Home > Approach > young salesman building rapport with older prospects

young salesman building rapport with older prospects

hi guys.

as a 23 year old in the sales industry, I find it difficult to be friendly with older folks who are 30+. not that they are strange or anything, but i find that after meeting someone who is older than me, I find it hard to make conversation with my older prospects a second time.... i don't know what or how to say things

in my opinion saying things like "oh how's the kids" or "how's work" is very corny and doesn't feel genuine

can someone give some food for thought?

thanks - by royale11
If you aren't already - keep your communication professional, respectful and not too familiar. - by BossMan
hi guys.

as a 23 year old in the sales industry, I find it difficult to be friendly with older folks who are 30+. not that they are strange or anything, but i find that after meeting someone who is older than me, I find it hard to make conversation with my older prospects a second time.... i don't know what or how to say things

in my opinion saying things like "oh how's the kids" or "how's work" is very corny and doesn't feel genuine

can someone give some food for thought?

thanks

While I have never run into this as an age related thing per se, I have run into this difficulty based more on knowledge or experience. That is to say, I had difficulty talking with a customer when I felt they had more knowledge or experience, or at least they felt they had more knowledge or experience than I did.

I find the "I need your opinion" angle works well here. I play a Colombo role, asking the customer their thoughts on the product, giving an affirming "good point" or "Hmmm" with every concern they raise, then explaining how that point is taken car of, or getting out "the book" and looking it up (even if I know the answer). It's funny how many people will sell themselves your product!

Wear the Right Hat!
Bill - by Bill_Kistner
...in my opinion saying things like "oh how's the kids" or "how's work" is very corny and doesn't feel genuine

can someone give some food for thought?
Instead of general or personal chit chat how about something like... Last time we talked you were going to the XXX convention - how did that work out for you? (or) Last time we talked you said you were trying a new XXX - what was the outcome? - by Liberty
thanks for the replies. you guys are awesome! :) - by royale11
royale11,

Just think of what a young doctor would say to an older patient.

Some thing like, "Good morning Sir. Undress and lie down on that examination bed."

Essentially there is no small talk. Serious buyers don't even expect small talk. They have things to do, and want to restrict the small talk to people who are in their Inner Circles.

Also, your lead nurturing system can prime your prospects, so they know what to expect. You can educate prospects that you don't do rapport stuff.

Before we meet, I educate my prospects about the process of the meeting. And I request them to show up with all their documents and a $5,000 cheque filled in and signed.

Then at the end of the hour meeting, there is a yes/no decision. If yes, I take the check and we start. If no, prospects take their cheques and we leave.

And...

Prospects know that if they play the "I have to think about it" card on me, I take the cheque and they can think until the cows come home.

But prospects know these criteria even before the meeting.

Remember, you're an expert at sorting out the kind of mess your prospect has created. Regardless of age. - by Bald Dog
Bill,

Very well put.thmbp2; In all circumstance we can either be equal to, superior or inferior. Depending on the circumstance one will always be more advantagous than the other two. I remember the first day I was door knocking I knocked on a door of an older reitred man. I told him what I was selling and asked if he was interested. He told me right away he was not interested but offered some gems of wisdom. You see he spent 40 years in the same profesion I was just entering. I spent about a half an hour talking to one person whom I knew was not going to buy from me. The thing is he shared information with me that my broker never told me, that helped me close other deals. He is now on my Christmas card list and he has give me two referals since I first met him. My favorite clients are older people because I find them to be more at a stage in life where they are more willing to help someone instead of closer to that teenage part of our lives where we think we know it all.

Cheers,

J- - by Jorel