Issue 34: Photography Edition
What is most important to your sales success?
I’ve been thinking about photos lately (don’t worry I’ll get to what that has to do with sales shortly). I realized back when it was FILM and you paid to have a picture developed; they were special:
People thought before taking a shot
They limited the number of pictures they took (on walks, vacation, at parties)
Physical albums were created AND people actually looked through them
Why have I been thinking about this? Maybe it is the fact that I found a really cool picture in the buried depths of my computer:
It is from a trip we took in 2007 to Ottawa (it’s at the Canada Science and Technology Museum
just in case it would have driven you crazy not knowing). Well, regardless – I’ve been thinking about what it is in sales that is like pictures: before and after the digital age.
What used to be really, really special that now is taken for granted... snapped, uploaded, shared, and forgotten. Here are three that come to mind:
Face it salespeople can be a little lazy.
“Salespeople, water, & electricity
all take the path of least resistance”
Winging it the majority of the time instead of planning it out.
My theory is that my end of the sales conversation is the same – every time - what makes the conversation interesting is the parts that come from my prospects & customers
This means that I can craft valuable & insightful questions. Instead of randomly taking photographs of everything; with complete disregard to light, focus, or composition.
Granted – out of thousands of pictures taken without thought, I’ll get one or two good ones (in sales unfortunately those good ones are all we remember).
Instead take a moment to THINK & CREATE and your success ratio will increase significantly
Hold on while I get on my soapbox...
Conversations about what people do
I’m not talking about the stupid salesperson questions of ‘are you the decision maker?’ or ‘what are you responsible for?”
In no way am I saying that you don’t want to KNOW that information, rather that is NOT what you ask!
Have a conversation with another human being for goodness sake and you’ll find that out.
...I’m getting off now
How often are you in a conversation, part way?
Where you are going through the motions of what you know you’re SUPPOSE TO
ask & say, but later if you needed to refer to the information you have no idea what was said.
Perhaps in the conversation, you’ve snapped the picture, uploaded it, maybe even shared it with your CRM system, and now forgotten it.
What good is that? It doesn’t help you build trust... build a relationship... earn a customer.
Instead see these conversations as an investment you make to reach your goals. You’re finding out valuable information about prospects AS PEOPLE
– a crazy idea I know.
Don’t let it end up a random crowd shot where you don’t even remember why you took it.
What’s the difference between a box of pictures under the bed…
& a photo album?
No it isn’t a joke, the difference is all in our ability to use them.
Today with CRM systems, it appears that notes get added without any thought to how you’re going to use them later. Thrown into a box and slid under the bed.
As you add your notes, think about what it would take for them to be a beautiful photo album that you’ll enjoy taking out and looking at six months from now.
How about when someone asks you about St. Maarten, wouldn’t it be great if you knew there were pictures from that trip you took in the green photo album on the top shelf?
In your sales conversations
take a moment to think, enjoy learning about the person you’re speaking with, and take the time to make sure you can use the information you uncover later.