Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh, Those Stupid Prospects! -:)

If, in your efforts to sell a product or service, your message to your prospects is that they are stupid not to recognize the benefits and hand over their wallet right away, you have already lost the sale!

This happened to me last night. A bubbly, nicely-dressed, middle-aged woman with a book, some magazines and a stack of brochures in her hands approached me, introduce herself and told me she has this “great new product that all women need, full of anti-oxidants and other anti-aging ingredients”. She handed me a brochure and I asked her: “Is this acai?” “Yes”, she said and turned up the heat on her anti-aging message. I handed her the brochure back and told her “Thanks, but this is not for me.”

At that point she should have moved on.

Instead, she kept talking about “this great product.” And a “great company” – “bigger than Microsoft and (some other companies she named).”

She knew nothing about me. I could have been selling the same snake oil. Or a competitor’s snake oil, or own the factory where the snake oil is made. All she knew was that, by appearance, I was in her target market. “How many fruits have you eaten today?”, she wanted to know. “Two so far”, I told her (not counting the piece of lime in the drink in my hand). “I’ve already had 13”, she enthused, and went on and on about this miracle product. “It’s very fresh; they bottle it within hours of harvesting the berries”. And on, and on, and on, “educating” me on all these fantastic things I knew nothing about (she assumed), that could improve my health and extend my life, if I would only begin using that product – after buying it from her, of course.

Finally, she moved on to her next victim – uh, “prospect”.

Three messages for anyone reading this:
* Do not go to a networking event with the purpose of making a sale.

* Do not attempt to sell something – anything, in any setting – to a person you don’t know and are just meeting for the first time.

* “No” means “no” – move on!

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