THE ART OF (KILLING) THE DEAL

A must read for every salesperson, Ben Stein on The Art of (Killing) the Deal. I personally found the following deal killers top of mind with me:

·         You are doing all the talking. I have done hundreds, if not thousands of presentations and to me, nothing is worse than a lack of interactivity. I will often stop and request comments, draw out discussion, get the customer speaking. Nothing is a bigger business killer than a one way conversation.

·         You think you are more important than the customer. This one kills me and I will admit, there are times when I have groaned about the inconvenience of a meeting, but in the end, the customer always comes first. Just the other day, I was unhappy because I need to travel 45 minutes to the same spot, two days in a row and tried to force it into one day. But, in the end, I could not get frustrated with my assistant because I always say ‘Everything else can move, customer first’.

·         Don’t sweat the details. This one kills me and I think that 90% of reps don’t take this seriously. The details are the thank you note, remember names, remembering details about people, birthdays, going that extra mile on holidays, etc. I will blog more on this one soon, but it is one that drives me crazy and I see very few sales reps do it well. Those who do, always have a higher chance of success. Every sales rep should adhere to the MacKay 66, or something like it.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Every since I was a little boy, my mother drilled into me that my name is ‘Michael’, not ‘Mike’. When friends would call the house, she had been known for her response of ‘We do not have a Mike here, we do have a Michael’. Most people call me Michael, mission accomplished.

But, there are a few who call me Mike, even though my business cards uses Michael, my email says Michael and I introduce myself as Michael.

I really do not care, but it sends a negative message to me. That person does not really care about me as an individual. If they did, they would have picked up on my preference with regard to my name, which is a very personal thing.

And that creates a small doubt in my mind about that person. Do they pay attention to other details? If they do not care now, what spurs them to care?

For the person in sales, any doubt or dissonance is bad. For the manager, there are two messages that you can send people when you meet them. It is all about the details.