Prospecting 101: It’s Not About You
As a super prospect, I’m a magnet for all kinds of “get rich, work at home, this thing is different, and our stuff is revolutionary” business pitches. I love them – the good, bad, and ugly.
I don’t have anything against direst sates or multi-level-marketing. They’re great business models and a nice example of free enterprise. I even know a few people who have made boatloads of money doing this. That’s not my issue.
I hate the way most of them are trained to sell their products and services. They aren’t very good.
Last week, I was in Florida. The state is noted for bad tasting water and alligators – I don’t know if there’s a cause and effect thing going on here. So, as you’d expect, there are lots of people offering business opportunities that help clean up your water. I think I have that right. I’m sure it wasn’t to help get rid of alligators.
Anyway, a guy who grew up two houses from where I grew up, cornered me. The fact that I didn’t have a clue who he was, or that I had left my hometown when he was about five years old didn’t seem to slow him up.
He was convinced that because we grew up in the same town and that my younger sister was his baby sitter, we were somehow cosmically destined to be business partners.
After shaking hands, and without any attempt at small talk, he hit me with an amazing machine gun burst of incredibility useless information. Without taking a breath, he crammed what I’d guess was a 30 to 45-minute presentation into 2 minutes.
To save you some pain, I’ll paraphrase.
- I’m on track to quit my job.
- I’m a millionaire in the making.
- I started my own business.
- I help people just like you start their own business.
- I bet you’d be great at this.
- I can help you quit your job and become a millionaire too.
- I have a revolutionary water filtration product developed by a team of PhDs that will make Florida water taste like it came from Maine.
- It took years to develop this technology, and the water company has been trying to ban it – it’s that good.
- This is a ground floor opportunity.
- Let’s talk. We’ll make a great team.
Again, I love to listen to this stuff. I always learn so much, especially when it’s very bad.
The entire pitch was about him. He never asked me anything.
If this sounds like you, or someone you know, we need to talk.
If you don’t call, at least think about doing this:
- It’s okay to stop and ask a prospect or customer what they want, expect, and/or need.
- Listening is good.
- Ask a few open ended questions. You might be surprised what you’ll learn.
- Pause and breath. It gives you time to think and formulate a good answer. Plus, it makes you look like you know what you are doing, and passing out due to lack of oxygen is bad form.
- It’s never about you – regardless how excited you are and how good your product is.
- It’s always about the prospect – me.
- It’s never about you.
I’m on a mission to stamp out really obnoxious sales pitches. Please do your part. Direct all abusers here.
Money Made Personal – Ted