An important sales lesson …
As a brand new sales engineer, I was on my way to meet with meet with an important prospect. Fresh out of training, I was ready to dazzle and amaze them with all sorts of technical details about our new test system.
Fortunately, I struck up a conversation with my airplane seat mate. Always curious, I asked him what he did for a living. He politely explained that he specialized in financial planning for small business owners, focusing on those with a net worth of 1-10 million dollars. He had been at it for several years, and was achieving some good success.
He then asked about me, and I explained how I was an engineer that had just gone over to the dark side of sales. As a newbie, I then asked if he had any advice he could share.
He smiled, and replied, “Establish your credibility — fast. That is what I did with you. Without that, you might have just considered me another peddler.”
Wow! Based on that advice, I tried a brief experiment in my sales call. Rather than jumping right into the technical details, I gave a little personal background on myself. How I had a BSEE degree, was a registered PE (Professional Engineer), and had spent the last 10 years in design positions. And how this reflected my company’s commitment to serve our customers.
It took less than a minute, but you could feel the change in the room. I was no longer “just another peddler”, but rather a fellow engineer with credibility. And yes, I eventually made the sale.
How would you establish your credibility?
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