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Sales Tip: The Dangers of Oversharing Info with a Prospect


Don't Spill Your Candy in the Lobby

Even if you have never heard of this Sandler Rule before, you know what it is… “premature articulation” or “showing up and throwing up.” We simply talk too much, and we do it too soon in the sales process.

I had a payroll sales rep stop by my office a week or so ago to talk about managing my payroll function. Since I’m in the sales business, I’m always interested in seeing how people are selling, so I invited him in.

I keep hoping someone will get it right.

The call started out like most sales calls. An exchange of pleasantries, a comment or two about the automotive art on the walls of my office, and then the full-on assault to my brain about how and why I should consider their company for my payroll. I got every feature and benefit he had.

Of course, I saw it coming, and it was brutal. I sat there and listened while the sales rep talked non-stop for 10 or 12 minutes (It felt like an hour) showing me facts and figures in a nice marketing piece without asking me a single question about my unique situation. At this point the rep asked me a question that really made my skin crawl… “So, Jim, why would you not want to make a move over to _______ company for your payroll needs?”

This scenario is all too common. The sales rep, in a state of blind eagerness shows up with a mission to present. That is their only goal… to give the presentation. This particular call ended the way that many do for me, I simply said “I’m afraid I’m not interested, we should close the file on this one.” He did next what I expected, which was trying to get me to state any objection at all so that he could overcome them. It was too late. I was done.

What went wrong?

Let’s break down what happened here. The sales rep shows up, does what sales reps do in engaging in conversation (any average sales rep can do this), attempts to create a bond over my passion for all things automotive, then started talking about himself and his product (spilling his candy) and I’m sitting here wondering if he even knows anything at all about me, my company or my people.

Was I next up on a list, or did he drive by and see our new sign and think that we would make a good prospect? Did he know that there were only 5 of us in the office and payroll is the last thing on my mind as a business owner? Nope. Not at all.

What to do instead.

How could he have made this call better? By engaging me in a dialogue. Asking me questions about me, my business and my people. Digging into what is important to me. What my goals are and then (if it’s realistic) tie his product/services to what I’m trying to do as a businessman.

It sounds so simple, but yet day in and day out sales reps spill their candy all over the place before they seek to understand the person/company in front of them. I wonder how many more sales they could have positively affected had they waited before talking too much too soon.

Do you or your team have issues with spilling your candy? Are you not getting sales that you should? Give us a call. We know a thing or two about the cure.

Jim Wilcox

Jim Wilcox

Owner, Sandler by Wilcox & Associates