So What!

by Bob Poole on September 20, 2011

Have you ever been shopping for something and have a salesperson begin to tell you all about the features of a particular product only to find yourself thinking, “So what!”

It happened to me recently when I was trying to find the best video camcorder for my purposes. Those last two words of the previous sentence are critical – my purposes.

Too often salespeople are so enamored with what they are selling or they think that telling a prospective customer everything they know about it will get them the sale. It doesn’t work that way. You must find out what the customer is going to use it for and what needs he may have that he doesn’t even know about or understand.

In the example of the camcorder, I know quite a bit about still photography but a lot less about video equipment and the technology today. I have a pretty short list of what I wanted to do with it. Yet the salesperson ignored my questions and statements and proceeded to tell me about his favorite camera. That’s what he called it – his favorite.

I left confused and frustrated and determined to find out more about the current crop of camcorders online and buy the necessary equipment there. He could have had the sale and I would have been a happy customer if only he had asked me some questions and then listened to me. Instead he did most of the talking and I was forced to listen which isn’t what I wanted and isn’t a whole lot of fun.

Don’t make the same mistake. Develop a list of questions you can ask a prospective customer that will allow them to do most of the talking. That’s how you make the sale.

My New Book

I’m working on my next book following up Listen First – Sell Later and I’m already well into it. It has twenty-plus chapters and will be about 50,000 words by the time it is edited. It will be a sales book (no surprise there) and I’ll be focusing on small businesses and their particular sales needs.

Want to be part of the book? I’m looking for a few people who have started their own businesses or have worked in sales for small businesses and have a story to tell about their journey. I’m especially interested in hearing from those of you who started your own company without much of a clue about sales only to learn you had no alternative but to learn how to sell.

What are some of the most difficult things you learned about sales and triumphed over?

If you’re interested, please email me at bob at bobpoole dot com or you can also leave a few sentences about your experiences in the comments section.

Thank you!

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