1. You can’t be everyone's girlfriend
Do not pitch (try to close) every stupid (or non-qualified) customer that comes along. Don’t try to fit yourself into every box. Not everyone is going to love you and not everyone is going to buy your story. Pick your spots.
2. Do what I tell my clients to do
The first thing I usually tell clients (that would be people like you) is that they have to differentiate themselves. Really. It is the one thing most of them never do. They all sound the same, look the same, and smell the same. Decide who you are and how you are different and better. If you can’t do that, hire me and let me do it for you.
3. Be clear on your objective at each stage
This is really important. To close a new business customer is usually a 3 or 4 step process. At each stage your one and only objective should be to get to the next stage. 99% of the time, you will not win the account (close them) at the first stage.
At the beginning stages customers are not looking for more options, they are looking for reasons to eliminate them. Give them reasons why they should continue talking to you, and don’t give them reasons to eliminate you. Simplify everything.
4. Make the presentation you want to make, not the one you’re asked to make
Sell the solution that works for them. Most of the time customers provide you with outlines of the sales presentation they want to see (even if they don’t know they’re doing so). It only includes the problem AS THEY SEE IT. Throw it away and make the presentation you want to make. Remember, you may have only one shot.
5. Only let the good presenters talk
We all have different skill sets. Some are good on the phone, others in person. There are brilliant sales people who are lousy presenters and dumb-ass bozos who are great presenters. Only let the good presenters present.
6. Have a strategy and stick to it
Once you find a niche that needs, desires, and has the budget to purchase from you, make sure you “stick to your knitting”. Don’t get side-tracked by local politics, gossip, or the weather.
Your final sales presentation should have a theme (destination) and every section (bullet point) of the sales presentation should spin off that theme and point to a conclusion where your solution strategy is clearly and creatively defined.
Here’s the deal: Each of these are general points. Once you’ve moved from novice sales rep to “Master of All Things”, feel free to color outside the lines.
Until then, observe and learn from other sales folks, but remember to be yourself. Use the talents you have to your best advantage.
We can't all hit a "bases loaded" home run in the 9th inning or throw the winning touchdown pass. We can't all be the Prom Queen.
And you can't be everyone's girlfriend.
I know, “easy to say, hard to do.”
Learn to live with it.