It was actually tarnished by the stereotypical and somewhat unsavoury salespeople portrayed in the hit movie Glengarry Glen Ross, but Markham, Ont., sales trainer Jill Harrington says it lives on in the subconscious and actions of modern salespeople nevertheless.
“We dropped ABC from our vocabulary, but not from our mindset,” she says in an interview.
Unfortunately, most salespeople aren’t all that curious about customers but try to paper that over through asking probing questions, a central feature of most sales strategies.
“Who wants to be probed?” she says. “The word sounds bad – digging deeper and deeper into someone. Genuine curiosity is about being interested in people and their business.”
She says that in every interaction, prospects expect you to bring three things:
An understanding of the customer’s world, relevant expertise, and the ability to connect those two items. Before you send that e-mail, consider how many messages the prospect receives a day and what in yours is special (and is that important element in the first sentence)?
“It’s hard to get out of our own heads, which is filled with [the message] ‘I’ve got to make the sale.’ I’m saying put that aside and think about the other person in the situation.”
It was, according to the recipient of their bids, unhelpful and untrustworthy, “marketing fluff” – and since it wasn’t made clear how that specifically helped the client, a waste of words.
The Holy Grail of Selling has been the notion of “unique value proposition” – each seller needs to know what is unique about their offering.
Stop generalizing. Be specific and relevant to the person across the table. Lead your proposal with what you know about the prospect and how you can help.
It’s also about viewing every interaction with your customer as a “once in a lifetime moment” – you’ll never have another chance to be with the customer at this time and in this context again.
Don’t blow it off. Make the most of it, unlike the company that was presenting to a group of buyers and when the presentation finished after 20 minutes, left rather than use the remaining 40 minutes to pose questions to the prospects.
It’s hard to get out of our own heads, which is filled with [the message] ‘I’ve got to make the sale.’ I’m saying put that aside and think about the other person in the situation.
Jill Harrington Sales trainer and author of Uncommon Sense
I wanted to go university in Hong Kong to study medicine, but I couldn't bear the thought of my mother continuing to struggle for me to pay the fees. Instead, I went to the U.K. to study nursing.
That was a setback and I was very devastated. At the time, it was my only asset. That was the first challenge. The police eventually found it and it got fixed.
Instead, I decided to finish my high-school diploma, in my early 20s, and then I got my nursing degree and later a master's in nursing from the University of Alberta. I was working as a nursing supervisor on the night shift while attending school.
We have deep Asian roots, but we have an open heart. We aim to be reflective of the communities where we are. We have evolved as a very multicultural, multilingual organization.
My opinion: I like this article because it was inspirational because she went through some hard times growing up with a single mom and immigrating to Canada.
Flashback: I have heard of the name Queenie before. It was way back in jr. high school and I had a math tutor named Theresa. She said she has a friend named Queenie and wanted to change it and get a nick name.
I said she should go by her the first letter of her name. I get the name Queen as a name, and Queenie is a nickname.
I have mentioned this before. I watched Blind Date and a black woman's name was Princess.
Princess: A lot of people don't think that's my real name and they think I made it up.