It’s been my experience that this subject needs almost no training…if you have done it once, or even watched it happen, you know the formula. For the few who have not, here are the two most typical ways:

1. Say the wrong thing to the wrong person (add volume for impact)
2. Swing at someone

That’s it. If you don’t want to get thrown out of the bar, don’t do these things.

Yet, I watch sales people do the equivalent in sales meetings. Let’s make a quick list of the ways to get thrown out, or just as bad, your prospect shuts down and stops being engaged in the discussion:

  • Talk. If you are talking in the first 20 minutes, you are losing. This is listening time.
  • Miss cues. The customer is talking all of the time, even if he or she is not speaking. If you miss cues of interest, boredom or distraction you are losing.
  • Take a swing. Make a negative comment about one of your prospect’s co-workers, your competitors, or their company.
  • Be irrelevant. Your answers need to always be framed in context of the customer’s problem or situation, never just in relationship to your product or service.

These are basic things, right? Not getting thrown out of a bar is not brain surgery either – yet, people do it all of the time. You can’t win if you are at the curb, so make certain you and your team members know how to stay in.

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