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NorthStar Performance Partners, LLC | Minneapolis, MN

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Many times salespeople have what the prospect is looking for: information that will help them solve their problems. Some salespeople want to show their expertise. They feel good letting the prospect know from the start that they are the experts in their industry and they, their company and their products and services can take care of the prospect’s problems – they want to rescue them. They are a superhero from the start. What might be the downside of that approach?

If that attitude stops the salesperson from asking questions, getting details, and qualifying the prospect as a possible client, they may be giving away too much information. We call it “unpaid consulting.”

Another possible downside may be that the prospect feels intimidated if the salesperson has an attitude that the prospect perceives as arrogant or way above their knowledge level.

The worst possible scenario is the salesperson does a presentation or gives away the solution that the prospect now uses to either fix the problem themselves or they take your information and shop it around for a better price. This has probably never happened in your business, has it?

Clark Kent was the mild mannered reporter who was secretly Superman. No one thought he was threatening and his job was to ask questions, gather information, plan how to use the information and then go into action as Superman. Would that strategy work in business development?

Through the initial stages of the selling system when you are developing the relationship, setting agreements and agendas, gathering information about the problems, the budget and the decision process you may want to be more like Clark Kent. At the point of presentation and close is where Superman should appear. Being an expert in sales can be a problem.

If your superhero comes out too early, the result may be the exact opposite of what you would like. Keep your super powers hidden until the prospect tells you that they want them.


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