The sales pitch is passe’

June 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm 7 comments

co-written by Angela O’Roark and Esther Denn, CCAM, ARM

Time and time again sales people use every opportunity to make a sales pitch for their product, service or company and wind up alienating their prospect or even worse wasting their time because it falls on deaf ears.  Why is that?  Most property managers shy away from vendors because they don’t have time for a sales pitch.  Property managers are carrying a large account load, buried under looming deadlines, and do not have enough hours in the day to accomplish the tasks at hand.  When I am looking for answers to questions online, I find myself increasingly annoyed by discussion boards on Linked In and other sites that are used by companies or individuals to provide a sales pitch rather than help with answering questions or sharing of resources.  When someone is asking for help or guidance, they don’t want to hear a sales pitch.  So, how does one gain access to a busy client?

I wrote a previous article on my blog about building relationships.  I encourage you to check it out.  The best thing a sales person, or anyone for that matter, can do in developing new business is to approach your marketing plan with the goal of how you can be of service to the industry you are trying to gain access to.  The following is a guide to success:

  • Ask questions like “how can I help you?” and “what do you need?”  Find out what their immediate concerns are and then take the time to just listen.  When the urge hits to pitch your product, service or company, bite your tongue and keep listening to the person.
  • After you understand what their needs are, run through your mind’s rolodex of contacts, solutions, and information so you can offer to assist them.  You can be a valuable asset in other ways that meet their immediate needs even though it is not in your area of expertise.  This does not cost you a cent.
  • Offer to write an informative article sharing your knowledge and expertise.  Do not use the article as a thinly veiled attempt for a sales pitch on how great your company, service or product is.  Your expertise and knowledge base will speak for itself.  Do include your contact information, website, or blog for additional resources.
  • Offer to provide an informative, instructional class with breakfast, lunch or dinner to help increase your client’s knowledge base.
  • Offer a free trial or discount as part of your service or product so your client can experience it firsthand.

The next time you see or talk to this prospect, I bet they are a little more receptive to you and your company.  One of the best pieces of advice I received since starting my own business in property management was from my attorney, Linda Cummings.  She said to me that many people are disappointed with their networking results because they approach it with the idea of “what’s in it for me?”   They hand out business cards, give a sales pitch and expect help from others.  Linda suggested I change my approach at any networking event or sales opportunity with the mindset of “being of service. “ She advised me to ask everyone I meet, “How can I help you?” I tried this at a networking event last year and was blown away by the response I got.  One gentleman I met told me it was the first time someone approached him with that attitude instead of looking for something in return.  A vendor I know has benefited from practicing these principles in their marketing approach.  Linda Aponte with Flood Pro Services practices all of the things I addressed in this article.  While I have not been able to provide her with much business, she has always been there for me ready to help in any way.  Last year, I was able to introduce her to someone who could bring her a lot of business.   These are hard times for businesses and job seekers.  Many people are looking for a hand up.  Expand your business by paying it forward.  Build on increasing your good will.  This is the most important business asset you possess and you will be pleased with the results it brings you over time.


Entry filed under: Marketing, Property Management. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe Suzz  |  June 3, 2010 at 1:55 am

    This world would be a lot nicer place to live if a few ppl would pay it forward.
    Good article.

  • 2. Joanne Micheil  |  June 4, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Words to live by! Thank you….I have shared this wisdom with my co-workers.

    Great article!


  • 4. Joanne Micheil  |  June 4, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Words to live by!! I have shared this wisdom with my co-workers. Thank you for a great article.


  • 5. Pollyanna RondeauI  |  June 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    My friend and business partner (Joanne) forwarded this to me and I could not agree more. Coming originally from the hospitality industry, I have learned to always listen, assist and to make someone’s day, every day, whether it be personal or professional. I know that I try to apply these actions in everything I do.

    So I thank you for your article and I hope a lot of people read it and more people in this world pay it forward.

    Thank you.

  • 6. Linda Cummings  |  June 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you for the kind mention, Esther, but I don’t think you needed my advice on this, just some “positive reenforcement”. In my experience, “paying it forward” comes naturally to you! Thank you for this positive article – we all need to be reminded of this from time to time (and the world will be a better place for it).

  • 7. Lori Harris-Height  |  January 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks Esther, simple to the point and most importantly it makes sense.


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