The second we landed my cell phone rang. Client fire that couldn't wait. It meant I would never make my tight connection. With few open seats, I'd be lucky to to get on a later flight even with a whopper change fee. What made the deal happen? Pizza, baby, pizza.
Wolfgang Puck to be exact. Bar-b-que. Yummy. Airline customer service agents are chained behind a desk in the disgruntled land of bitchdom. Just imagine listening to people go off over things you can't control. All. Day. Long.
Pizza to the rescue. Wolfgang Puck. Bar-b-que. Yummy. I picked one up on the way to the customer service counter because if you want to close the deal you have to serve your prospect first. In this case, the customer service agent was my prospect and I was trying to close her on not only grabbing a seat on a crowed flight but not charging me.
"Hi, want a pizza?" I asked.
"Are you kidding?" she replied.
"No, I just missed my flight and need to get on the next one. I was going to eat this but now I'm going to go to the bar to cry in my beer because I missed my flight."
"Sure! I'm starving!"
Guess what? I got on the next flight at no charge. So what does this have to do with sales? Well...everything! How different is the customer service agent and the person you are trying to get an appointment with? Not that different. Both are bombarded with calls from selfish people. In the case of a airline customer service agent its needy travelers. In the case of your prospects it's needy salespeople who need to make a deal to meet quota. Common denominator: Me! Me! Me!
Talk about your needs first? You sell like a second grader. Second Graders will bug the hell out of you for what they want, with no concern over what you need. That doesn't change as people grow older and go into sales. Do you call or present with your prospects needs first and foremost with your needs not even mentioned? Or do you say, "I need," "I want," or "you need to help me by..." in your meetings and phone calls? No wonder you aren't hitting your numbers!
I'm not saying you should send prospects pizzas before you call. After all, you would be taking care of their most basic need: survival. Then again maybe you should.