Then it hit me. Most of you haven't read it yet. So I'm bringing it back. Enjoy!
My daughter went to a small college in Northern Iowa that's famous for two two things: an excellent music program and ... (drum roll) ... Coed Naked Soccer. Every year some students manage to sneak a game in despite the administration's warning of dire consequences if they're caught.
What does that have to do with sales?
This past week, I talked with two sellers who are having extraordinary success right now. Their business is skyrocketing. Pricing is virtually a non-issue.
And all this happened once they started going into sales calls totally, stark-raving naked.
At least that's how they felt when they stopped bringing their brochures into meetings with prospective buyers. Armed with only a notebook and pen, they had nothing to hide behind.
They couldn't direct the prospect's attention to the marketing collateral. They couldn't point out hot new features. They couldn't show the exciting new technologies. They couldn't display their incredible portfolio of work.Instead, they sat there naked - totally vulnerable - with their prospect staring at them. Waiting. Watching.
Without the brochure, they were forced to focus on the prospect's business. They asked questions about how it was going. They explored the challenges and the issues the prospect was concerned about. They discussed the prospect's goals, ideas and expectations.
And, because they were naked, with no brochures to fall back on even if they wanted to, they ended up having totally client-focused conversations.
The prospects loved it. They felt valued and understood. They felt like the reps cared and were concerned. They asked for the rep's advice and even wanted specific recommendations.
Despite this final temptation to pull out a brochure, these reps suggested a second meeting as the next step. They got it - and shortly thereafter ended up with bigger contracts than even they could have imagined at the beginning.
If you're one of those salespeople who relies heavily on your marketing collateral or samples, try shedding them for awhile.
Go naked into your sales calls. Have a discussion - not a pitch. It won't be long before you too start seeing the difference it makes!
P.S. Here's Fred Barker's suggestion. He's the guy that wrote me earlier today:
Having great disdain for going into a meeting completely naked, I now take my note pad plus a company pen and extra pad for the person with whom I'm meeting. My prospects use the notepad to take notes, which keeps our company name and logo in front of them.
Sounds like a great idea to me!