Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you are selling your butt off, trying to convince a group or an individual about a product or an idea, laying down your best stuff but your audience just isn’t tracking? If you have a great idea and find yourself working too hard and too long to convince others how brilliant you are, I say move along.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying to throw persistence aside or to give up as soon as you hear that first objection. But if your target isn’t “hearing” you after a sincere effort on your part, it’s best to stop selling there and look for the person who does.
I was sitting in a Starbucks last week, and the guy at the table next to me—we’ll call him Tom—was on his phone speaking very loudly. You know the type. At any rate, Tom took a call from a telemarketer who was trying to convince Tom to use his company’s credit-card-payment system.
It’s worth noting that Tom is a consultant who doesn’t log enough transactions on a daily basis to actually warrant buying this guy’s product, and he told the telemarketer “no” in a very nice way. Then, he said no again, and then he told them no again. And again. And again. I kid you not, the person selling this service was relentless in his approach and had Tom on the phone for 20 minutes. Had it been me on the phone, the call would have ended after the third no. But Tom let the telemarketer continue, because at some level he was getting a kick out of the passion and don’t- take-no-for-an-answer approach from the salesperson. We both had a good laugh at the end of that call.
Here’s the deal: If you have to work that hard on getting to a “yes” then I say don’t waste your time. Some people just don’t get it, so give it your best effort and then shut it down. How much time do we waste trying to force the issue? If you have a product or an idea and you just barely get it sold, what are the chances of that product coming back to the store, or the idea failing because there wasn’t enough conviction behind the “yes” that got it sold in to begin with?
Sometimes we have to do a better job of finding the right audience for what we are selling. If your audience isn’t enthusiastic about what you are selling to begin with, then how great is it going to turn out? If they buy it half heartedly, is it going to end in a win-win for you both anyway? Present a good case for your product or service, but if you feel like you are beating your head against the wall with your target, stop wasting your time! There are people out there who are going to love what you are saying, who will buy and who will validate your efforts, so make them your priority.
Are you selling the right product to the right audience? Have your own story to share? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section.