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Selling? Or just 'giving your pitch'?

Selling is both a skill and an art. Some people are naturally outgoing. We sometimes confuse personality with being a 'natural salesperson... ' Not exactly. It's important for people to like and trust you; however, that alone does not necessarily result in an order.

Many top sales people have taken formal sales training. They implement what they've learned, daily. After a while, the rhythm of selling becomes second nature. They succeed in assisting a prospect, and create client-relationships, as a result... They also fail, periodically.

And when failure occurs, a professional sales person will analyze 'What went wrong?' or 'What didn't work?' and/or 'Why?'.

Do people understand your message?

It's easy to give an incomplete message. It's unclear to the prospect, but complete in our own mind. We know the entire story, but often speak, write, and text in shorthand. In essence, we fill in the blanks in our head. Just because you see a head nod, or hear a verbal affirmation (uh, huh), doesn't mean you've been understood clearly.

The Deadliest Habit

A Sales Conversation should be just that... a conversation. If you just give a soliloquy (voice or electronic) about the merits  of your product or service, you will make a sale, sometimes. Many times you will flat-out-fail.

You are the expert in your business and its niche, but remember this...

"What you believe is the most important issue may be of no interest to the bride or groom."

If that important issue is not on their radar, at least, you need to softly lay a foundation for both the question and answer.

Quality Control

Try these approaches to check your approach

  1. Have a peer or a consultant listen to your side of a sales conversation. And then, immediately after the call, have give you feedback. There is a rhythm to Q & A. If you are just yapping and not listening, they'll hear it. If you are asking good questions, they'll hear it. - It's best to ask a consultant or peer from outside your company and discipline. They won't try to fill in the blanks. You will get a fresh perspective on how you come across.
  2. Do the same thing, but this time have your shadow listen to both sides of the conversation.
  3. Go one step further... Have the evaluator sit in on a sales appointment. Now they will see the body language, reactions, etc.,.

It's important to ask permission for options 2 & 3, and if someone say 'Please don't,' then don't.

For the in-person observation, ask for permission in advance. You will usually have success if you ask, like this:

"Just one more thing... I've asked a consultant to check our clarity during appointments. We're taking this step to make certain our company is doing the best possible job, listening to people like you , and responding with equal precision. If you would allow an observer to sit in on our meeting, it would be a great to help to us...

That would be alright, wouldn't it?"

By going through this process,  if you just find a few small weaknesses in your approach, the return can be massive.

Go ahead, have a little tune-up!

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert - The Knot B2B
The Wedding Marketing Blog