You hear a lot about the magical ‘warm up’ that computer business owners are supposed to begin with in their managed services presentation… where you’re suggested to start at a certain point and then finish with and move on to another portion of the presentation. While you can’t continue to talk about personal issues with a prospect during the entire meeting, can you really stop getting personal with your prospect at a certain point? Can you stop listening to your prospect and looking for common ground or looking for things that you can compliment them on at any point in your marketing efforts with suspects? Conventional wisdom says that you can turn on your charm and charisma and then turn it off again. However, I am a iconoclast and question that logic. I have been going on IT sales calls with my clients and doing some limited sales training and also learning how computer consultants are currently handling their sales pitches. Therefore, I have some new information that might change your view point on this issue.
You Can’t Turn Your Charm On and Off
While most IT salespeople forget entirely to warm up their prospects while running sales leads, the rest try to start and stop it at the beginning of their pitch. One point to keep in mind is that when you have a new practice that you’re trying to start/stop it is very difficult to put it in a box. For example, I have met tons of people along the way that say they smoke but only when they drink or when they are at the bar. However, after knowing these people for a long time it turns out that they end up smoking beyond the space they’ve tried to keep that bad habit in a box. Another example might be a business person that has a bad habit of cursing in his personal life and tries to keep that bad habit in a box during work hours. Once again that bad habit is going to get out of the box at some point and according to Murphy law it’s going to happen at the worst time.
Likewise, when a person is trying to start a new habit like complimenting people or remembering names etc… if you try to only do those practices at certain times, then the reverse usually happens. You end up forgetting to do what every new habit you were trying to start because it’s not reinforced if you’re not trying to do it all the time. One wise person told me that if you really want to be more charming by remembering to talk about what is important to your prospects, complimenting them, listening etc.. then you will have to try to do it all the time, 24/7.
In terms of when you should do warm up, I have found that there is a time at the beginning of the meeting that you should focus on it; but in reality you should continue to warm up your prospects all through your presentation and as you do a walk through their office etc… At one meeting I was at I was able to keep the prospect talking about himself while the technology consultant was doing a network analysis and this was after the official warm up had been finished. I found out this prospect liked to boogie board and was able to get him talking about that. Therefore, I recommend that if you’re trying to ramp up you sales leads and know that you should be improving your warm up skills then get ready to warm up everybody you meet even if they are not prospects [on the airplane, in the taxi, etc…] and keep your ‘warm up’ hat on all the way through your marketing meetings, right to the very end.
Therefore if you’re an IT consultant and you are paying for lead generation then you should do your best at warming up all your prospects while pitching your services.
About The Author:
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years’ experience in IT marketing on behalf of computer support providers and VARs to help them get more IT leads that turn into IT sales!