[MUSIC] Think for a second about the different situations you are in where you might be selling. You're in daily conversations with customers and colleagues. You might be at an industry conference or even an interview. As sales people we have to be ready to sell it all times. And what this means is that we need to know how to introduce ourselves. And to determine whether the person we are talking to represents an opportunity for us or for our business. Here's how this is going to work. I want you to imagine that you are going to a networking event tonight from 5:30 to 7 in the evening. It's in a hotel near where you leave, and there are 100 people there tonight. Furthermore, there are 5 people out of that 100 who can either do business with you or your company. Or they can hire you to do a great job for their company. So, tonight comes and you show up at the hotel at 5:30, and you look through that glass door and you see 100 people standing there. You've got 90 minutes to find your five people, go. What do you do? Most sales people have a really hard time with this. And because they are not ready they end up making the same mistake that everyone makes. They talked to four people and then the networking event is over and they go home and go to bed. That's not enough, we are high performers, we can do better. Remember your sales goal, you're here to find the five people who are prospects. This is why I designed the Art of the Sales Conversation Tool. Here's how it works. Every sales conversation has four forward gears and a reverse gear. And this tool is designed to get you into and out of conversations effectively and efficiently, such that you accomplish your goal. The first gear of every conversation is small talk. How are you? Where are you from? Nice weather we're having today, things like that. But then something happens. You get asked a question. And you know what? Once you graduate from university, it's the number one question you get asked for the rest of your life. It's what do you do? This is the most common question you get asked, and it's the second gear of conversation. But do you have an answer? Do you have a crisp clear interesting answer? If you don't you need one. Oddly most people don't they either say too little, I'm a consultant or I'm a professor or they say too much. I work for this great company and we've worked with clients really all over the world we've helped them do all kinds of projects. And they just keep going. There's a better way to introduce yourself. I call this second gear of conversation the sales trailer. It's the movie trailer of you. Think about how a movie trailer's made. They film a movie and it's two hours long. Then they take just certain clips of the movie and they stitch them together into a minute and a half movie trailer that is designed to sell you the movie. This is exactly what I want you to do, but for you. Think of one or two sentences that best describe what you do. And you will be ready to shift into second gear. Here is an example. If you approach me at this networking event, and ask me what I do. I would simply say, I run a company called Sales Engine. And we help companies build and tune their sales engine. And I stop, that's my sales trailer. And it is designed to give you just enough to keep this conversation moving forward. It's the second gear, and the second gear in a car only takes you so far. Once I say that, we now shift into third gear. If you were talking to me at this networking event and I just said my sales trailer. You would likely say something like, what does that mean? And now we're in third gear. What should I do here? Well, I should give you a little bit more, because you asked. For my third gear, I say this. What that means is, we look at the sales process companies use, the tools they use to support the sales team. And the knowledge, skill and discipline of the team itself. What always happens then is that you shift us into our fourth and final gear. And this is where I will determine whether you are one of my five prospects or not. The way people most often shift into fourth gear is that they ask so how do you do that? Or tell me more. But here I don't respond with information, I respond with a question. The reason I do this, is that I need to determine whether this person I'm talking to is actually a prospect or just a nice person who's not a prospect. And I'm going to use a question to figure that out. I simply say, how do you think about those things now? Or if I want to be a little bit more helpful, I might say so how do you think about sales people, sales process and tools now? And guess what? I'm going to find out right now whether you're a prospect or not. If you say well Craig, I don't really think about those things at all. See I'm a farmer, nothing wrong with farmers, but it's now clear that I'm not talking to a prospect. But if you say to me something like, well that's interesting Craig, I've got a sales team of about 50 people. I'd be curious to know how you measured discipline. Now that is an answer I want to hear, I've probably just found one of my five prospects. We've now shifted all the way to fourth gear and in less than one minute I've figured whether you're a prospect or not. That's the art of the sales conversation. But wait, we left something out. Remember I said, every sales conversation has four forward gears and a reverse gear, so let's look at the reverse gear. This is the toughest one, because this one is going to make you a little uncomfortable. The reason most salespeople only have about four conversations when they should be having many, many more is that they get stuck. And the reason we get stuck is because we get comfortable. As we make small talk we get to know each other, even a little bit and that warms us up. And it becomes very hard to get away, even when it's become clear that we are not a fit. So you have to build a reverse gear and I suggest that you use your small talk to build your exit. Here's what my reverse gear looks like. If we were at a networking event together during our small talk, I would say this to you, I've been looking forward to this event tonight. There's a whole bunch of people I'm here see, I'm sure you're the same way. So, where are you from? And I would continue with our small talk until you ask me what I do. You see what I just did, I built an exit door. I'm here to see a bunch of people. And I built that door right next to us, such that I can walk through it any time I need to. The art of the sales conversation has four forward gears, and a reverse gear. This powerful sales tool will help us be ready to have our best sales conversation at a moment's notice. And it's another set of skills and disciplines that will separate you from the pack.