Article #64, December, 2007
Sales Strategy # 2: The Ambush!
This recently happened to me. A man led me to believe that he wanted to take advantage of my offer to give him a free coaching session after I spoke at his chamber of commerce meeting. When we got together, he launched into a very long sales pitch all about his multi-level marketing business.
He assured me that he was merely interested in educating me, but I had told him (twice) that I was already very familiar with his company and products. I have actually coached two business owners with his MLM who were very professional. This did not deter his 'enthusiasm'. He asked no questions and was completely uninterested in my needs or my business.
There could easily have been a misunderstanding, in which case we could have had a networking meeting where he told me about his best referrals and I did the same, but that is not how it went down. He had absolutely no interest in my business.
If you suspect you are using this technique, stop now! The old model of the tricky, pushy, slippery salesperson is out. Relationship building is in. If you feel the need to mislead people to get them to listen to your pitch, maybe you need a different business. You certainly need a different approach.
I mentioned earlier that pushing your product on people is short-sighted. What I mean by that is that the customers who are bullied into making a purchase are much more likely to never purchase again, drop out of the business or program and talk badly about you and your company. All of this hurts you long term and causes you to work harder for a longer period of time.
The proper way to sell in today's environment is actually easier than being pushy. The first step is to determine who your target market is and what their needs are. This determination will make it much easier to find your best prospects. Then, it is very important to be up front about your intentions. If you want to have a networking meeting and share information about both of your companies, stick with that agenda. If the other person wants to make a purchase, they will let you know, but stick to the agenda and resist the urge to go on and on about your business.
Once you have made a sales meeting appointment (free consultation or otherwise), then by asking well-crafted, open-ended questions, the prospect will tell you everything you need to know to close the sale. Of course, there must be a genuine need or want.