Ok, maybe not the one that calls you in the middle of your dinner trying to sell you yard fencing even though you live in an apartment. I’m guilty of trying to think of the one statement that will get me off the phone the most expeditiously.
But generally having a brief chat with a professional sales person (Account Manager, Client Success Manager, Vendor, Business Development Manager, Relationship Manager, Territory Manager, Key Account Manager, etc.) could reward you with solid business deals; introduce you to better technology or services.
You may be surprised to learn that many salespeople have already walked several miles in your shoes. Use this common ground to bounce ideas around: enlist their help in brainstorming new and innovative solutions for unique challenges. There should not be any strong-armed, high-pressure sales tactics here. It’s should be a casual conversation between professionals. The goal is to build a professional rapport – after all, your success is ultimately their success.
For sales professionals, selling solutions is not about using old-style ‘selling’ techniques, but about developing relationships with clients that lead to fruitful business interactions. The best conversations you will ever have are those you have when you are really being you and they are being themselves as well.
Take a flier on a coffee or lunch appointment. About ten minutes in if you have more left on your plate or in your mug than the sales person, you’ve been talking and he or she has been listening. That’s a good sign. They should be able to capture your ear. How does their product or service benefit you specifically? They should speak to your unique and personal interests. If they can put themselves in your shoes, imagine what your day is like, the responsibilities you have, and the problems or pressures you face, then they may bring value to you and your organization. They should be completely candid, and invite the same candor from customers.
They might not have the solution for you, but have a conversation and see how they could help you, however possible.