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Are You Car Jacking Prospects? Use Enthusiasm and Passion with Caution

by Shawn Karol Sandy

This week, I met with my client, “Jane” who is launching a great new product. We talked about her initial efforts and responses to her first few prospect pitches. She was surprised that her first prospects balked at her value proposition and didn’t jump up and take her offer on the spot. I asked Jane to tell me about her most recent prospect meeting – one in which the prospect contacted her to inquire about this new product. I listened, start to finish, and when she ended the story, I said,

“Wow. Jane, you did a lot of things right in this scenario—asked questions, related her investment to its return and imparted a sense of urgency. 

However, let’s take a look at your techniques and delivery . . . as what you’ve just described to me resembles car jacking someone, duct taping them to the windshield and stomping on the gas whilst screaming, ‘You’re gonna love this, I promise!'”

Yes. Really.What this boils down to is Jane’s passion and excitement for her product (and her natural energy) fuel her to sell from the alarm position: “You are an idiot and burning money if you don’t do this now, Now, NOW!”

Which, is very few people’s cup of tea and earns very little consensus. Working back through the “Wild Ride” scenario I outlined, we talked about a different way to pitch her product to customers.

A Different Product Pitch

Let’s imagine this same prospect contacted you again and asked about your new product.

What if you asked her a few questions about what she’s currently doing, what she views as problems and if she’d like to make a change? When she says yes, she’s agreed to get into the car with you (instead of being surprised and strapped to the windshield).

Then, ask if you can explain how your new product would solve some of her problems—so her expectations are clear and she can ‘buckle in’.

Accelerate slowly, looking for other cars—or obstacles that might prevent your passenger from appreciating the journey (such as her education level on your subject matter).

Ask her if she’s seen the landmarks, explain their significance of what they mean to her business and let her take the journey with you so that you both arrive at the same destination—understanding how your product can benefit her, what value you bring and how this investment provides a good return.

Then, you can ask for the demo or next steps and she can exit the vehicle—un-traumatized and a fully informed and educated buyer.

Afterwards, Jane looked at me with great big eyes and said, “I had no idea I was kidnapping people and terrorizing them with my passion. Ok. This makes a lot of sense.”

Yes, a good, albeit startling, metaphor can sometimes be an amazing coaching tool.

Have you ever kidnapped a prospect and strapped them to your product and shot off like a rocket? 

Enthusiasm and Passion are Good, Especially When it’s Shared!

When it’s not appreciated by our audience, however, it can be overwhelming and off putting. Take the journey together, willingly and your prospects will arrive at the destination with you much more often.

Topics:CommunicationSales StrategyCustomer JourneySales TrainerSales Coach

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