Inspiration is everywhere you look.
I know what some of you are saying: “Judge Judy and sales? In the same sentence? C’mon, give me a break—I’ve got cold calls to make.”
Hold off on the dials, just for a minute.
Yes, “Judge Judy.” For the novice salesperson, or the salesperson who is looking to get back to basics, there is no better TV program to watch than Judith Sheindlin’s. Like her or not, there’s a lot to emulate.
Yes, it’s a show, and Judge Judy has her act down pat, but she’s focused and results-oriented and does not waste a single second. She’s not interested in listening to sob stories and tall tales; she’s strictly business. “I don’t have all day,” she often says, tapping her watch. “I have things to do.” (And you do, too, dear cold caller, so I’ll move this along.)
So what does any of this have to do with sales? What could a salesperson possibly learn from a short, fiery woman who calls people morons and idiots?
Don’t touch that phone yet. Here’s some lessons you can learn from the show:
In sales you have to be a detective. You have to get to the heart of the matter, the main storyline, by asking the right questions. Judge Judy is asking questions to “qualify” the litigant’s story. And what happens most of the time, as with many prospects, the litigant is too verbose, and doesn’t answer the question. Now, of course, you’re not going to act this way with the prospect. You’re not going to call them an “idiot” or a “moron” because they’re not answering your question. But you can, most certainly and tactfully, repeat your question once they’ve finished speaking. Always shoot for getting a straight answer from the prospect. Don’t waste your time chasing what you think they’re saying.
When the Judge Judy isn’t getting the information she wants, she’ll ask the question again in a slightly different way, leading the litigant down the path she wants and needs to make a decision. This is no different than the salesperson leading the prospect toward the deal.
“This is My Playground”
Judge Judy has complete control of the courtroom, and she never lets the litigants distract her. She sticks to the basics of the two stories (plaintiff and defendant) and keeps it simple. How much control do you have over the deal making process? Are you letting the prospect call the shots? The prospect may think otherwise—and let him think so—but this is your playground. Keep it simple, straightforward and the get the answers to all your questions.
Let your personality shine through when talking to a prospect. Judge Judy has plenty of character. Is it an act? A little bit, sure, but there’s nothing wrong with releasing your inner actor. I’m not talking about lying or being deceitful, I’m talking about getting fired up, having personality, having fun.
Time management, sticking to the basics of the story (the sales process), inserting your personality—you can learn all this from an assertive woman who takes charge and always gets the last word.
“Tell me the truth, ma’am, not what you think I want to hear.”