I am a sales person and I work with sales people and boy do we LOVE to talk! I often advise sales people to talk less but it is vary rare that I have to tell them to talk more.
Earlier in the year I was booked to do a keynote speech and an associated learning event for a corporate client. The keynote was to be twenty minutes and the learning session one hour. On the day and just thirty minutes before the conference started I was asked to extend the learning session to two hours, as another trainer had been taken ill. My training session had been planned meticulously to fill the one-hour slot but I agreed to the request without hesitation and with a beaming smile said “I can always use extra time!” However, had the request been to CUT my session down by half to thirty minutes I would have gone into a tailspin of panic! Why? Because it is always harder to leave things out (that you feel you need to make your point) than it is to add more content in!
I love Twitter and it has forced me to be concise with my messages due to its maximum characters per tweet restriction. Getting your message across in the least amount of words is a key skill that most sales people lack. For the reasons detailed below you MUST work on this, especially when prospecting.
Today we are all bombarded with information (in real time) from email, texts, social media, news alert apps and so on. These snippets of information come at us thick and fast and we have developed the skill of rapidly picking out ONLY those that are of interest to us and quickly ignoring the rest. It’s the equivalent of the family tin of chocolates at Christmas where we hone in on what we like, casting aside those we don’t like.
People get bored much quicker these days, look at TV channels, as a child I had the choice of just 3! Now I have hundreds & still can’t find anything decent to watch! As consumers the more choice we are given, the more we demand more choice, and better quality.
To compete with ‘the noise’ B2B sales people must:
- Get to the point pronto (no waffle)
- Ditch heavily choreographed questioning techniques (just talk business)
- Cut the clichés (I mean REALLY)
- Don’t flog dead horses (stop wasting the prospects time)
- Be informed (use the information overload for your benefit)
- Show class (act like a professional)
I think I’ve said enough so I’ll stop right there!
Thank you for reading.
Stuart Allen ~ MD of The Sales Performance Company Ltd
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