It is imperative that sales professionals are well versed on their product, service, and the industry that they are selling in. However, it is equally important that they allow themselves the opportunity to get off the script when dealing with clients if they want to excel in the sales arena.
One year ago I spoke in Boston, Massachutes to an industry leading software company. I was talking to the vice president on a conference call and he was choosing between myself and two other speakers to speak at his summer conference.
When I answered the phone he introduced himself and asked me why he should hire me as a speaker? I knew immediately that this conversation was all about business and I gave him my 60-90 second elevator speech. However, after my introduction, he asked me where I live and I said Columbus, Ohio. He then asked if I was a football fan and this is where we GOT OFF THE SCRIPT.
I told him I was a huge football fan and I liked Ohio State, Kentucky (My Alma Matter) and the Cleveland Browns. He then went on to say he loved his New England Patriots and that he was a season ticket holder. Then for the span of eight minutes he talked about the New England Patriots head coach Bill Bellicheck and the legend he has become. Finally, at the end of our call he said he enjoyed our conversation and that he would be in touch.
The next day I got an email that stated I was booked for this gig.