Selling Starts Early These Days
So, my little baby girl, Ella, was born a week ago today. I've spent most of the time since then in the hospital, then at home with momma, with a presentation to a national association stuffed in there on one of the days.
Jimmy's been here flying solo for a while now. One thing we learned...it's hard to keep up a blog in the middle of all of this.
But thanks to Ed Haskins for writing me this morning an prodding me to say something. It's nice to know people missed me (;-)
Ed gave me a great idea, so here goes.
On the morning after Ella was born, a dressed-like-a-nurse, clipboard-clad sales woman barged into our room with no respect for our privacy or the time of morning.
She announced, "I'm hear to take a picture of your baby. You can dress her in anything you want. The picture is for the hospital security file. Oh by the way, you can order prints if you like. Here's the order form...I'll be back this afternoon."
So an hour later - still early in the morning - fake nurse comes back in and announces, "It's time!"
I was already completely tired of her - and after glancing at the exorbitantly priced photo packages, I pitched her order form in the can. So when she came in, I plucked Ella out of her blanket, wearing a t-shirt and a diaper and plopped her down on the photo-bassinet (looked very official and medical).
She told me she could shoot up to 10 pictures and I could pick the one I liked best. She shot 2, they looked horrible and declared, "Perfect!" - and see ya later.
No sale. But the hospital security file has a terrible picture of my daughter.
So what's the lesson? Well, how hard can it be to sell baby pictures to new parents? Come on!! She had a completely captive (literally, but more on that another day) audience. Emotions are running high. The company was ENDORSED by the hospital (huge) and she had a decked out, 10 page catalog that was highly-professional. But she still failed - and probably goes home at night and curses her job and mean dads like me.
So why did she fail?
Compassion. She had none. All of the tools in the world are meaningless if you don't show passion and compassion for what you do and who you do it for. Had she spent a few moments cooing at my little girl and reminding me of how beautiful she was, she would have gotten further. Perhaps she could have highlighted some of the packages - telling me which packages most parents went with and which was the best deal - maybe slipping in a little insider information about how to eek out the most value. Heck - maybe they could have even thrown in a bonus that would be irreplaceable - like a cute T-shirt or a commemorative album from the hospital. Something to kick the presentation into high gear.
But it just goes to show you...selling is a science - even in the most perfect conditions. You have to work if you want to eat. So if you're selling something and aren't enjoying the success you deserve, take a look at your process and ask yourself if you're at all like the fake nurse.
Oh...one last thing. When I told her I wasn't going to order, she didn't even follow up with a "Why?" Sales are not closed after one rejection. Any good sales person knows that. So hopefully the fake nurse gets some sale help soon otherwise she'll be having her own health-care crises.