I know I am dating myself, but does anybody out there remember the movie Oliver, based on the classic Charles Dickens book? Remember the opening scene when, after drawing the short straw, the adorable little orphaned boy brings his empty bowl of gruel to the front of the room and asks nervously in a cockney accent “Please sir, may I have some more?” Well, let’s just say that scene didn’t end well.
Oliver’s situation gave him every right to be timid and nervous, when asking for a little extra sustenance. But this behavior does not belong in the sales presentation. When coaching teams to sell, I often hear a phrase like “If we are so fortunate to be your provider…”, or “If we have the opportunity to work with you”… It drives me crazy. If we are so fortunate? This is when the Image of Oliver comes to mind.
The whole idea in sales is to show the client how they would be fortunate to work with us! So, I recommend we drop the “if we are so fortunate” part, and replace it with something like “When working with you we will…” It is important to assume the client will choose you and that it is in their best interest to do so.
I often get resistence when I suggest this. It comes in the form of “but I don’t want to be presumptuous.” Why not? Why not presume, believe and deduce that based on your talents and capabilities you are the best choice for the client? This attitude does not communicate arrogance - it communicates confidence! And confidence sells.