A Sales Call Is Like a Blind Date: Are You Talking Too Much?

How are your sales calls like a bad blind date?  You talk too much about yourself/company!

How are your sales calls like a bad blind date? You talk too much about yourself/company!

What do dates and sales calls have in common? You probably need to win another meeting or date to accomplish your goal. You are, in fact, building a relationship.

You know good and well that talking about yourself too much on a date is a way to make sure it’s the last one. So why do you talk so much on a sales call?

When you boil it down, the first advertising sales call is just like a blind date.  If you talk to much about yourself — selling yourself — you are not likely to learn what interests your date. On the other hand, if you tell your date something you know about them, and ask to learn more, they are likely to tell you what you need and want to know.

On a blind date, you are not expected to know everything. If you know too much it’s a little creepy. You’ll seem like a stalker. And you might even want to play a little hard-to-get. Scarcity does generate interest.

That lesson applies to sales, as well.  Trying to over-prepare is a time-waster.  You might find out a lot about a prospect’s past history, but you’ll never find out the really valuable information about their future plans (and how you might fit in) without them telling you.  And prospective clients won’t tell you what they are thinking, or planning, if you are too busy telling them how great you are.

So tell your prospect something non-trivial you know or guess about their situation or needs…then ask for their feedback. With a little luck and skill you’ll enter a conversation that leads to a relationship.

When it comes to how to sell advertising, there are 5 key secrets that separate the best from the rest.  You can go here for more ad-sales tips, or go here for advertising sales training.

About Daniel M. Ambrose

Ambrose, launched ambro.com, corp. in 1994 to provide sophisticated strategy consulting and advertising sales training to advertising-driven media clients in the U.S. and abroad. Starting with the founding of About.com and iVillage in 1995, ambro.com has worked with hundreds of clients to help accelerate advertising revenue growth.