Updated: May 31, 2020
After leaving the RAF Police 24 years ago, I became a salesperson.
All my RAF colleagues and friends had gone into civilian policing, but a friend of mine told me that my training in interviewing, questioning and listening lent itself to being a great salesperson.
I was convinced that it was a great alternative to going back into another uniform and off I went.
Missed targets....the penny dropped!
In those early days I was so eager to hit targets that I failed.
I hadn’t applied any of the great people skills acquired in the RAF, I was just pitching, purely
on a hit and hope basis. Only focused on what I needed from the relationship. I tried too
hard and made so many mistakes.
Then the penny dropped. Why don’t I stop selling and simply help customers to buy?
From that moment, I wouldn’t sell until I had earned the right through fact finding, listening
to a company’s challenges and understanding their pain points. It immediately started
delivering opportunities for me to add value, improve efficiency or maybe even save
potential clients some money. I was able to tailor the message to exactly how my company,
service or product could make a difference. In doing so I was earning the right to ask for the
business and my sales rocketed!
So this is really important.
When you meet a new prospect for the first time, whose problems are you trying to solve?
Theirs, or your desperate need for a sale?
If it's the later, you’re going to blow that meeting.
Don't launch into a pointless pitch about how amazing your company is and say that you're
number one at this and that before telling the prospect about every product and service you
have to offer.
And for heaven's sake, never deliver death by PowerPoint in your first meeting. Be
consultative, Find their pain, their issues and challenges and then find ways that you can
solve them, add value and improve their efficiency.
Demonstrate your credibility and your values by earning the right to pitch!