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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

Don’t spill your candy in the lobby! Most people have not heard this phrase before, so you’re probably thinking “what the heck does that mean?”. Sandler rule #2: Don’t Spill Your Candy In the Lobby, speaks to one of the biggest mistakes salespeople often make. Another term to sum this concept up is one that might be more recognizable to you. Does word vomit ring a bell?

Traditionally, the common salesperson has been taught to tell anyone whose attention they can get about all the features and benefits of whatever product or service they are selling. The goal has been to convince the prospect that they should be just as excited as you are about that product or service, without really putting much time into understanding if that prospect even wants to hear your whole presentation, and if they do, what are their motives for listening to you?

Think about a time when you knew you wanted to purchase a certain product, but you weren’t exactly sure which brand, company, style, quantity, etc. you wanted to go with. Chances are, you shopped around, and gathered all the information you felt you needed in order to make the best decision with your investment. What you (probably) unknowingly did, was turn at least one or two of the unsuspecting and overly-eager salespeople you spoke with, into what we call an “unpaid consultant”.

As a salesperson, you run the risk of becoming an unpaid consultant when you get too eager to educate your prospect, and share all of your knowledge with them, before having a good understanding of their level of commitment to you or what it is that you are selling. What “don’t spill your candy in the lobby” means to say, is don’t get moving so fast through the sales process, that you trip over your own feet and spill all your goods before you get to where you are going. Sell today, educate tomorrow.

So how do you avoid becoming this unpaid consultant? Earlier, we mentioned that until recently, salespeople were trained to tell prospects all the fun facts about their product or service almost immediately. What we now know is that people don’t want to be sold. Instead, try asking questions and listening in order to get a better understanding of where your prospect is at in their buying process. This way, the playing field is on a more even ground, and you run a lesser risk of spilling your candy.

Don’t be afraid to be a skeptic! Just as our prospects are skeptical of us, we need to be just as skeptical of them! Your time and energy is just as important, so before you qualify someone as a real prospect, think of them as a suspect. In doing so, you too will be able to gather more information and decide whether you should continue in the sales process. If you are able to determine that your candy is not worth spilling, then you don’t waste your time and energy spilling it without a financial commitment from your prospect, thus avoiding becoming an unpaid consultant.

Stop quoting and hoping and start qualifying and closing! 
Join us at our next event - How to Stop Unpaid Consulting

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