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Don't Demo

on: 20 August 2012

So I’m in New York City at the CRM Evolution show last week and this guy comes into the booth and starts talking to one of the other girls. After about 10 min, she comes over to me indicating that the gentleman had requested to see a demo of Sugar and asked if I would mind taking this one. I said, “Sure! What does he want to see?” and got a “I donno, just a basic demo of Sugar... he just wants to see what the application does.” I’m sure a combination of trade show fatigue and jet lag contributed to the absentee response to my follow on inquiry regarding what the gentleman does, or perhaps what his business hoped to achieve with CRM, but I agreed to jump in anyway. This was the second time in an hour my expectations of a qualified handoff were met with an eye roll, and it reminded me that I’d recently been challenged by a few inside sales reps to “prove” that, what they affectionately refer to as “Erin’s line of questioning,” could indeed produce more fruit than frustration in a sales situation. Where better to prove my theory than a trade show floor. 

Last year Jerry suggested that I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People;” this happens a lot actually - executives suggesting I read things. I listened to it shortly thereafter and, while I neither agree nor disagree with several of the points, I understand the author’s position, and certainly can see how such a position would sell many books. But as life goes on, I’m finding that - in practice - you really don’t need try so hard to win friends, especially of the short term, sales engagement variety. 

Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

A "sapient salesman"?

 A sapient salesman is tasked with being a psychologist, technologist, empathist, humorist, conversationalist, and a dozen other “ists” in the course of practicing their salescraft. Most people can’t wear that many hats, and these tidbits are designed to minimize your millinery mandates. Read more

The Book

Look for The Sapient Salesman: Spinning Life into Lessons, One Tale at a Time on Amazon.com later this year!

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