My mother-in-law of nearly 20 years has strong opinions. Whenever she is shown something, told about something, or experiences something, one of her possible reactions is, "That's interesting."
When your salespeople explain your technology, methods, positioning, value added, warranty, or product differentiation to their prospects, and the prospects respond with "Interesting!"...what do your salespeople do?
Depending on the context of the conversation, weather, personality and the frame of reference of their prospect, here are the top five things that "Interesting" could mean:
- This is the greatest thing since sliced bread!
- This is so much better than what I've seen elsewhere.
- This is interesting - I'd like to learn more to better understand it.
- These guys might be on to something.
- I hate this but I don't want to hurt their feelings.
It took me about 5 years before I understood my mother-in-law and her use of "Interesting." Turns out she only used it when she was thinking #5! But she isn't necessarily representative of anyone else. There is truly no way of knowing which of the 5 things they mean when they say, "Interesting" and I''ll bet that I hear "Interesting" at least once per day from someone....
I'll share what I do when I hear that...
I ask, "Can you help me out? You just said this concept was "Interesting". I'm not exactly sure what you mean. I know that when my mother-in-law says "interesting" she means she hates it...what do you mean?"
If you want to make sure that your salespeople don't fall victim to happy ears, make sure that they clarify the use of words that can have multiple meanings, words that are vague and can be easily interpreted the wrong way.
On another subject, The Ceremony for this Thursday's (December 16, 2010) Top Sales Awards will take place from Noon ET - 3 PM ET. if you would like to attend this online event, you can register here. Awards will be presented for:
- Top Sales Article
- Top Sales Star
- Top Sales Book
- Top Sales Blog (My Blog is in 2nd place in the popular vote which is worth 9 pts. The judges in this category will award up to 10 points for their choices and a winner will be determined on Thursday)
- Top Sales Resource
- Top CRM Solution
- Top Sales Tool
- Top Sales 2.0 Solution
- Top Social Media Site
- Top Sales Personality
- Hall of Fame
You will also here from a number of top sales experts around the world as we share our opinions on dozens of important topics that face companies in the coming months and years.