A salesman in a mid-western state approached me about doing public speaking for our company on my program Cold Calling for Cowards®. I asked him why he wanted to be a speaker and sales trainer.
He showed me a picture of himself in camouflage fatigues hiding in the bushes outside an office park. Called himself the Cold Calling Commando. That, in itself, set off alarm bells.
“I have no fear of cold calling! I love it!” he told me. “Besides, I like to speak before large groups. I love the adulation and applause you get for doing it.”
In less than five seconds he unsold himself. I wouldn’t even consider him and he was surprised that I wouldn’t.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Two reasons,” I told him. “First, you don’t understand our seminar audience. You love to cold call. They hate it. They don’t want to do it. You can’t relate to them. Second, this isn’t a job about getting the audience to like you and give you standing ovations. It’s about helping them find new customers by dealing with their fear and reluctance of performing a job they despise.”
Don’t sneak up behind them and scream: Whether you’re selling your ideas, services, or products, you not only have to understand what people want, but you have to show them how you can help them get it.