In Being Authentic, Building Value, Honesty

Coffee Shop Meeting, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, The Sales Evangelist

Imagine being invited to coffee by someone who wants to hear more about what you’re doing. You arrive at the coffee shop, spot him, wave him over, and buy him a drink. After 30 seconds of talking about your project, he launches into a sales pitch. You realize you’ve been snared in the coffee shop meeting trap.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the negative consequences of misleading sales methods, and why the coffee shop meeting trap may hurt you more than it helps.

It happened to me a lot when I was a new seller, and I quickly discovered that I disliked it. We’re going to address why you shouldn’t do it.

You’ll be perceived as dishonest.

This kind of activity amounts to bait-and-switch. If I show up to meet with you about my podcast, but you turn it into a sales pitch, it makes you seem untrustworthy.

Because buyers are more prepared, they do their research before they connect with people. If you develop a reputation for this kind of behavior, people will begin to sniff it out and they’ll avoid meeting with you altogether.

Even if it lands you one successful sale, you’ll likely experience fallout in the future.

You’ll stand out for the wrong reason.

Bait-and-switch isn’t a new concept. People are aware of it and they’ll recognize it immediately.

My belief has always been that you should do the opposite of what everyone else is doing if you want to be successful.

You’ll burn bridges.

You should always respect people’s time.

If you mislead me into spending an hour of my day with you, without accounting for the travel time to meet with you, you wasted a portion of my day.

If you mislead me into spending time with you, I’m probably going to make a podcast about you.

There’s a better option.

Your ultimate goal should be to foster a relationship.

Look at the person’s LinkedIn and figure out what business he’s in. Figure out how you can provide value to him. Connect him with a potential customer, or write blog content about his company so that your own audience will learn more about him.

In this case, find a way to provide value to the person you’re hoping to connect with. If you know of someone who might make an ideal customer, research to find out whether you’re right.

Once you’ve discovered that the two are a good match, connect them.

In my case, I might begin with a phone conversation about what the prospect could talk about on a podcast. Once we’ve determined that, I’d invite him to appear on the podcast, which helps him.

Perhaps, as a result of the podcast, he’ll want to do something to help me.

Look for opportunities to collaborate.

Be genuine. Begin with a 5-minute conversation that allows you to get to know the other person. Seek to become friends and build lasting connections.

Do the things you know work: nurture the relationship, connect with the prospect, and bring value first.

If you seek to bring value first, you’ll create more opportunity for a lasting relationship.

We tell you these things because we want you to find more ideal customers, build stronger value, close more deals, and do big things.

“Meeting Trap” episode resources

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

We’re so convinced that you’ll love the book that we’re providing a free excerpt to our listeners here. We also have a free SlideShare available to help you become a sales leader.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

Also check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

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