Monday, April 19, 2010

Tele-selling DO’s and DO NOT’s

I landed in my office an hour late due to hectic travel over the weekend. I was little busy checking and responding to my emails and planning my day…. I got a call from a salesperson who breathlessly told me what she did, her products and services, about her organization and why I must buy her product.

That's it.

No rapport-building, no questions about whether I might actually need what she has, no asking for permission. She just assumed I'd be happy to set aside some of my valuable time for her to make a more detailed sales pitch. As if I sit around my office twiddling my thumbs, wishing a salesperson would stop by to break up the monotony.

The technique she used—asking an either/or question rather than a yes/no question—is an old one. The supposed idea is that you don't give the prospect the option of saying no, so you're more likely to secure an appointment.

I can't believe big companies (and some so-called sales experts) are still training salespeople to use garbage like this! The tactic didn't work when it was first conceived and it doesn't work now.

On the contrary, it can work against you. It's a manipulative, annoying, high-pressure approach that makes prospects uncomfortable, angry and skeptical. Not how you want to start out a sales call.

I've done business with this company before, but this salesperson's ham-handed attempt to set an appointment annoyed me so much that I'm actually less likely to buy from them in the future. (At least their competitors don't call me up and try to force their way onto my calendar.)

When you're making cold calls, keep these principles in mind:

  1. Respect your prospect's time.
  2. Ask permission for everything.
  3. Offer something of value. (And no, your brochure, informational DVD, or catalog is not something of value)
  4. Make sure you do not call your prospects during peak business hours.
  5. Do not assume every prospect you call will be waiting to buy your product.
  6. Make the pitch more interactive.
  7. Be clear and pleasant in everything you speak.
  8. DO-NOT-REPEAT your sales script. Understand your product or service…not your sales script.

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