Why are the most meaningful messages the most personal? And painful? Because they are. To avoid boring you to tears with specifics, suffice it to say that I gave myself another personal wake-up call last week. (I hate when that happens, but if there is any truth that life is a journey and not a destination, I am having one heck-of-va joy ride. (Yes, I did type “heck-of-va”)
Last week a Speaker’s Bureau I do business with introduced me to a hot lead and asked me to call the would-be client for a quick phone interview. I did. In haste. I reacted too quickly. I was wrong.
You have all heard me recite my favorite mantra numerous times…that “speed wins.” Taking great pleasure in knowing I do practice what I preach
I called on my cell phone on route to the St. Louis Airport. The woman told me what they had in mind. Again, without gong into specifics, it was a heavy load. I responded to their request to offered a little background about me … and what I thought about her proposed meeting objectives.
And here is today’s message. I told them what I thought BEFORE getting a firm and clear understanding of who they were, and what they had in mind.
I PULLED THE TRIGGER too quickly and shot myself in the foot. Ouch!
If you have anything to do with sales, I want you to memorize, practice and adopt the following “no exceptions” protocol the next time you find yourself speaking to a potential client:
“DO NOT SPEAK YOUR MIND UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE ASKED SIX FACT FINDING QUESTIONS.”
If the number six rocks has you scratching your head, you can insert the numbers five, eight, ten or twelve. No fewer than five questions will be accepted.
There was one important piece to the puzzle I did not know before I began to talk and this small over sight put a nice little nail in my coffin. (I hate it when I still realize I have so much to learn.)
Remember, a Doctor who prescribes a medication before thoroughly understanding the situation is ripe for a malpractice suit. The same holds true for sales professionals.
- Question: “Hey Mike! If you are the marketing guru, why do you still screw up?”
Answer: “Because I spent the first sixty years of my life in New Jersey. “Yu gotta problem wid-dat?”
Seriously. You too will mess up now and then, and this is a clear indication that you are extending beyond your comfort zone. This is good. Just don’t repeat the same mistake more than two times. This would earmark you as a certified screw up. This is not good. (Twice is more than enough.)
I like to think I learned (remembered) a very important lesson last week. Time will tell. Now get out there and have some fun doing some good this week.
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.