A Free Car Changed the Course of my Career!

Shortly after I got married, I was told that I should get into sales. Why? 

Because back then, you were given a company car and told to drive around your patch, meet people and win sales. (The attraction to me at the time was a free car. That was before benefit in kind!)

I quickly realised that the job was not that simple. There was a requirement to know your product, but more importantly, to develop the skill of identifying the people who could and would make decisions to buy from you.

Back then, in most cases, you arrived at reception and asked for the person you wanted to meet, and generally, they would meet you.

Now, there is a long gestation period before finally getting in front of a decision maker, and often it’s not in person but online.

It’s a costly business, requiring a team with a range of different skills.

Software expertise, CRM, PR, Outreach marketing, Webinars, Newsletters, etc. will hopefully generate warm leads and early-stage online meetings.

At this point, the second wave of more experienced (senior) troops rolls in to advance the campaign. But what if they squandered the opportunity by doing one of the following?

Not researching the opportunity and the people they will engage with thoroughly.

Spend too much time talking about their organisation, often in a boastful way.

Talk for far too long about what their product features, because that is where they are comfortable and confident.

How, I hear you say?

Ask questions in a conversational way that fleshes out their problem before droning on about your solution (you may think you’re engaging, but you’re not).

In this type of meeting, the person you are engaging with should do most of the talking, and you should do most of the listening.

Is this the step on the journey your company and your people need to do better?

If you do not, all your previous efforts/costs will be of very little value.

There are three levels of buyer: the influencer, the administrative buyer, and the person you need to be talking to as quickly as possible, the economic buyer, i.e. the person who can say yes, let’s do this.

By Executive Coach Andrew Keogh of Aristo.ie