KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Mar 23 2010

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Breaking the ice


Making a connection with your prospect or customer is one of the best ways to make the selling process run a whole lot smoother. At the same time it also shows you care about what’s important to “THEM.”

Let me give you an example. The other day I was traveling with a seasoned rep on sales calls and was sitting in on a follow-up call with one of his prospects. We were discussing some of the products and financials of the proposal they were reviewing, when I noticed one of many pictures hanging on his wall. There were at least 30 pictures hanging on all four walls, but this one stood out. It was a picture of two people sky diving taken from the plane above their bodies as they were soaring through the air. A breath-taking view of the ground below.

I turned to the owner of the company and asked, “Who’s the sky diver?” At that moment, you could see his eyes widen with excitement and his face light up with enthusiasm. He said, “That’s me the first and last time I jump out of a plane!” I asked him what it felt like the moment he jumped and became airborne… He then went into a whole story about how he and his buddy were so fired up for two hours after they landed and were driving back from the jump. I’ve never seen someone so excited about explaining the euphoria they experienced from the jump.

The transition to the sales call was easy. “Well, that’s how excited you’ll be when we install these six machines,” I said jokingly. They laughed and we continued, but the atmosphere was quite different from when we started.

Sometimes we forget how important the basics are—the little things we do that can make a big difference in the way we sell and the relationships we build. It reminded me of how important it is to look around and be aware of your environment: what’s on the walls of your customers’ office, pictures on the desk, the people you introduce yourself to on the way into your call, coworkers, assistants, receptionists and anyone you come into contact with at an account. Breaking the ice just doesn’t come with asking about a sky diving picture, it happens when you become the mayor of the account and remember names and something unique about each individual you come into contact with…because you never know who they know or maybe when they will become the new decision maker you end up with.

The next call we went on had a glass box hanging right outside the entrance of the customer’s office with a picture of Al Pacino from the movie Scarface with a gun and three bullets underneath and this saying in quotes:

“You need someone like me.”

We had a lot of fun with that one.

Barry Farber

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at 7:00 AM and is filed under Business, Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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