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Today, I want to talk about my favorite subject…… ME.

I’d like your undivided attention for the next 30-40 minutes, as you read this email, filled with awesome and interesting details and information about…… ME.  I’ve changed a lot in the last few years, so even if we’ve had past conversations about …….. ME,  I really feel you need an update on all the new things I am doing, and on how much more awesome I am now than I was last time we discussed…..ME

Lets Face it, “I am kind of a big deal”.

If you don’t already know……  ME, well then are you in for a treat!!  For only 30-40 minutes of captivating reading time, you get to discover how awesome I truly am, and how much more awesome I have become with time. Wait, there’s more.  I have some brochures, case studies, testimonials and even a site with videos that we can review that further elaborate on my awesomeness.  Won’t that be fun?

I exaggerate a little for effect, but seriously, that is what you sound like to prospects when you call a prospect and start with the agenda of talking about you.

Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room.  Most people don’t care about you.  They have bills, work pressures, family issues and their own set of problems.They don’t have 10-15 minutes to hear about “all the new stuff” your company is doing.  They don’t even have 1 minute for that.  That is not interesting to them.

Your agenda on every call, every sit, every presentation is them, not you.  “How can I help?”  should be your reason for calling and the dominant theme of the initial and extended conversation.

Once, a rep and I sat with a merchant who started out the call by telling us that he wasn’t a big fan of the company, and really didn’t like our approach, because he thought it was not a good way to make money. After a few minutes (we didn’t say anything) he looked up and said,“Ok, tell me what you got” (In other words, talk about you)  hummmmm, no thanks. That’s a trap. That’s an attempt to give him an easy excuse to blow us off. I call that an Ackbar, after the infamous Star Wars character. 

We were not about to take the bait, as he sat there with his arms crossed, with a “Go ahead, try and sell me something” look on his face. Instead, we asked a few questions, and challenged the idea that our approach could not make him money.  We asked him to explain why he thought that, and we discussed his position, then our approach and why we thought it actually was a good way for him to make money. In a matter of 3-5 minutes, he went from crossed arms, leaning back, hostile, to leaning forward, interested, participating and asking questions. We didn’t take the bait and start spouting product info, features or benefits like a brochure, or talking about us.

We made it about him, and what he wanted, and guess what?  Turns out that is his favorite subject!  He wanted to talk about that.  He even opened up and told us about another business he managed and the challenges they were having.  We had a productive conversation, and changed his perception of our service. 

Productive conversations are the backbone of a successful selling effort.  The more of them you have, the more sales you will make.Try to stop talking about YOU.  Start talking about what you can do for THEM, and more of THEM will want to talk to YOU.  Almost everyone is interested in something that can help them. Almost no one has time to hear about you.