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 user 2005-04-12 at 10:01:00 am Views: 49
  • #8769

    Ways to engage and involve the prospect

    After a bout of listening to a
    successful New York City copier salesman  I began to offer up a
    few ideas that might convert his “selling” to the prospect’s “buying.”

    Keep in mind, this guy is selling copiers door-to-door — a tough sale to say
    the least. You’ve all seen these salespeople. Pushy, trying too hard, begging
    for a “demo,” asking all the wrong questions, and trying to make their “quota.”
    Selling. So wrong.

    Here is the rest of the interview between the copier salesman (I call CS) and
    me (JG). This is my response to the way I think the sales presentation should
    go. (You can decide for yourself.)

    JG: Instead of employing the copier salesman’s opening questions that might
    not be perceived as sincere (his opener was about their kids or how they got
    their job — to a total stranger), I would sit down with a prospect and engage
    him or her with a thought-provoking question. I would ask the prospect a “think”
    question first — one like, “How does the office machinery that you presently
    have impact your office productivity and morale?”

    Then I would ask, “When your copier goes down, what happens?” I would follow
    with, “What do you wish would happen?” Then I would take out five pieces of
    paper that were specifically designed for reproduction and ask, “Before we get
    started, could you make me a few copies?”

    That would allow me to go into the copy room. I don’t have to ask what kind
    of copy machine they’ve got, I can see it. I can see how old it is. I can see
    how many copies are on it. I can see what happens in the copy room. I can see
    what their productivity process is like. I can see everything. From a sales
    perspective, this is way better than looking at their fishing trophy.

    If I see a pile of paper in the trash can, I am going to ask how often they
    empty the trash can, and then ask how much it costs, how much of people’s time
    is involved making copies, how long the toner lasts — and try to create their
    own reality with them.

    I can be at the heart of the sale in less than five minutes, and you’re still
    in the front office asking “Who are you using?”

    Then I would ask, “Can we sit in your office for a couple of minutes and
    shoot the breeze?”

    I’m more in control of the sale because I know what they’re doing, and I know
    how they’re doing it. Once inside their office I say, “Let me show you the five
    copies that you just made, and let me show you the same five copies that I made
    on one of the (insert brand name) copiers that I have. Let’s compare and see
    which look better, or see if you can tell which are yours.” I may make the sale
    on the spot, but even if I don’t, this dialogue is going to allow me to follow
    up in a way that will have this person taking my next call. I have engaged the
    prospect in a manner that makes me look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m
    talking about.

    I don’t want to be an expert on copiers. I want my supplier to be an expert
    on copies and copiers. Let me be the customer’s copier expert. Rely on me,
    because I can come in, fix it, make it perfect, increase your productivity,
    morale and internal happiness, thereby increasing your possibility of serving
    your customers in a better way.