By Norma Havens & Bob Belknap
Over the past six months, I have personally received, on average, three phone calls a week from well-intended salespeople hunting for a sale. Having been a sales manager, a trainer and a coach, it makes my skin crawl when people apply the trade with such a lack of respect and preparation.
It is a culture thing. And many companies put huge pressure on the staff to make calls and generate leads. It is an intense pressure cooker numbers game.
At one stage of my career I was told that if I made 20 calls a day, I would net five appointments a week and that would result in one sale per week. The example was an indexed numbers game that had no room for assessing customer needs and having a valid business reason for the call.
To use an example from the first paragraph, most of the callers open up with, “Hi my name is XYZ. How are you today? Can you tell me who is the person in charge of purchasing left handed widgets?” There are a number of egregious errors with this.
First and foremost, it is obvious that the caller may be from a call center and has done no research on the company he/she is calling, who the key people may be or even what company they are calling. There is no apparent valid business reason to be calling.
Here is your swift-kick-in-the-butt challenge: Are you playing a “numbers game?” Or are you working on building a relationship based on sound and valid business reason for each and every customer.
In your Running Shoe Monday Meeting: How have you handled cold calling and initial prospect contacting? If your experience is a numbers game of so many calls, netting this many appointments which could lead to so many sales, then you are missing the boat. In your life experience think about calls you have received at home. Does the caller understand anything about you?
Your Innovation Team: Here is a culture and training opportunity to beat all. Build a model where you investigate the prospect. You understand what business they are in and more importantly, grasp an understanding of what they might really want to buy. Convert that into why the prospect should do business with your company. There are so many tools at your disposal to learn these things ranging from websites to LinkedIn profiles and more.
It is guaranteed that the “numbers game” call center has never done an ounce of research on who you are or what you might want in your business. You are simply a number that popped up from the database. And you are more than “just a” number in a data base. Expect a valid business reason for them to call you and for you to take their call.
Norma Havens or Bob Belknap, the SNEAKER SPEAKERS at The University of Street Smarts, are available to speak to your company, trade association or convention on this and other subjects. Call 775-746-5340 or Toll Free at 877-414-9985.