As a salesperson, you’ve spent weeks getting an appointment on my calendar. You’ve gone back and forth with my assistant ten times trying to find an available timeslot. It’s clear that I’m a busy person with lots of other irons in the fire.
But you also know that I’m in the market for what you have to sell and all of that effort could pay off handsomely.
And now you have your chance. The appointed date has arrived and you’re in my conference room getting ready to make your play. While you’re waiting for me to arrive, you happen to notice a framed poster on the back wall. It reads:
“How to Waste My Time with Your Sales Presentation”
- Spend ten minutes talking about your company—as though I care about when your company was founded, how many employees you have, what your building looks like, or the contents of your latest press announcement.
- Tell me what the agenda of our meeting will be—as though I don’t already have an agenda that only includes wanting to hear about how your firm might be able to solve my problems better than the alternatives.
- Show me a slide with a bunch of customer logos—as though I got to where I am by following the herd and doing what every other company is doing.
- Talk about your products instead of my problems—as though I have the time or inclination to figure out for myself how your products might be able to address the problems I’m dealing with every day.
- Use as much jargon and as many acronyms as possible-–as though my business doesn’t have its own esoteric language and I have the time to learn yours.
- Ask me a bunch of standard “qualifying” questions—as though you haven’t done your homework and don’t understand that I’m the one doing the qualifying, not the other way around.
- Don’t talk about the alternatives to your solutions-–as though yours is the only solution being considered and my analysis of the pros and cons of those alternatives will always work in your favor.
When I finally come into the conference room and take a seat, I apologize for being ten minutes late.
You tell me that it’s OK.
And I know you really mean it…because we spend the next hour talking about how you can solve my problems better than anyone else…and I don’t feel like I’ve just lost an hour I can never get back.