I’m feeling a bit testy tonight and am hearing Andy Rooney’s style in my head, so figured I’d jot a diatribe of my own.
For those of you not in the US, or of a younger sect, Andy Rooney provided the epilogue for the weekly 60 Minutes broadcast from 1978-2011 (dying a month after his retirement at the age of 92). His hilarious satirical look at everyday life made tuning into the end of the program a must see for anyone with an appreciation of the humor associated with alternative perspectives on what most accept as normal.
In his iconic, whiney voice he’d offer rants that frequently began with the phrase ‘ have you ever noticed,’ ‘why is it,’ or ‘I was thinking,’ with insights that were often laugh out loud funny.
Sadly, it’s tough to find some of his best material online, but here’s his take on bottled water:
So you want my time and won’t say how long it will take?
Have you ever noticed some marketers feel it’s smart to hide how much time they expect you to listen to their pitch?
Lately I’ve seen a trend with videos to bury the length of the presentations. Usually these are the ones that go on for an hour or more (like I’m really going to respond to the old school precept that more time invested will compel me to buy). Even worse is the links that provide no option for pause. Catch me once (that’s how I discovered the long sell tactic). If a length indication and pause option aren’t provided, I leave the page. Goodbye prognosticator.
Whether on the phone, via Skype or in person, if someone’s trying to sell me something, I want to know prior to the conversation how much of my time they’re requesting. If you’re hawking and someone doesn’t ask about the anticipated listening investment stint, offer this information and stick to your promise.
This is particularly important with group presentations and public speaking appearances. If time runs over, offer your audience an immediate exit opportunity the moment the clock expires on the scheduled period and you’ll be less likely to be seen as a blowhard and more prone to be perceived as a considerate and mindful contributor.
Of course, listening rather than talking is always a better sales approach, but some will never lean.
Really? You want me to drop what I’m doing to respond immediately to your bite-size, hour-long series of offers? I don’t think so. Send me an e-mail, set a time for a call or schedule a Skype meeting (with a clear indication of how much time you will need and the consideration to stick to it) and I’m there. Expect me to accept the distraction of an unscheduled dialog while I’m trying to complete client deliverables and I won’t be so gracious about deeming you an ideal vendor, no matter how clever you are about the close.
Just dropping by
Might be convenient for you, but is rarely for me. Time for the day was schedule before you arrived. If you’re serious about selling to me, respect the fact that my time is valuable and unscheduled meetings are generally unwelcome. Even if you have the most innovate and valuable tool for my business prosperity, I’ve already formed an opinion about you – and it’s not good.
Andy Rooney’s talent and history
This is a long video (approximately 11 minutes), but if you want to see more about what this clever guy was all about, this is a good summary:
Why selling sucks
Most believe, erroneously, that selling is something you do to people. If you can amend your approach to make it something you do for people, you might be amazed at how much fun the experience becomes for both you and your prospects (vs. victims). Think about how you can be more considerate and helpful in your approach and you might be surprised how quickly prospects transform from weary receptacles tolerating but ignoring your message to clients and friends eager to embrace you as a valued resource to be bragged about to colleagues.