In a cafe talking through project details with someone, a lady close by was in a rush.
Barely sipped her enormous smoothie, but suddenly had to go.
Asking the manager for a takeaway cup, the apron-clad hipster went for a spot of client engagement. Or pulling. Either way, his chat wasn’t the best.
He keenly asked where she was from. Greece. Athens no less.
Oh great. He’d been to Paxos once. Loved it.
She thought Paxos cool too.
And then stilted silence as mushed fruit poured from glass to plastic.
“Enjoy the rest of your day.”
We pair in earshot couldn’t help but unpack this.
With our selling ears tuned, forgetting the deli-dating angle. how would this attempt at dialogue go down in solution sales?
‘Where you from’ is from that awful clutch of poor openers you encounter in all manner of semi-social situations. Like the lazy ‘what do you do?’. I’m reminded of the old good friend mercilessly ribbed for heavy fall back on the “so, where you going away this year?”
There’s the Derren Brown. “How do you spend your time?”. Or any smoother variants on the “which way are you fixing the world at the moment?” or “what’s your current project?” vibes.
Yet in this instance it wasn’t the opener that was the problem. Sometimes, almost anything will suffice. Rather here we couldn’t help but talk on the follow-up.
You know the scenario. Ask the innocuous. Get a response. Then note the disastrous dive in. Where all that happens is the questioner broadcasts about themselves in the forlorn hope of the other party miraculously revealing a glimpse of their soul.
Would the woman really ever be interested that you’d passed through the vague vicinity of her upbringing?
Yet we ran through several alternatives the lad could have had ready.
Which bitterly brought to mind a number of sales conversations we’d witnessed.
Not that we’d have begun in similar fashion, but upon hearing “Greece” our favourites on the spot featured anything garnering a comparison or development.
‘So how could you make that smoothie more Greek?’
With all manner of yoghurt to kebab to tax-dodging yachter stereotype references at the ready.
I’m pretty sure she’d have said anything with fig a major plus.
Ahem. Still. We weren’t expecting nor even recommending the full “spin” type sales methodology put in play. Just a little simple plan to summon Aegean sunshine. Have you got yours?