“Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt, but I noticed you when you walked in. You dress really well and obviously have an appreciation for style. I am a personal stylist with J. Hilburn, we make custom made men’s clothes and I thought you might appreciate them.”
Ok, let me start by saying – this was a GREAT opening. Why?
It made ME feel good about myself.
It outright complemented me on my ability to make fashion decisions.
It IMPLIED that someone of my style and fashion taste would ALSO choose J. Hilburn.
It was BRIEF
It was INTIMIATE
She had A LOT going for her. Then, she handed me her card and asked me to take a look and give her a call. I gave her my card as well and said I would take a look. This was an excellent approach, execution, and left me thinking not only about how she made me feel, but how if I chose J. Hilburn I would garner similar compliments from others.
When I got home, I proceeded to check out the website, call a few friends who also appreciate similar clothing styles and tell them the story. The shirts and suits were what I am used to from a custom clothier, a little bit more on the price tag, but you get a custom cut and fit exactly measured for you. The kicker, Esquire named J. Hilburn the years best dress shirt. Not a bad endorsement from a magazine I already subscribe to.
I was open to talking to her but really lost it on my radar because I had other things to do, so I didn’t contact her. A couple days ago, mind you more than a month after first contact, she called me. She said she was interested in Philanthropy like I was and then immediately asked if I had taken a look, which I affirmed. She then asked what I thought. I told her that it was nice but I forgot about it and to be honest my favorite brand was El Burgues an amazing clothing company out of Argentina whose shirts I would overpay for because they are that amazing (Video Below). She asked that I take a look again and that maybe we could talk again in a few weeks.
The call lasted all of 2 minutes and she didn’t once ask me to meet up, come try out some samples, or take an opportunity to EXPERIENCE her product for all its glory. Had she asked, I probably would have said yes. I still wasn’t necessarily sold on the shirt, but she could have gotten me to the next step with a little nudge.
I shared this story with my friend Brady, who is a kick butt realtor in Boulder (if you need one call her – or ask me and I will introduce you.) We both found it odd how strong she started off and how impersonal it ended; it really was a missed opportunity to make a sale.
Now, I am going to put myself in her place and show you EXACTLY what she could of done, what I do, what Brady already does, and what anyone who is really trying to build a relationship with their client should do in order to make the best next impression.
Immediately after getting home or to my office I would pull out the card I received from my prospect. Use this new site called: Google, if you aren’t familiar with it you should be. www.google.com. Google the following things: Prospects name, Prospects place of work (its on the card). Dive deeper than the first page of results and read up on everything you can about the person you just met. Here is what you should learn: What social media sites they are on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Read any public feeds, blogs, or posts you see that this person made or that reference this person.
Learn what they like that would align with what you are selling. Learn what they are passionate about outside of what you are selling and then care about that because you care about them. Learn about their place of work and discover any accomplishments you can about them – or better yet any challenges they have that you can offer expertise in outside of what you are selling.
Follow up the same day with an email. Find a physical address (home or office) – send a HANDWRITTEN CARD. Call within 48-72 hours – enough time for the card to have arrived to set up an in-person Meeting #2. The goal is to get them to the next step – Meeting #2. Demonstrate my product or service in a way that they can EXPERIENCE it not just talk about it. Share a little something about myself AS A PERSON not as a SALESMAN that I know they will identify with because of the research I did on them before hand.
Open up room for them to share the same by asking open-ended questions without getting too personal – but looking for an opportunity to help them outside of the product you are pitching. Give them a way to experience the product or service on their own, without you. Maybe give them a sample to take home, or a trial of some sort. If my product really is as good as I say it is, it will speak for itself and my job remains to make my prospect feel good about their previous decisions as to empower them to feel good about the one they are about to make with me.
I have to close with the assumptive ask (among other closes). I am no longer asking if they like the product or service – I am asking about timelines and measurements to get them to think about the decisions they would normally make after deciding to purchase. They get to answer the questions as if they are purchased the shirt – they are personalizing now, making it real experience.
Then do it all over again.
Will I buy from J. Hilburn now? Probably, not; I am over it. But, let this be a lesson – you cannot rely on Call Me Maybe to close your sale, let alone a date, and then follow up a month later. Well, maybe it would work if this was your pitch: