Placing a desperate call to my web person, I blurted out what had just happened. She was quiet for a moment, then slowly said, “Mmm. That’s interesting.”
Interesting? I was in full panic mode.
But how she said it caught my attention. In fact, as we talked through the situation, I found myself thinking how interesting it was that her first reaction was curiosity when something went wrong.
The Power of Getting Interested
When we’re selling, we often react how I did when my web update disappeared. Instead of stopping to consider how we might have created the problem, we scramble desperately to recover or get around it. And often the reaction make the problem worse.
Think about the last time a sales conversation went bad. How often do we really stop and say, “Mmm. That’s interesting?”
Now think about what could happen if you were constantly curious about why your prospects reacted the way they did.
For example, take that prospect you talked to this morning. You were telling him why he should seriously consider changing from his status quo. But he was rude and just “didn’t get it.”
Mmm. That’s interesting...
Let's troubleshoot. Perhaps he didn’t get it because of how you explained the value of your service. Maybe you didn’t ask enough questions so he felt like you were pushing him to make a decision he wasn’t ready to make. Perhaps he wasn't the right person.
How about those ten new companies you’re trying to set up meetings with? You called them last week, then followed up with an e-mail. So far you haven’t gotten a response back from anyone.
Mmm. That’s interesting....
Perhaps a different message would be more effective. Could your subject line have caused them to not even bother opening it? Or could it be that you sounded like a product-pushing salesperson?
Now what about the person who did respond enthusiastically the week before. Did something in your message strike a chord? Or was it that you caught her right at time when her company was in the market? What was it about your message that worked so well?
See where I’m going with this? Whether you’re an experienced pro or you’re new to selling, you get better faster by continually questioning your results.
Always be curious about how you could improve. Pay attention to times when the conversation was challenging for you. Be interested in why you might have lost to a specific competitor—or to “no decision.”
Also make sure you note when things go according to plan or turned out better than you expected. It’s important to recognize what’s working well too.
Observing your own sales interactions—and experimenting with new approaches—is the fastest route to driving more sales.
Now isn’t that interesting?
P.S. For those who are wondering, my web guru did recover the majority of my work.