Sales trainer Tessa Stowe has years of experience in sales, and today she shares a story of a dinner went wrong. The sales lesson that follows shows the importance of being a chameleon and blending in to different situations. Read on to see what we mean!
Several years ago, my former boss Peter and I went to dinner with the Chairman of the company we worked for. On that occasion, the Chairman talked and talked all evening. After the Chairman had finally left, Peter turned around to me and said "Tessa, we could have been anyone this evening." We felt that the Chairman had just talked at us all night. He would have had exactly the same conversation whether Peter and I were there or not.
The Chairman was not at all interested in Peter or me. In fact, by the end of the evening he knew absolutely nothing about us. It had not been a two-way conversation with us, but instead a monologue directed at us. His words would have been exactly the same no matter who was sitting opposite him.
Without realizing it, you may be acting like the Chairman. If your prospect would start daydreaming while you are speaking, would there be any difference in your conversation? You don't need their input for the conversation if you say the same things no matter who you are talking to.
Think back to the last time you spoke to a prospect. Did your words specifically change for that person, or were they the exact same words you have with all your prospects? Would a neutral observer think your prospect or you were at center stage?
So, what is the cure? It is actually quite simple. Become a facilitator of the conversation by asking powerful questions and quickly blend into the background and the conversation. Become a chameleon in the conversation.
For you to become a chameleon, blending into the background and the conversation, your prospect must feel comfortable about being at center stage. Hence it is critical that you ask your prospect questions about things they care about and know about. If you don't, your prospect will not want to be at center stage.
For example, a CEO cares about increasing revenues and decreasing costs, so ask questions around them. A marketing manager cares about standing out from the competition, so ask questions around that. When you ask questions, use the prospect's language - not yours.
When you are selling, you need to be a master chameleon and adapt your questions and your language to the person you are talking to. You want to blend into the background and make them center stage.
Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.