There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase many times in your life, right?
So, many years ago, I was in an appointment with a new prospective customer. I gave my spiel. She told me some of the challenges the company was having, and asked what solutions we could offer.
My response: “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
Her face turned pale.
She was speechless for a few moments.
Then she politely told me that the sales call was over and I needed to leave.
As I stood up, wondering what possibly could have gone wrong, she told me that it was clear I had not looked around her office. So as she pointed around I saw all the pictures of her many cats. No family. No friends. Just a dozen or so pictures of cats. A few candles in the shape of cats. And a few statues of cats.
The key to a successful sales call starts before we ever talk. It starts with some careful observation of the items that fill the prospect’s office, because we can learn much about our prospect just by looking around.
There’s a phrase my children learned from "Sesame Street" about what to do if they catch on fire: stop, drop and roll.
Here’s a different phrase for all of us sales professionals to learn about conducting great sales appointments: stop, look and listen.