Back to School – Third Stop On The Sales Journey

by Bob Poole on February 25, 2010

The third stop on our sales map is a place we've all visited before – Back to School. The reason for visiting school is it is time for us to participate in that favorite game of Show and Tell.

Let's review the first two stops on our sales journey and stopping at school will make logical sense to you. We started off by visiting The Rapport Care where we took time to get to know our potential customers. Our goal was to establish rapport and to begin a relationship based on mutual trust and understanding. 

From there we made the long climb up Big Ears Mountain where we made sure we listened first before we even considered selling. And, we did that by asking questions that got our prospect telling us about what they want to accomplish, what they need, and what kind of problems they want to solve. We were careful to make sure we listened with our entire being.

Now that we have a really great understanding of needs, wants, problems, etc,. it is time to let our prospects know we really, really listened to them. We do this by using Show and Tell.

By the way, this is the stop on our sales map that most salespeople visit first. They shake the prospects hand and then start telling her all about their product or service, their company, themselves and everything but what they should be focusing on.

But, now that you've been to The Rapport Cafe and Big Ears Mountain you've ready to start demonstrating that you not only listened closely but that you have some answers that exactly addresses their needs, wants and problems. And, you can tailor your Show and Tell presentation without rambling about things they don't need or want.

Show and Tell is also a great time to share some stories with the prospective customer. For example, if you're selling an electronic component don't just blurt out a bunch of specifications. Tell a story about how this particular component helped another customer who had the same needs and wants. Don't lie or make up a story. If you've been selling for any time at all you'll have your own stories to tell. And, if you're brand new then learn stories from other salespeople or managers and share them.

The point is to let them know they aren't alone and that other people have needed or wanted the same things. They had the same problem to solve. And, here is how your product or service addresses it for them. Plus, stories are a whole lot more entertaining than statistics. And, people are more likely to buy when they know that other people have done the same thing. We all want to be part of something even something as simple as a group of loyal customers. Just ask Apple customers to learn what being a part of Apple – an Apple customer – means to them.

That's the third leg of our sales journey and you're more than halfway home. Next stop is the It's Not About You Valley. See you there soon!

Photo compliments of slinky789

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi Kaplan February 26, 2010 at 9:23 am

Excellent post. Telling a story, rather than reciting statistics, is much more interesting to prospects, and more likely to get them to really hear, like, and remember what you say.
It also made me smile because my blog post yesterday was about educating clients, going to school, and Apple.
Great minds thinking alike. 🙂

Bob Poole February 26, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanks, Jodi. Like you say, great stories get remembered and they also entertain and educate – a winning combination.

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