Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Zip Ze Lips

A few days ago I was preparing for a sales seminar that I am delivering this week. I rarely teach about sales these days, preferring to focus on word-of-mouth marketing, but this is a favor for my friend John Bauer, Director of the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs.

One aspect of the training will focus on the act of information gathering. The same day I worked on this presentation, I also introduced one of my networking contacts to another. I smiled to myself when I realized how the two (networking and selling) are very alike.

You see, back when I was a sales manager, I accompanied my sales staff to their appointments sometimes. We had an acronym that we used to help us to remember to ask the right questions. What I found with new sales people was that they would quickly stop asking questions and start SELLING the second they had gathered a piece of information that meant they could be of benefit to the prospect.

What happened as a result is that many times the prospect shut up entirely and got defensive. All of a sudden, instead of being asked all about their wants and needs, they were having to think quickly to deflect the hard sell.

In networking appointments the same can happen. If two people are being introduced by a third, it is better to let that third person do complete introductions and promotion before even opening your mouth! First of all, if you start to talk to early, you may miss an important piece of information and secondly, the introducer won't get to brag about you as much as possible.

So no matter whether you are selling or networking,


The calluses you develop will pay off in the long run!

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