Swing And A Miss!

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My phone rang on a recent workday morning. On the other end was a client of mine. The conversation went like this: “Hi Medina, I just hired a new marketing rep and I was wondering if I could bring her by so you could meet her? I value your opinion. I need to know what you think, and how you size her up ability wise.” “Sure.” I exclaimed, “Bring her by.”

Within a half hour my colleague was in my office with his new girl. She was young and attractive. I was impressed already. But then she started to talk, and talk, and talk about herself. I quickly floated away into my own thoughts, drifting as every minute continued. I even answered an email on my phone. She never paid attention; she just kept talking about herself, her boyfriend, her dog, her dislikes, her interests, and yada yada yada… After some time had passed, I interrupted her in full breath. I excused myself by informing her of a meeting I was late for.

She thanked me for my time (good move) and proceeded out the door before me (bad move). I got in my car and within a minute my phone rang. It’s my colleague asking me my thoughts of the new girl. I tell him he has two options: Pull her in and give her sales training before releasing her onto another customer, or second: Fire her! My colleague gasped!

In my last blog, I expounded on how to close a deal. Sales stratagem (one on one): NO talking about yourself unless asked. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re the most exhilarating person in the world. I was the customer in this instance; and she left my office not knowing one thing about me. How will she sell anything to me? Other than the corners of the walls where I work, what does she know? And possibly the most boring conversation I’ve been involved with. Poor thing was so wrapped up in her life she left without any lead, feedback, or follow-up from me. I could have stopped her, but I was there to listen and judge her sales experience and knowledge for my colleague. Guess what, there was no sale!

Her boss hired her clearly because he thinks she’s going to win over his customers with her looks. It was short sighted on his part, and quite frankly, a rookie move. Within three months, he will have let her go, which will include more expenditure to his company.

It really doesn’t matter how attractive you are. If you don’t say something profound within two minutes, you will lose your customer. I can’t emphasis this enough: Do your homework before the meeting.  Preparation is crucial. Do not rely on your looks and clothing, ladies. Rely on your intelligence.

Don’t get me wrong. I can close in a pair of Prada shoes or a Target special because my preparation and knowledge is on point. I am overly knowledgeable about who I’m going to encounter. I even try to project and forecast my customers’ needs before entering in a conversation. This is not difficult if you have a considerable amount of information on what’s going on in your industry.  Believe that you are as smart, if not smarter, than anyone else you’re dealing with, but never let anyone know. It will give you confidence. Intelligence is just as appealing as a great pair of shoes. If you want to close, always remember that knowledge is more appealing than good looks.

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