Rob, a friend of my two daughters was a cadet at the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, which is about 100 miles from my home in Columbia, SC. He was homesick and didn’t have a way to get home for the weekend so I volunteered to pick him up at 7am on a Saturday if he would get someone else to take him back to school on Sunday. My older daughter and I got up pretty early for a Saturday and made the trip to Charleston in time to see this sharp young man, in uniform marching stiffly across campus. He marched in the gutter by the edge of the road because he was too low in rank to march on the sidewalk. We drove back to Columbia and stopped at Atlanta Bread so my younger daughter who was working that morning could see him for a few minutes. A customer in the restaurant came over to introduce himself and he asked if Rob knew his son who is a cadet at the Citadel. The two boys DID know each other; in fact they had just met the night before.
After this man walked away Rob looked at me and said, “Mr. Benton, I didn’t tell that man the complete story about his son. It’s true that we did meet just last night but what I didn’t tell him was that I met his son because his son was my dance partner for the evening. The older cadets made the two of us dance together for almost three hours…and he’s a pretty good dancer!!!
I told Rob that you don’t always have to tell everything you know. Some times sales people don’t know when to stop talking. They feel compelled to tell their prospects EVERYTHING they’ve learned about their product – before asking questions to find out what the prospect’s needs are. Ask questions and your prospects will tell you what they want you to sell to them!