by Dominick Giambona
Assuming your product or service is on par with your competition, how do you tip the playing field in your favor? Fact is, people do business with people they like, know and trust.
So let’s say you are at a meeting or mixer in hopes to cultivate lots of prospects. When you look around the room, you see people do their sales pitches, and you usually head in the opposite direction.
What makes you different than anyone else? If you go in there with both guns blazing there is a good chance that most people will be heading for the hors d’oeuvres or the restroom so fast you will want to check your deodorant.
You need to do the opposite. It is quite simple, start with a couple of feel good questions and then follow it with a key question.
What are feel good questions? They are questions about their favorite subject. What is their favorite subject, you may ask? Well, human nature being what it is, it is ‘They’.
Though I am sure we would like to deny it. “How shallow! Not Me!”
Think about it. If I am a person in a new environment, such as a new workplace, new club or party, even a new school, and someone approached me and asked feel good questions about me! All pressure is off! A subject I thoroughly know and someone who is genuinely interested, I am feeling comfortable already.
A person that comes in with their defenses up can be disarmed with just a few sincere questions.
Try something along this line of questioning:
How did you start your “______ “ business?
What do find most rewarding about what you do?
Where would you like to be in 5 years?
All of the above questions are on the subject of their business, without focusing on the negatives such as the economy and intrusive questions about finances and taxes.
Then the one key question would be, “Tell me how to identify a good prospect for you?”
This is building trust and credibility, and even though you haven’t mentioned your business, you have you have laid a foundation for a new relationship and exchanging referrals in the future.
You have also gotten their card and next time you call, they will be receptive when it is your turn to explain your business.