I love to fly fish for trout. There are several lakes within a five mile radius of my house. I can go fly fishing at each one of those lakes, however I will never catch a trout. Why? There ain't no trout in them there lakes.
If I want to catch a trout I need to go to a designated trout stream which is about four hours from my house. One of my favorite trout streams in Minnesota is the Baptism River. I know when I travel to that river and tie on my favorite fly in most cases I will catch a trout. Notice, I said most cases. The trout ultimately makes the final decision on whether or not they are going to take the fly I present. I can make the best presentation and lay that fly ever so delicately on the water, but if the trout is not attracted to the fly, game over.
How often have you made a killer presentation to a prospect or client and they didn't bite? Why? Our thought process goes something like this. If I was the prospect or customer I would have bought. And there is the problem. The problem is we are not the prospect or customer and we failed to see or understand it from their point of view.
If the trout doesn't take the fly I have presented what do I do? I search, watch, observe, listen and explore to see if I can find out what they are feeding on. I may also test the waters with different flies and approaches.
Let's face it, with a prospect or customer you only have one opportunity to make a strong first impression. You very rarely get a second opportunity to present. You can't be approaching a prospect or customer with different flies and seeing what sticks. It doesn't work that way.
How can you apply the above fly fishing experience in any sales situation? Frankly with sales, it is so much easier. How is it easier? Whenever I talk with or meet a prospect or customer I ask many questions and listen intently. After the meeting or phone conversation I do a tremendous amount of research and do my homework before I ever present a solution to a prospect or customer. Ask first, listen and then sell.
Here is your sales nugget. Find out what's important to your target audience!
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