How many people that you talk to might want what you offer?
How many people are out there that each of these people know who might want what you offer?
These two figures are worlds apart. So why do so many sales people only try to tap into the first figure by asking, “do you want this?” rather than asking, “who do you know who might benefit from this?” This surely has to change to significantly stack the odds in your favour.
This example might make sense to you…
A Frustrated Non-Sales Person
In Brisbane one day I drank a coffee just a few metres from a guy who was standing outside a gym offering passers by a free month membership. He got no takers. Why? Apart from it being a small sample of the population, they were all in suits rushing to work. Sure, there was lots of ‘traffic’, but they weren’t ready to make decisions about their own gym membership right now. The guy looked broken. Now, his face, to me, was a ‘trigger signal’ to help!
I strolled over and had a bit of chit chat with him. With a bit of rapport and empathy greasing the wheels (always important) I said to him, ‘have you tried asking people if they know of anyone who’s currently trying to get fit?’ I suggested he try that and politely mention to them that, ‘if they’re serious about getting fit, they might be interested to know that we’re offering a free month to help them get started’. He could even try variations by asking if they know of anyone who’s in to yoga or pilates or whatever else the gym was offering.
Continuously Tweak the Odds
Now the odds are stacked better. Who doesn’t know of someone trying to get fit? Plus he wasn’t directly putting them on the spot to make a decision, but asking for their help. They don’t even have to make a decision now. The seed is planted. It can begin to germinate and flower later.
Why not create a ‘sales team’ who work on the ground for you? And of course the motivation isn’t for these people to help the guy out, it’s to help their own friends out. They might not proactively mention it, but if a conversation arises around getting fit between the two friends, it may just jog their memory to mention the offer. It’s all about increasing our chances.
I watched him for a few more minutes and the response was significantly more positive. People smiled more, thanked him more, some took his flyer. And most notably, he seemed happier and more motivated with the tweak to his approach.
Make this Useful to Yourself
What’s your version of this? How can you create your own virtual ‘sales-force’ who work for you? We’re all sales people after all. Might as well tap into other people’s ability to connect relevant solutions to their friends, family and colleagues.