Kathy's Prospect Represents Fresh Meat


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Sales Autopsy
by Dan Seidman


I met Dan Seidman of at a program he did in San Jose, California - and all of his stories brought memories flooding back to me about my early days selling financial services for Bank of America.

Anybody was a prospect, whether I met them at a chamber of commerce event or pulled them from our bank database or was referred to them by existing customers.

So I don't recall how I landed this prospect but the experience, for me, is frozen in time.

Have you ever been to a meat packing business?

Maybe you'd call it a slaughterhouse.

Either way, you don't really want to wear an expensive linen suit into this environment. But what you always do want to do is tour a prospect's business.

It was disgusting, 15 foot long cow intestines hanging on walls. Other parts that I didn't want to know about hung or were stacked in coolers. And slippery floors everywhere. But at least the owner kept me off those surfaces.

And the smell? Okay, now I'm starting to recall the smell - revolting. I could have skipped that memory.

So I'm managing. And when I'm asked "do you want to see the meat lockers?" What to do? The answer is always yes. So in I go - high heels and all.

Everything is frozen, including me.

Stars! I'm looking at the ceiling and there are stars everywhere. This is kind of cool. Then I realize that I'm lying on my back and the stars are moving around because my head has just hit the floor, quite hard.

After that, all I remember is that the owner didn't want to move his money to my bank, and to bring flat shoes to wear around hazardous prospects. And I remember the lump was on my skull for about three weeks before it disappeared.

POSTMORTEM: What better badge of honor to wear in selling than combat wounds? Kathy was smart in her approach. Genuine interest in your prospect's lives can help you better understand their needs and desires. Do research online and ask great questions in person - in order to get a good picture of your prospect. This pre-selling effort could keep you from being frozen out of a new customer's life.