OK. I know it sounds like you’re about to read some kind of joke, but alas, no joke! A message, instead.
Last week, here in Denver, the temperature got to minus 7 degrees and for a newbie from Melbourne, Australia, it was a tad cold – and we haven’t even hit winter yet!
There was a knock at my front door and expecting it to be a long awaited Amazon delivery, I opened the door in the height of enthusiasm, to be greeted by two very good looking young guys.
Both in black coats and bags slung over their shoulders, my exuberance rapidly disappeared as their clean cut look spoke volumes.
They greeted me very politely, explaining they were looking for an ‘Alice Grey’. My first instinct was to think this was a ‘sales ruse’ and therefore not believe them, but as I was about to let them know I wasn’t interested, I decided to give them a chance and hear them out.
Not for any reason related to interest in their religious views, but out of respect for what they were doing. D2D (Door to Door) selling is a real thing – whether it is milk companies sending reps out to knock on a hundred doors a day to win two sales, or Mormons facing ridicule and rejection for god only knows how many literal conversions they are expected to achieve.
I didn’t catch their names because they didn’t give them to me. And they didn’t know my name either because they didn’t ask. I guess name swapping may not be a part of their repertoire, although they did ask for ‘Alice’.
They also asked me if I had heard of the Book of Mormon.
I couldn’t help myself and asked them if they had seen the Book of Morman.
They looked at each other and shook their heads.
They did not.
Almost immediately, the shorter one began to quote passages, verbatim, from the Bible without stopping for breath. He was clearly very nervous, yet no context or relevance had been positioned relating to those passages. I let him have his ‘monologue moment’ and as I did, I was reminded me of how one dimensional salespeople of all genres can become.
This fear of ‘not being enough’ causes conversations to default to what you know and not enable you to venture into a deeper conversations about what your buyer cares about. You end up coming from a place of incongruence and it’s an awkward energy. [Spoiler alert – this is not just a sales issue].
As I bid them farewell, they asked me if I wanted a copy of the ‘great book’. I politely declined, before changing my mind.
The reason I changed my mind?
My fortune cookie from dinner the night before said,
‘When one door closes, another one opens’
They were newbie salespeople, probably with KPIs based on a certain number of pitches to give and a certain number of books to be placed in people’s homes.
I didn’t want to be one of those prospects who dissed a seller without at least giving them the time of day and opportunity for them to shift my thinking.
Cold calling is a tough gig at the best of times, especially D2D and in minus seven degrees.
So as you go about your day, remember to find out someone else’s story first, ask them to share what happened to make them think a certain way, what occurred to make them feel a certain way or what transpired to make them believe a certain way.
And don’t forget to pay it forward because opportunities might be knocking at your door as well, dressed as salespeople!
Stay Bold, Brave and Brilliant,
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