June 27, 2017

The Three-Minute Rule for Success in the Glass Business

By Paul Bieber

Or in any business, But since this is a glass industry blog, let’s stick with what we know. Here’s the scenario: You are in front of a current/potential client with a quote on a new job. How long before you get to the point? Some folks will say, “Tell a joke and relax the client. Ask how the kids are, or did they see that the Mets did win a ball game last night?”

Your three minutes are up. Before you could offer your quote or discuss the job at hand. Your client’s interest in this conversation just fell by 20 percent. In three more minutes his interest is, at best, 60 percent and in one more minute, the odds of you getting this quote to be remembered are at less than half.

We are all busy in our business lives. We have so many people and companies vying for that important piece of real estate—the five feet in front of your desk. When you are on the selling or quoting end, get down to business ASAP. Don’t let the phone call with a job site problem nudge you into second place. By inviting you into a customer’s office you gain the first three-minute window of opportunity. Tell a really good side-splitting joke and you can get another three minutes. Help with a technical question, you get another three minutes. And so on.

But when you get to the point that your customer can use his time in a better way, you are out the door.

If you go in after hours, or have a lunch appointment, this three minute rule doesn’t apply, but don’t squander the time. Have a half-dozen key items ready to discuss during the lunch, and you will get another lunch appointment down the road. And don’t gossip about others in the industry. Any salesman that called on me who gossiped was effectively shut out of my personal time. We still may have done business with his him, but others would gain a leg up.

And my three minutes are up. Enjoy your week.