Sales organizations all over the country are in full swing. Kick-off meetings have been held, quotas have been delivered and some may have even attended a training session or two to refresh themselves on their selling skills and gain a little product knowledge to build out their sales prowess. Today, we have more challenges than ever before with rising inflation and fewer discretionary dollars for buying. At the end of the day, we in sales are expected to figure out a way to be productive no matter what. Sales do not stop. It can’t! As I have said many times before, it is the engine of every organization.
With the Increased challenges we face and the new environments we sometimes find ourselves selling into, we have to be at our very best, all the time. Every interaction we have with a prospect and customer is vital. When making sales calls, we do get in certain cases, to decide how we will contact our prospects. Before doing so, there is one question we should ask ourselves before picking up that phone, sending that e-mail, or leaving that voice mail. Would you call you back?
When contacting customers or prospects there has to be a stated purpose, not only for you but also for those on the other side. Sales is not a one-way street, it’s a two-lane highway we need to enter as soon as possible in the sales process. There has to be something that you offer, that they don’t have or are willing to change. Something that they potentially need that will have some economic benefit to their business after you provide it. The art is communicating that value in your message to make it resonate and dwell in the mind of the prospect or customer so that they contact you back. In the training sessions that I conduct, I quite often hear the Sales professionals asking for the magic phrase to get prospects to call them back. Sadly, there is none, each and every purpose statement is unique, delivered with the personality and tone of the individual salesperson.
The sales channels we operate in are crowded. On a given day our prospects are inundated with countless other salespeople trying to contact them to sell everything under the sun. People in business are doing more with less, with fewer hours dedicated per day to the task we want them to focus on the most, buying. A prospect will never tell you this, but I believe they appreciate a salesperson who is sharp, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. They want someone who can tell them who they are, what they do, why it should matter to them, and finally what the product or service will deliver to their business. What a great learning it would be if we could obtain from our prospects the deleted salespeople voicemail files. I am sure we would find that they would be strewn with incomplete and ineffective voicemails about John or Kate from XYZ Company that never address key purpose items.
The question is, why go through the effort of making a call to prospects to just leave your name and phone number without delivering a clear purpose and benefit for the interaction? For sure, sales can be a numbers game, but maybe those numbers would go up if we were more effective in our communication at the start. Quality beats quantity every time, and we must strive to make a difference in every call we make. In failing to do so we revert to mediocrity, and mediocre salespeople do not last long term, as sales are all about success.
So, the next time you pick up that phone, think about what you want the receiver to know before you dial. When you start to write that e-mail, imagine yourself on the receiving end reading the information you included. And when you write that letter, envision yourself as the reader and ask, is it world-class communication, is the content compelling, attention-grabbing, and amazing? Most importantly, ask yourself…. would you call you back?
Roger McNamara Bio:
Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple industries and across the globe that include: Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR's, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales, B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchants pay to accept Credit, and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces, in general, to be able to better position their products and gain share, particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org