Selling — Preparation Before Persuasion

  • 9
  • 47
  • 26
  •  
  •  

“It’s not being at the right place at the right time but rather about being prepared when the time arrives.”

–     Jeff Dunham (b. 1962), ventriloquist and comedian

Dunham, one of the funniest (though certainly not the most politically correct) comedians of my lifetime talks about multiple auditions before the time he made it on to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.  That was THE make or break moment for comedians for at least two decades, and Dunham’s repeated disappointment turned to wild success by being ready when the time arrived.  He was “invited to the couch,” which almost never happened, and when it did, it meant you had “made it.”

This was before Comedy Central, before Netflix, before YouTube.  Heck, if my data is correct, this was before 31% of you subscribers were born!

Today, in an “instant-gratification, look-it-up-on-the-fly-on-your-phone” world, it is tempting to wing it.  It is tempting for salespeople today to under-prepare and over-persuade.

Yes, selling, at its fundamental core is still an “argument.” There is still a need to persuade, to change someone’s mind and stir them to action.

But there was a time that “closing” trumped most other aspects of sales.  Those times are gone.  Preparation has to come before persuasion, or we risk wasting our time, and everyone else’s.

Said differently, today it is not ok to not know.  LinkedIn is a spectacular tool.  Most other social media platforms provide insight.  Yesterday, an associate and I had a fantastic meeting, primarily because the preparation allowed us to know, in advance, what was bugging the prospect, who we knew in common and where we already had credibility bridges built.  He got “invited to the couch” the minute he walked in the door because he was prepared.  Once we’re “on the couch,” the persuasion gets much, much easier.

How many times have we practiced, out loud, our greeting?  How many times have we practiced, out loud, key questions that will tell the prospect that we’re focused on them and their outcomes?  Have we left anything to chance that could have been taken care of in advance?

We’ve spent some time during #salesweek on skills and tools.  Without preparation — our tools and skills won’t be enough in this day and age.


  • 9
  • 47
  • 26
  •  
  •  

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.