We have all been told by the old school sales trainers (and our old bosses!) that we need to pitch our product or service to prospects with enthusiasm and passion. There was a time when this was great advice; however, that time is long gone.
Sales people have been pitching with enthusiasm to prospects for the past 80 years. But in this new market where prospects are bombarded with information all day long, pitching no longer works. Here are three reasons why:
- Prospects get defensive: When you are perceived as salesy by your prospect, the defensive wall goes up. Just think about the last time a sales person enthusiastically told you, “Let me tell you the five reasons we can help you!!!” Prospects are used to this very played-out shtick.
- You lose control: In a selling situation, if you are doing most of the talking, you have lost control of that selling situation. The person doing the talking is never directing the selling situation. Rather, the person asking the questions is in control—make sure that person is you.
- Never know your prospect: When you are spending all of your time pitching yourself to a prospect, you are wasting time that could be spent better understanding your prospect’s situation and whether that person is, in fact, qualified to be your client.
Instead of beginning your sales meetings with a pitch, begin with a discussion about that prospect’s challenges and goals. You accomplish this by asking effective questions that will determine whether a prospect is qualified to work with you. Ask a question such as, “What are your biggest [YOUR INDUSTRY]-related challenges from your perspective?”
This will help you kick off the meeting in an engaging and prospect-focused way. And remember, no more pitching!
What is one question that you ask your prospects in selling situations? Please share below in the comments.
Marc Wayshak is author of the book Game Plan Selling and a sales keynote speaker.