• Stuart Chant

You Only Have Ten Minutes

We’ve all been there. You arrive for an appointment and the prospect who had promised you thirty minutes of their undivided attention now they only have ten minutes. Do you reappoint and risk never getting face to face with them again or do you go ahead?

You decide to go ahead. You know you can’t skip rapport so you spend some time on preliminary pleasantries but with an eye on the clock, you skip to stating the purpose and agenda as quickly as possible. Logically, there is no way you can conduct a full discovery and summary so you present the features and benefits of your product. You hit the client with all of the bells and whistles, you throw everything at them. You tell them how other clients have used your product/solution and how it has helped them. You use the last five minutes to state every benefit you can think of. You sell a good product, you are sure something will resonate.

The client says “Thanks that was great, let me think about it”

You ask when you should get back to them? The client says “Give me a call on Friday”

You call on Friday and learn they always take Friday off. You follow up over the next few weeks and come to find out your prospect is always in meetings.

Welcome to the club you just committed the first cardinal sin of selling.

All of the sales training, all of the books, say “never skip discovery” but you did the best thing you could in the situation, right?

Wrong: If you have ten minutes, use the time to build rapport and find out something about them at the end of ten minutes you may find out that the client can make room for you on their calendar.

Business leaders are tired of salespeople showing up without having done their research and worse not using the time to focus on their needs. When a client reduces their available time they are saying “I agreed to this meeting a week ago, when it seemed a long way off, now it is here I don’t want to do it because it could be a waste of time”

The client is giving you ten minutes to prove you are worth their time. Spend ten minutes asking relevant questions and listening.

Be interested, not interesting.

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