Put Yourself in Both Sets of Shoes
Those words hopefully would never come out of our mouth as a service or product provider but does our overall sales approach show that this is what we want though? I have received a fair bit of flack in my time already over my disdain for old-school tactics in a new generation of decision makers. A friend of mine Jill McFarland expressed herself recently in her post: Death of the Sales Call. It’s a great read so please check it out. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with her thoughts and could definitely put myself in her shoes from both perspectives.
I had a bond salesperson that made a friendly visit once to my home one time which then turned into a phone call with the ever so endearing expression: Would you like to invest $1000.00 today with a blah blah blah yield? At the time I was still recovering from a change in my career which I had clearly stated to him but of course, he wanted his contract now! Then the post-dinner visits started at my home and I became so frustrated I posted this sign on my door.
Connect With People Not Their Pens
This may seem antisocial for a social person but like Jill, I was done! In my opinion, old-school sales tactics where it’s all about the quota only are no different than notches in a headboard. There. I said it. Let the fury begin. The trends in how people do business are so different now than they were even a few years ago. Businesses are still shell-shocked from the economy. People don’t trust. C-Level wants everything thoroughly investigated and projected before making a move. Budgets are tightly analyzed for every penny. Companies are tired of the glamorous and dazzling sales pitch and just want the reality. What does this mean for those in the sales industry? It means you need patience. A huge amount of it. You need to stop looking at people you meet only as potential clients but treat them as humans. A conversation should not be encircled by sales tactics. You need to be real and especially when you are dealing with a multi-layered company you cannot ignore anyone. To me, that is a classic mistake for salespeople as well. They get so fixated on the decision makers that they forget all the other people who may be using their product or service.
So what can you do? I am not saying drop everything you are doing and throw a square dance party. You need to be consistent in whatever your approach is but not at the expense of the current needs of the person. Social media is a tool that can be very useful in getting to know people and their companies really well. It does take time and patience. However, the end result is typically never a forced transaction or contract. It’s a happy decision where the individuals involved did not feel like a pen was being forced into their hand. We live in a business world of opportunity. Opportunities are everywhere. It is up to us to see them and engage them. As much as companies spend countless dollars to receive organic traffic to their website, what are you doing to draw people organically to your sales team? There are numerous tools out there to help generate your outreach program. As a company, it is so important to discern which ones will work for you to create a long lasting community and not just transactions.
I know I am going to get destroyed by those who are advocates of their traditional methods so I will say this to you now. Do what you want. If you think it works for you then go for it. All that I know is I personally do not want to work with people when their sole mission is to get the contract. I am not a transaction. If I don’t like it then I won’t be someone who does it to others. Sleep well.
Whatever your thoughts are for or against, please feel free to comment below. Thanks for taking the time to listen to my rant and thanks for being here on my site today.