Here’s a wonderful gem unearthed when I spoke Wedensday with a fella that’d been selling for his present (multinational blue-chip) employers since 1969. Originally from Doncaster, he was dropped off in the middle of Edinburgh by his boss (from Leeds apparently) with a load of samples and told to knock on doors and report back when picked up at half-four later that day. He didn’t get a company car at the time, and when he earned his first one, it was a Hillman Imp….
During this distinguished service, he’s experienced all sorts of technologically motivated new directions, products and pitches. And each time, he’s come to realise the first occasion you go and mentioned something new to your client, they never seem to share your excitement.
In fact, he reckons it can take several calls until they’re ready to discuss it with you. A key for him, is to say something new at every call you make. At each iteration of attempt, have something else to talk about.
He calls this ‘knowing your latch-lifters’. You don’t know which one will lift up the latch of their door, so keep trying as many as you can until one works. Whilst he was telling me this, he even challenged me to tell him how many different ways I could pitch what I provide. And put on the spot, I thankfully came out with a couple straight away, but then what was interesting, is that I formulated a brand new way on top of that, so I think this approach could be a winner….