Business

I’m Not Your Friend

I freakin love relationships.  I love people. So why the title? Why the post about not being your friend? Let me paint a picture. (This is the part where if this was a movie it would do a ripple fade to another shot).
It’s a normal Tuesday, early afternoon.  You are just getting back from lunch and diving right back into the project that you had to take a break from. As you look up, you see a mountain of emails filling your inbox, and out of the corner of your eye you see a coworker coming over to talk to you about an issue they wanted your help with.  As all of this is going on, you hear a faint noise coming from your right… its the ring tone of your office phone. You don’t want to be a jerk and ignore it so you reach over and pick it up off of the receiver.
As you greet the other person on the line with a hearty hello and your name, what comes next isn’t unusual, but it is jaw dropping.  “Hey Paul, this is so and so from blank company.  I know its been a couple months or so since I last reached out, so I figured I’d call to see how everything is going and catch up.”  Like I said, not unusual, but it is jaw dropping.
All of us have experienced this, and some of us, myself included, are guilty of doing this jaw dropping action.  The exact words we use ourselves, or hear from the other line, may be a little different, but it all amounts to the same thing.  We have no relationship but  would like to shoot the s#!t and burn 15 of their minutes idly chatting.
Again, I am 100% about relationships, but I have begun to see the importance of being selective with those relationships and who I share my time with.  It’s also not that I don’t want to form new relationships, it’s just that I don’t want to idly chit chat with someone who is a complete stranger.
Whenever we call, whether it is a friend, and especially if it is a new contact, call with intention.  Call with a specific, not general, question in mind and if you can hear stress and frustration in their voice, give them an out.  I know this may seem counterproductive to sales, but if you are always calling and idly chit chatting you are not only wasting their time, but yours as well.  The strongest relationships I have, have started  over the simplest things, but those conversations where had with intention.
Remember, I’m not your friend, at least not yet, so please don’t pretend that we are.  Start calling people with intention and I promise those relationships will form.
Business

5 Words I Despise

The five words that I hate the most are, “Let me have a chance.”  Whenever I hear these, and it happens frequently, it makes me want to hang up immediately.  Why should you avoid this phrase?  Let me explain.
This phrase comes up in sales all the time.  It is something that is taught and for the life of me I can’t understand why.  When I hear this, I hear extreme desperation and the possibility that what you are promising won’t come to fruition.  Then when something invariably goes wrong the follow up is “Let me have a chance to redeem myself.” To that the answer should almost always be “Ummmmmm Heeeeeelllll no.”
When this phrase is used, it means there are other fundamental things not being met for anyone in the conversation to feel safe and that this is actually a good idea.  The biggest ingredient missing is trust. Trust takes time and experience, both of which you clearly do not have when these worlds spill out of your mouth.
Do everyone in this world a favor and remove this phrase from your speech.  It doesn’t show grit or determination, but desperation and an ill guided hope.
Better phrases you could use are, “ What are the obstacles that are keeping you from using us? What is the best way to get an opportunity to do business with you? How can I build trust with you outside of doing X?”  These three phrases are massively better than the “just give me a chance,” one.  If you ask any of those three phrases, you need to make sure you listen and then deliver on what your contact tells you.  Then, and only then, do the fundamental building blocks for a sale start to form so that all parties feel comfortable and confident that this is the right decision.
Helpful Hints

How To Not Scare Away Potential Customers: Stop Proposing, And Start Dating

 I am literally blown away by how many calls I get and within the first five minutes… nay, the first five seconds, they are already asking for the commitment.

When you force the buying decision too early into the relationship there is a tension that is created because their isn’t enough trust on the buyers part to fully buy into what you are selling.  Selling takes time.  Its almost always something that takes more than one call. Regardless of what your selling though, before the potential customer can buy, they need to know you as much as they know about the product.

Please, for the love of all things good and holy, make sure that you build the relationship first before you even dream of asking for the close.  I know this may go against what some folks have been taught, but the better and deeper the relationship, the easier it is for the other person to say yes to your ask. The easier the yes, the more closes. The more closes, the more MONEY… capisce.