by Tim Roberts
Imagine you’re a corporate buyer.It’s Friday morning.The phone rings as salespeople begin to make their appointments for the following week.You pick up the phone and hear (with false enthusiasm), “Hi Bob! This is Wally Weakcloser over here at ABC.Gonna be in your area next week and I was hoping we could get together.Only need about 10 minutes of your time because I know you’re busy, so what’s better, Tuesday or Wednesday?”
Can you imagine how you’d feel after 30 minutes of the same call over and over again? “Who teaches this stuff!?!” you’d scream.“Why do they all sound the same?” Because they’ve all been through the same tired Willy Loman smile-and-a-shoeshine sales school? Or because they think fake friendliness will get them in the door?
A best-of-class salesperson knows a secret:Style sells. Buyers are hungry for a unique approach.Yes, they want a credible source possessing strong product knowledge and trust is critical.But a unique approach combined with a depth of business acumen can make them sit up and say, “Hello, what’s this?”
As someone who trains salespeople for a living, I’m under a great deal of scrutiny.The business leaders I meet are intrigued, but fear I’ll sound like the stuff they hate. I have to make sure they see, hear, and feel something different.
Several years back, my style came to full manifestation.While I’ve always worked hard to attain trusted advisor status, it was a local CEO who saw something else.Toward the end of a long meeting, I felt the connection begin to emerge.At a defining moment she stared at me and after a pause said, “You’re an odd little man.”
My heart warmed.A grin stretched on my face. Never had a line felt so good.What was she saying?It was clear.“Tim,” she said, “you’re different.This is not the meeting I expected.I thought you were going to come here today and use a bunch of out-dated techniques, schmooze me and then work an amateur close. But you didn’t do any of that.I’ve enjoyed our meeting very much and I want my people to sell the way you do.Can you teach them that?”
It’s true, I can be odd.I work hard to be.I’m steeped in my Sandler methodology so that’s not the challenge.Style is where so many otherwise-solid talents come up short.If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it thousands of times: most people are winging their sales calls on their alleged good people skills.
Our clients do things different--intentionally. We say that if your competition is doing something in a certain way, you better do the exact opposite.
If you’d be curious to know more about creating your own unique selling style, we’d be happy to have you sit in as a guest. Just promise me you’ll arrive without any expectations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at 317.845.0041 to schedule.