You’ve heard it before—the bankers who are STILL calling on clients asking hideously inept questions such as, “What kind of things are you looking for in a bank?” or “Tell me about your business,” or “What kind of things are keeping you up at night?” GAG. These approaches from the 1980s sales training programs were somewhat effective back then. Still, they really don’t stack up in this competitive market—and they certainly don’t get the attention of small businesses who are running fast and running hard and really don’t have time to chit chat.
If you think today’s small business owner is going to stop and humor your setup line about what keeps him or her up at night—well, you probably haven’t tried it since jelly shoes, and stirrup pants were in.
Instead, make sure that every time you start a conversation with a client, you have a list of stacked pains that will blow away the prospect—make them stop everything they are doing and spend time with you because they can’t imagine NOT hearing what you have to say.
The next time you make a call, try this on for size: “I don’t know if this makes any sense for us to be talking… but some of our customers come to us because they love the fact that we sit down with them once a year in opportunity meetings with their CPA and find ways to increase income and decrease expenses. It’s not unusual for us to find $10,000 or $15,000—even $100,000 of expenses or more to cut, and much more income than that to be gained.”
We’re just twenty seconds in—and who on EARTH is going to hang up on that?
“Still others really like the fact that we have a quarterly small business seminar in which we teach our small business owners and their employees’ several strategies for growing their businesses more profitably.”
Time to finish up the miracle minute:
“Still others really love the fact that we have a personal banker come into their business every six months to audit the ways that they’re integrating their banking with their bookkeeping to make sure there’s optimal use of resources.”
The point is this: You have one minute to massively disrupt the monologue playing in the small business owner’s head—something like I am too busy to talk to you. Know that the old sales training model is dead and that those using it are easily knocked out of the water by those using these far more formidable and sophisticated strategies.
Be formidable, be of profound service—and watch the competition choke on your dust.