In sales, many times you go into a meeting disliked. Depending on how you got the appointment, your potential customer could be coming in with the worst attitude ever. For example, sometimes meetings through cold calls can cause buyer's remorse. The only reason you got the meeting in the first place was because the customer was too nice to say no on the phone. As soon as she hung up, she regretted ever making the meeting in the first place. Then in the days following up to her meeting with you, she gets upset that she have to attend. By the time your meeting starts, you're already facing an uphill battle.
I've been through this time and time again. The only way to turn this around is to get the customer excited and upbeat early on. Fail to do that and you can kiss the deal goodbye. To get your customer in the right mental state, try the three strategies below. There's nothing complicated about these tips and they're easy to adopt, yet most people don't do them.
1. Tell the customer from the start that you're not going to waste his or her time.
Do you know why people hate going to meetings with vendors? Because there is a ton of time wasted on useless statements and questions. Most people have a short attention span. Personally, if someone talks for over 20 minutes I start zoning out.
Now imagine a buyer who has a bad attitude trying to listen to you for an hour. That is a recipe for disaster. One of the best things you can do to help them feel better about meeting with you is saying you're not going to pitch your product for too long. When you do this, your client will be thrilled. They'll appreciate you taking their time into consideration, and they'll be more energetic for the Q&A.
Most sellers think that by jamming in as many features as they can into their pitch they'll be able to get more business. But customers don't buy your features; they buy your company and you. Sell them on the vision and you won't need to spend hours and hours on the small details.
2. Ditch questions you don't need answers to
One of my greatest pet peeves is when a salesperson asks me a question, and I know they are going to have the same response no matter what I say. This is the classic sales maneuver that everyone hates. The seller asks you a question that he knows you're going to say yes to, and then follows it up with a dumb analogy to try and sell his or her product.
For example, I once had a seller ask me if I take time to drink water every day. Of course, I answered yes. He then tried to convince me that if I took the same effort I put to drinking H20 and put it into using his product, all my problems would be solved. Does that even make sense? Questions like this example are why some people get called "sleazy salesmen."
Don't be that person. You don't need to ask stupid questions to try and persuade someone to buy your product. You're better than that. Be genuine and your customer will like you, and he or she will start to trust you. Authenticity has unfortunately become uncommon in sales; use that to your advantage.
3. Never get upset at a customer for not buying
The best customers are ones that give you direct answers. The prospects that sound super excited in the meeting and then never call you again are the worst. They waste your time because they are trying to be nice. In reality, the nicest thing they can do is to be honest and direct with you.
When a customer says no to you right off the bat, don't be upset. That is an amateur move. Instead, stay positive until the end. This week, I had a buyer tell me right after my pitch that he wasn't interested. Instead of getting down, I thanked him generously for telling me and not leading me on. I then said that I hope we can do business in the future, and to please let me know if he finds any changes he would want in my product. You know what happened next? He pulled out his contacts, referred me to another client, and told me that we'll be doing business together in the future. People like doing business with others who are nice and authentic. Remember those two traits before every sale, and you'll be just fine.