IWCYWINSAOT Anti-Sales Shield

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“Hi John, nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too, Sam”

So what do you for a living?”

“ I’m a salesperson”

“That’s great!” (I better not look into his eyes, he might hypnotize me in buying everything from new houses and cars. Then he’ll leave me desolate and bankrupt then laugh at me while I’m in a homeless shelter. Hey, is he glaring at my daughter…oh wait, I don’t have a daughter.)

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit and this stereotype isn’t justified, but we aren’t suspicious for no reason. That’s why few mothers ever say “well, I sure hope he grows up to be a salesman!”

Have you ever left a sales meeting feeling good when you didn’t buy something? Have you, like me, even had times when a salesman gets insulting when you decide not to buy something (at the moment)?

That’s what I thought.

And now you wonder why few people are overjoyed when you cold call?

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We’re an occupation with a name as bad as politicians.  Okay, maybe not that bad. But how do you expect someone over the phone to know you’re honest?

I don’t blame my prospects for putting up a “I will call you when I need something and only then” (IWCYWINSAOT) anti-sales-shield. I’ve got one myself.

However, just because I have one, that doesn’t mean though that if I like the offer and that there’s enough incentive for me, that I’m not going to drop my shield.

And there’s a way to make me do it, and I’m sure other cash strapped startups will buy this too. (I wanted to write “easy way”, but I erased it, not wanting to lie to you, your acceptance rates will probably still be low).

Here’s how:

I’m not going to meet with you if you’re just going to pressure me into buying things. At best, I’ll tell you to drop a brochure (and that’s if you are a beautiful woman, men forget it). You got to make the meeting worthwhile for me.

Instead, offer me a free gift for talking to you. But don’t make the gift so big that I only talk to you because of the gift. It doesn’t guarantee that I will meet with you, but it will drastically increase your chances because, well, if nothing else, I get a free gift.

Plus there’s no better way to advertise your service than to let me try it.

This works best for services, since your cost of providing your thing is zero. You can list that you’ve cleaned the offices of IBM and HP, even if they only tried your service.

So offer a free trial of your product, and even leave a bit for the person to keep even if they don’t continue using it. If your product is too expensive to give away, promise them you’ll spend the next 10 dollars of your revenue to buy them a gift. And actually do it. Don’t let them forget.

Remember though, it’s important that I get a sample not a discount or coupon. When it comes to discounts and coupons, there’s something “in it” for you. Sure, I might take advantage of your samples, but don’t assume the worst.

You might even want to “qualify” the people first to make sure they’re really worthwhile for you to give away your gift.

And by heavens, don’t make me come to your office AND make me pay for parking while you try to sell to me. I had someone ask me to do that once.

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