Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

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You had me at goodbye - October 4, 2014

I know the title of this week’s blog is a bit cheesy, sorry about that. I’m sure you’ve heard the play on this title from a famous sports agent movie, but not too sure you’ve heard goodbye. Long before the movie was even released this is a phrase I’ve come to love in the sales world, “you had me at goodbye”. So, now you’re probably asking, “what in the world is he talking about?”

 

Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret that I’ve been using in sales for over 20 years. No matter how good or bad you feel a meeting has been going, the tell-tale sign is the goodbye. I’ve sat through decent meetings that I thought went well until the goodbye. That’s when the decision maker hurried me out the door because of another meeting and barely uttered goodbye. That particular deal never happened. And, in an opposite manner, I very recently had a meeting that I thought was just oaky, but the decision maker provided me with parting words that made it all the worthwhile. Not only did she say goodbye, she referenced several talking points from the meeting, expressed her gratitude for me driving to her office, asked if she could visit my office for the next meeting to meet the team, and wished me well as I walked out of the door. We are now very close to signing the contract.

 

Keep in mind, especially in a first meeting, that saying hello can be awkward. There is sometimes a moment of silence, or the need to break the ice, and then get down to the business of the meeting. Meetings, depending on the topic and attendees, can be quick and easy or long and drawn out. It is your goal as the sales person to remain in control of the meeting, keeping the agenda moving forward, and hoping you’ve kept their attention to move forward toward a signed contract at some point.

 

I have found that when it comes time for goodbye, this is the moment of truth that will set the stage for whether your potential new relationship has legs to stand on. If it appears genuine you’ve done your job. If it appears rehearsed or rushed, keep your fingers crossed.

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