Imagine for a moment that you are single and you really want to meet that special someone to share your life with. Now imagine that you were attending a big speed dating event in your area where many others like you were coming. Let's say for the sake of discussion that there were 20 girls and 20 guys. Each gentleman would get 2-3 minutes with each lady. In this short period of time you attempt to get to know the other person with each of you trying to decide if you would like to see this person again for a date.
Now imagine again if you were to take the following approach. Upon sitting down across from the other person you immediately began to tell them how wonderful you are. You start by asking "Can you believe how good looking I am?" You then proceed to tell how successful you are, how much money you have and how cool everyone thinks you are. From there you go onto to talk about how good you are at sports and that you have an amazing boat. Oh, and you finish with how fat your bank account is. Do you think this tactic would be appealing? More than likely they would probably be thinking you were a freak. You would appear to be self absorbed and completely "full of yourself". There is a really good chance you would never get the opportunity to see this person again.
Admit it, you would never consider handling this first meeting this way. Well, I hope you would not! Hopefully, you would show genuine interest in the other person. You would ask about them. You would try and learn about them and not make it about you.
Is this any different than the way we should approach sales. Everyday we are out there trying to build relationships with the business community in hopes they will want to give us another "date". While we think it would be crazy to approach a dating situation the way it was described earlier, we often go into a new business and make it all about us. We too quickly start talking about how great our business is, how great our product is or how we are better than everyone else. We too quickly begin to tell why they need us when in reality we have no idea if they really do. The more effective approach is to make it all about the client. Ask questions about them and their business. Attempt to get them talking about what they like and dislike. We stand a much better chance of getting the opportunity to continue the relationship if we show an interest in them instead of making it about all about us.
So, now tell me, which approach will you use today? Whether you are looking for a date or an opportunity to do business, it starts with your ability to make a connection. Make it about them and you stand a much better chance of getting that next "date".
What works for you? I would love to hear your success stories. And remember, in sales, put the client first and always find your swagger! #discoveryourswagger
Written by Derron Steenbergen, President of Swagger Institute
Swagger Institute is a full service business development company offering sales and leadership training, motivational speaking and organizational consulting.