This past weekend, I spent some quality business strategy time with two other strong, successful business women–Amanda Parker of Collective Alternative and Darby Rae, author of Merciful Law (a really good read–you should get a few for Christmas gifts!). I was really excited about getting some feedback and wisdom from both of them about my sales process (or lack thereof) during our Annual Action Retreat (#AAR) , so I started in on that conversation as I was driving the rental car to the beach condo.
I told them about a great contact that I met earlier in the week, almost bragging about the key connection that I had made for the future, so they could help me strategize about the follow up. They quickly pummeled me with questions like
-where did you meet them?
-when did you meet them?
-have you called them?
-have you sent them an e-mail?
-have you connected with them on LinkedIn?…………etc, etc.
I felt like I was getting grilled, and it had only been a few days since my contact was made! Geez, give me a little room to breathe here.
When they finally decided that they were not happy with my responses, they looked at eachother and one said ‘show her the banana’. To which the other swiftly reached into her plastic grocery bag, pulled out a banana and shoved it in my face! All while I was driving I might add!
They then quickly placed it on the dashboard as if it were a beacon or a GPS system. This explanation followed:
Prospects are like bananas. They only stay ripe for a short time and they start to go bad really quickly. You have to eat them before they start to turn brown!
I had never heard this before and certainly had not used this as a montra in my sales process (go figure!). But the more we talked the more it made sense. When someone gives you an indication that they are interested in what you have to offer, timely follow up is critical. I knew that, I guess I just didn’t realize how short the timing was! Good lesson!
I will never look at a banana quite the same again!