Dating Has Changed- How Does This Impact Sales?
Back in my single days, when I went out and met a girl, she knew absolutely nothing about me and I knew absolutely nothing about her. This created the excitement; getting to know someone, learning all about of their life experiences, and being able to talk for hours about things that I could only learn from this person.
Fast forward 15 years and the world has changed. As I see my colleagues that are single looking for that special someone, they can access their life history before they ever meet them. Between finding someone on Tinder, then researching them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat, they know all of the information that would have taken me five dates, a lunch, and a weekend away to get. While some people think this makes life easier, it also creates the pressure to bring something unique that the other party doesn’t already know.
Sales is no different. Our prospects and clients have access to an unbelievable amount of information about our products, services, how we have performed, reviews, and best practices from existing clients. Just as your date now comes to dinner knowing almost everything about you, your prospects are coming to the first meeting knowing your company inside and out. Providing your prospect a regurgitation of what they can find online will only bore them, similar to the date that knows all about your amazing trip to Mexico before they ever met you in person.
So what is a sales professional to do? First, qualify if they have done research about your company and products. In my meetings, I like to ask “how much do you know about us and what we do?”. Sometimes the prospect knows very little and I can do a more introductory presentation. Increasingly though, the prospects know a lot about what we do (or at least think they know a lot of what we do and are confident they have it right- that is a whole other post). It is critical in the beginning of these meetings to ensure you have content and a story to “wow” your prospects and give them something new so that they are engaged from the start.
Do your own research to understand what participants are likely to know or not know, as well as having information about your company or your industry that is going to add value and get them interested. Any insight on relevant work with peers, within their industry, or more localized information can work really well here. The key is to get it across early; don’t hold it off for the end of the presentation.
We all have been on a bad date. A date that starts off great can say something boring later on and we are not that bothered. However, a date that starts off boring can say something unbelievably interesting mid-way and we often don’t really care. Don’t be the boring date.