Communication SkillsSelling Skills

4 Tips to Avoid “Premature Elaboration”

Maybe it’s the whole Fifty Shades thing (book 2 completed) but when I read this term that Jill Konrath used, I had to steal it.

What is Premature Elaboration? The desire to tell your customer everything she never wanted to know about your product or service. It’s the intense pleasure received from delivering features and facts when a prospect makes the mistake of showing just a bit of interest in you or your wares.

This is an actual prospecting call (pre-training). Watch for the premature elaboration:

Salesperson: Hi, this is Name and we met last week at the ABC meeting
Customer: Oh, yes, thanks for the follow-up. We do use hotels like X and if you can email me more information…
Enthusiastic but ill prepared Salesperson cuts off prospect: Oh, yes! I would love to do that. And did you know that we have 15,125 feet of flexible meeting space and a spa – oh it is fabulous, you should really try the Pumpkin Peel – and 487 rooms and 12 suites and we’re located blah, blah, blah,blach…I’ll send you our marketing brochure and a floor plan and a photos of the spa and the sleeping rooms. Thank you. Bye!!!! (All of the above said with hardly a breath taken and not another word said by the prospect which was probably good for her because she wasn’t listening anymore anyway!)

This is more than PE. Do you see all the opportunities missed by this salesperson? All she heard was a bit of interest and boop! – she was off and running (at the mouth) and the client and her needs disappeared from mind. The salesperson was passionate about the wrong thing!

Missed opportunities:
-to further build a trusting relationship with the prospect
-to learn more about how she can help her prospect experience success now or later
-to schedule a next step

What is likely to happen when the salesperson calls back? Her prospect will be busy. Very busy. (And that will be particularly sad because this salesperson probably reported this client as a tentative based on her “interest!” and will then feel dejected and regjected!)

4 Tips to avoid PE

• Be enthusiastic about their success.
• When someone voices interest, that doesn’t mean they’re interested. It’s your job to create that.
• Be better than your website (which lists, explains and often shows photos of all the features). Instead learn which features matter and why.
• Never, ever get off the phone without clarifying a next step.

T-shirts from the John Henric US collection are in the works…”Stop Premature Elaboration” and I’m hopeful you don’t need me to give you one.

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