Salespeople tend to have a pretty poor reputation across all images. The standard image of a salesman is the hair slicked back, fast-talking guy who will say or do anything to close a deal. That negative perception, combined with the poor reputation around accountability that already plagues the security industry, make it extremely tough for salespeople and business development managers to really connect with potential customers.
To effectively counter customers’ natural dislike of salespeople, we first have to understand it. Why don’t prospects like salespeople, and what can we do to get them over that initial dislike?
Poor Timing And Invasive Tactics
Property & Faculity Managers have incredibly stressful and chaotic jobs. They have to deal with frustrated residents, tenants, employees, and vendors, and report back to higher ups in the corporate office. Their days are filled with putting out one fire after another, and if you call during the middle of all this then you’re just adding to their stress.
That’s the last thing you want to do. First impressions are powerful, and the first impression the manager has of you is someone that creates more work and headaches rather than less.
A simple way to get around this is to go through whoever the gatekeeper is for the property manager: personal assistant, secretary, office manager, whoever. Ask that person when the best time to reach the decision maker is, and how they’d like to be contacted, whether it’s e-mail, phone, or in person.
This is such a small thing, but it shows your willingness to work with the prospect and to fit into their established processes. A nice little gift for the secretary or assistant can be a great way to win a friend in the office as well and ensure you get a chance to talk to the property manager.
To Focused On “Me”
Prospects care much more about their own business than they do about yours. Despite this fact, a lot of salespeople spend the vast majority of their pitch talking about themselves, focusing on how their company is the best in the business and bragging about their capabilities.
Some bragging is necessary, but the truth is that prospects want to hear more about what you can do for them. Rather than talking about your own company, talk about their business and the problems they face, and use that as a way to transition into the opportunities to partner together and solve these problems.
Again, this shows that you’re willing to be a partner, to adapt your methods to the specific needs of the prospect and take work off their plate.