2 questions to differentiate you from competition

Differentiating your “selling effort” whether you are a salesperson, marketing/operations/engineering professional or interviewing can come down to one concept…respecting the time of every person you encounter in your “target” organization.  This includes everyone from the person who answers the phone to the executive you are trying to meet with.

Why a reminder about basics?

I can tell you that, even after 37 years of selling, I am on “autopilot” sometimes.  I have certainly made the mistake (multiple times) of not being as tuned into the people I am contacting as I should have been.  We are human…it happens…so I hope a reminder about these basics makes you a little sharper.

1. Is it convenient for the person to talk?

If I had to pick one question that has been the most impactful in my career it is…”Is it convenient for you to talk?”.  I credit the Dale Carnegie Sales Training I attended a long time ago.  I guarantee asking this question will get you more mileage with anyone you encounter. 

This includes the person who answers the phone.  Many salespeople will steamroll over them.  Differentiate yourself by respecting their time…remember they can make lots of things happen for you or shut you down!

2, “Check-in” on their schedule

Since you are the person driving the “selling” effort, you are responsible for watching the clock.  For example, if your call is scheduled to end at 1:30…be sure at no later than 1:25 you check in to see if they have a hard stop at that time or have a few more minutes.  Make what you are doing obvious…”I want to respect your schedule…do you have a hard stop at 1:30”?

Easy way to remind yourself

When you are preparing for a meeting, write notes about questions you want to ask and some that you anticipate getting asked.  Highlight, in some way, the questions that may separate you from competitors until you find yourself doing it naturally.