During the entertainment on our cruise the light handler was flipping the spotlights around so every so often they would glare into our eyes. This distracted us from fully enjoying the singer onstage who belted his heart out. I doubt that he realised how the light handler was spoiling his act.
Which made me wonder if there are things we do for, or with, clients, prospects, or centers-of-influence---distractions we're unaware of---that are costing us sales.
Prospects can be distracted during an interview by outside interruptions that you can't control. But other sales-killer distractions can be caused by what you do, or say.
* For example, the prior issue told how some subscribers want me to complete a form to get through their spam filter. Expecting a client or prospect to do this could stop them from dealing with you without you realizing why.
Long-time subscriber, and article-writer, Lawrence Geller, emailed me about it saying, "I agree about the spam blocker programs and refuse to fill in their forms. If agents and advisors want to hear from me they'll take the time to put me on their 'white list'." Your clients and prospects may feel the same way.
* Asking prospects to make unnecessary decisions. Filling out an application for a financial product requires answers to a lot of relevant questions. Asking them before the prospect has decided to buy is unnecessary until she or he is totally convinced and ready to buy.
For example, discussing term insurance versus whole life is unnecessary until the prospect realizes that he must have more cash at death. Until then it's a distraction.
* Diverting attention away from the selling process. I once wrote upside down when illustrating something to a prospect sitting across a desk. I stopped doing it when one of them told me he was so taken with this technique that he had no idea of what was discussed as he was waiting for me to make mistakes.
My idea of improving communication was actually the reverse ---a distraction from true communication!
* Presenting an unpleasant surprise before the sale is made. For example, few people like to see doctors, so the thought of having to see one to acquire life insurance is unpleasant. Which is why it is an unnecessary distraction until after your prospect has made the decision to buy.
Once this decision is made, you can ask him "What's the next step?" to which he usually answers "I don't know. What is the next step?" And you answer, "Let's see if you can get it. When's the best time for you to take a medical?"
So don't ask your prospects to do things to make your life easy, or ask them to make unnecessary decisions, and don't divert their attention away from your selling process, or alarm them with any unpleasant surprises before the sale is made.
And you'll end up with more sales!