong – a good opportunity for a lesson as launch into the new year:
- Respect Time: When setting the appointment, we said we had 45 minutes. The Marriott had us wait for 15 minutes beyond our appointment starting time before the rep came to greet us. I explained that we only had 30 minutes of time left. Perhaps he didn’t think I was serious about the 30 minutes remaining. If your prospect says they only have a certain amount of time, then don’t assume you can take more than that. As you get near the end of whatever time you have agreed, tell your prospect “we are getting close to the time we agreed to spend together. Should we wrap things up, or keep going?” There is a long history of salespeople taking up more time than agreed. It could be the reason why the entire call screening industry was formed.
- Tune to Their Needs: We started our meeting stating that we had no interest in purchasing more vacation ownership. But, we wanted to specifically learn about the new system. Despite my very specific questions, the salesperson could not give a straight answer. Even worse, he was clearly thrown off by any questions that did not follow his script. If your prospect is trying to solve a specific challenge, be sure to start with that issue. You can deviate from that topic with permission from the prospect. When he was trying to explain all of the great features of their property, it sounded like an adult talking in a Peanuts cartoon. Meaning, his lips were moving, but nothing understandable was coming out. Not only was he wasting time, but he lost our interest in what he might have been able to sell.
- Know What You Don’t Know: I asked the same questions more than once, and received a different answer each time. If the representative had either said “I don’t know” or “let me find out” it would be been acceptable. But, once it was clear that he was guessing, any interaction with him was a complete waste of time.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Why deception is the key to failure in sales | GrowMyRevenue | August 14, 2012