When approaching a new client you ought to have some idea who they are prior to a meeting. We do not enter a selling situation completely disarmed with no clue what to say. In these circumstances the tendency is to either clam up or talk too much. By all means be enthusiastic but employ suitable restraint plus pinpoint accuracy. Know exactly what you want to say. Adopt an approach where wasted words are left out.
At the risk of sounding manipulative, look for the “pain”. This involves becoming a psychologist to discover your prospect's problems and offer a solution. A counselor asks questions and allows the patient to talk enough to identify the problem which is solved by both parties, together. I only draw attention to this technique on the strict understanding you genuinely have a product or service you believe will be of benefit. To knowingly deceive a person into parting with money for your personal gain is the reason the selling profession has a bad reputation. Well meaning sales people have doors slammed in their faces because of some charlatan that preceded him days, weeks or years earlier.
So, make each word count when talking with a prospect. Try to give the abridged version of a pitch and deliver key points only. Less is more. Go for quality over quantity and do more listening than talking. Find out what people want and find a way to help them.
- Do not ramble. If you sense yourself “losing” the prospect, immediately ask a question and flip the attention back to him or her.
- Is it possible to give the short version of your pitch? Do web design clients need to know technical details of programming languages? Does an art buyer care your brushes are made from 100% badger hair? Unlikely.