I met with a client yesterday who told me that one of my competitors was in last week, and spent the entire meeting talking about the shortcomings of all of his competitors.
I work in media sales in a small market, and compete against approximately fifty other media sales people throughout television, radio, print, yellow pages and cable. Fifty! In such a highly competitive arena, if you are lucky enough to get an appointment to meet with a client, you better be smart enough to know how to conduct that meeting. Spending that time telling the client what they are doing or thinking is wrong will not get you very far.
I know that we all report back to sales managers who are under the gun to meet numbers. They report to general managers who report up the line as well. But if we as sellers start getting aggressive and negative in our sales calls the clients will be turned off. After all, they have many choices (49 others here).
Instead of using the old school tactics, try this: Ask your client what he or she is trying to accomplish. Remember, some of these folks have worked with the “old dogs” for a long time so they will use catch phrases of days gone by. In media, such phrases might include “reach” and “ total household penetration”, “Where are you in the ratings?” Blah blah blah.
BE DIFFERENT. Drill down and ask what YOU can do to help? Get a specific assignment and create a plan that will reach that goal. BE DIFFERENT. Check in often and get updates on the status of the campaign, ask how it is working. BE DIFFERENT. Offer measurable results. BE DIFFERENT.
Would love to hear how YOU are DIFFERENT, please share.
Now, go sell something!