A nice piece in The Pipeline discusses Selling to Mr Know-it-all …which, as the article points out, is becoming more commonplace as time goes on. One of my colleagues here told me that a potential client tried to catch him out the other day with the question: “If you’re so good at all this Google stuff, how come you’re not top of the Google results for ‘Google AdWords management’ then?” (Admittedly not a very good question, as the ability to come top of the Google results isn’t anything to do with Google AdWords management in the first place. And anyway, if he looked carefully, he’d see that we do come top for “google adwords management for industrial companies” and various permutations of those words, which is what matters to us.)
Of course, if this was really a deal-breaker for the prospect, he wouldn’t have been talking to us in the first place. It was just a point, to show a seller that they shouldn’t try to pull the wool over his eyes. In this case the prospect may well have been on top of his subject. But an increasing number of sales meetings now feature a “Mr Know-it-all” whose knowledge is cursory at best, and possibly even misguided. Good salespeople know instinctively how to handle prospects who know what they’re talking about, and see it as a welcome challenge. Dealing with those who are just pretending they know is a different matter completely.