In many ways, doing business these days has become harder. Technology, while a blessing for many in that it keeps us connected, also serves to keep us insulated. We can solicit bids and information via email, texting and company websites. We can also respond in the same manner, doing all this without having any personal (face to face or phone) contact. But, there’s something missing.
That something is the personal touch. Where a major expense is involved, we often buy something where the salesperson was an important factor in the decision.
Most times these days (I’d venture it between 75-80% of the time), I get unsolicited emails often starting out “Dear Dave” (as if we’ve been friends for many years) telling me how unique the sender’s company and proposition are. The other prevalent method of sales call is the “dialing for dollars” approach in which a relative new salesperson calls and invariably tells me about their new and exciting platform and then asks the telling question: “So what are you guys working on these days?”
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. I know there’s tremendous pressure on salespeople to make quotas. However, we are much more responsive when a salesperson has done his/her homework and developed a presentation that piques someone’s interest and addresses those issues that help us solve a problem.
So just a few ‘to do’s’ for salespeople:
- Do your homework. Go to a company’s web site and look what they do.
- An example: When calling an agency media director, research the client/account that you feel will be the best fit for your media offering.
- Don’t expect that everyone you call will know you or your company. Explain who you are without using a lot of jargon.
- Be persistent but not TOO persistent. Follow the prompts you are given. (e.g., call me in a few months, next quarter etc…)
- How about a personal note? Not an email) but a real, hand written note. THAT I can assure you would break through the clutter.
While doing business online may have increased the speed at which things get done, doing business with a live person is a lot more rewarding. Marketing is a relationship business. Relationships are crucial to winning and keeping business. Personalities still play a major role.