Do NOT “Show up and Throw up”

2nd May 2023

I’ve never heard of a salesperson who listened themselves out of a sale.

But I have met plenty who talked themselves out of one.

Often, this happened because they chose to “show up and throw up”.

In other words, they showed up to the customer meeting, and verbally threw-up all over the customer – “Sit there. Shut up. And listen while I tell you all about myself. We were founded in 1922. Here’s a map of our offices…”

I’m not sure why anyone would do this in a sales meeting. They wouldn’t do it on a first date. They wouldn’t want someone doing it to them. So why do they do it?

And more importantly: what’s a better approach?

Well, we want to get the other person talking.

So the #1 thing to prepare before a meeting are the questions you’ll ask. After all, the better the questions, the better they’ll engage.

Not just the basic “How are you? OK? Good. Right, questioning complete. Now watch my demo.”

Instead, I mean good, probing questions to understand the other person’s priorities. For example:

  • Last week, you told me your priorities were X, Y and Z. Is that still the case?
  • And is there anything else you’d also like us to cover in today’s meeting?
  • Of all these topics, which is the one you would like us to discuss first?
  • Why did you choose that one?

… start like this, and you already know their priorities, their main one, why it’s their main one… so you can tailor what you say next.

They’ll be pleased you’ve asked this. So will you. And both of you will prefer it to you showing up and throwing up.

Action Point

For your next meeting, decide upfront what your opening question(s) will be, to ensure they tell you what’s most important to them.

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