Selling Skills

Want to book more business? Show up and…

For the record, even if they are still together, to me, Woody Allen is a creep, though it turns out he was right: “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

An Auckland, New Zealand client, yesterday, told me that as an experiment, curious to see what they’d receive back, a company (with apparently too much time on their hands!) sent out 557 RFPs for a legitimate meeting they were having. The response was astounding for those of you want to book more business.

•Twenty percent never responded. No thanks but no thanks, no nothing.
•Seventy-five percent sent back generic responses with information that didn’t pertain to the client’s specific requests. All responses were put into this category if they didn’t answer all the questions asked or omitted responding about key drivers mentioned by the customer.
•Only 5% of the hotels personalized their responses and actually provide all needed information.

This is a woot! woot! to me because that means that instead of ever having the competitive set we imagine, we have a tiny little subset of capable competitors. (And this competition may not be the 5-star luxury hotel by the sea [that we’ve been selling against and lowering our prices to beat] but the 4-star remodeled hotel in the middle of the nowhere that tries harder!) By taking the time to show up, and by showing up respectfully and in a pleasing, customer-centric manner, it becomes easy to sell more, more easily.

Show up by becoming your customer. If you were in her high heels or his running shoes, what do you need to know to do business? And here’s what I’m betting… it isn’t features that you need because you can easily google those; it’s that the sales person cares enough about you – respects you and your time, and yes, your business, too – that he will take the time to pay attention to the details and help you feel valued.

So, maybe Woody wasn’t right even on this. Success isn’t just about showing up; it’s only showing up smart.

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