A couple of months ago I was doing some prep work for a new sales seminar and I decided to listen to a bunch of sales calls from a few clients. Many now record their sales calls as a matter of course and there is much to be learned by listening to what sales people actually do rather than listening to them tell you what they do.

Any way my initial plan was to do a bit of research into how effectively people articulate the benefits of their products or service. I couldn’t help but notice how quickly people started talking about their own product. A quick review of the opening minutes of over a hundred calls showed that the average time between the end of the small talk and the start of the pitch was 49 seconds. Yes 49 seconds to talk about the customer before the pitch begins.

This is woefully inadequate!

But what an opportunity for the customer focused sales person and for the entrepreneur trying to carve out a niche for themselves in a competitive marketplace. If you talk to your customers about the stuff that really matters to them for just a few minutes, then you are already world class!

We will talk about some easy hacks for engaging the customer in a in a meaningful dialogue in a future post, but in the mean time just concentrate on spending a little bit more time with the customer’s concerns rather than worrying about what you are going to tell them about your own.