Astute Planning, Flawless Execution,
Delighted Customers

Issue #124

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Score Conference


Please join Customer Centricity's President Craig Bailey at the 6th Annual SCORE Conference, taking place May 13-15, 2008, at the World Trade Center in Boston. To learn more and register online, visit the SCORE website. Craig will be moderating sessions taking place on May 15, including the much anticipated panel discussion entitled Driving Operational Change to Get the Most Out of Customer Feedback.

Online Networking
In light of our recent discussions on Online Networking, we thought you might be interested in the Computerworld article Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Which is better for business? This article examines LinkedIn and Facebook within the context of six specific business scenarios, in an effort to help readers decide which tool might be best for them.

Do You Treat Your Prospects As If They Are Stupid?
by Craig Bailey

Anyone involved in Sales knows that placing cold calls is a necessary activity (wanted to say evil, but I won't). There are numerous sales methodologies and scripts that can be used to maximize results. I have personally read about and attended training seminars for many and was recently on the "prospect end" of one of the more aggressive approaches out there.

I don't usually answer my phone if the Caller ID displays "Unknown" because, in my experience, almost all such calls are a nuisance --  someone is trying to sell me something I don't want. On this particular day, I decided to take the call anyway. I was greeted by a pleasant sounding man who began posing a number of leading questions, for which "yes" was the only reasonable answer. I knew where this was going - I was being led down the path to invest in his lead generation service. Being busy (why did I answer this call?), I asked the bottom-line question: "What will this cost? Because, if it is within my budget I might consider it." Having investigated these services previously, I knew that the cost would be way outside of my marketing budget. And, my current marketing programs are doing exceedingly well, I might add.

So, the (previously courteous) caller says: "Well, didn't you just tell me that getting appointments with CIOs in the Financial Services industry would be beneficial to your business?" My response was: "Perhaps, but I'm actually focusing on the health care industry." At this, the caller responded (in a judgmental tone) with: "Now wait a minute, didn't you just tell me that..." and he began to recite all the questions he had asked for which I had previously answered "yes." At this point, I simply had to respond with something a little less polite than: "Thank you for the call, I am not interested, have a great day" and hung up.

If you are a sales person or telemarketer, do NOT make the mistake of patronizing and alienating your prospect! Asking a bunch of questions for which the only logical answer is "yes" and then using that as a basis for closing a deal, with the alternative being that the prospect is made to feel stupid, is totally unprofessional.

If you want to make a sale, treat your potential customer with respect. First, build rapport (learn about the prospect's business, successes, challenges and needs) knowing that you may not make the sale on the first call. As such, develop a relationship (you may not need these services today but could I check-in with you in 3-6 months?). If you have built sufficient rapport and are courteous, most people would gladly answer yes to that question.

You might also do well to let your sales manager know that there are other metrics for you to be managed against in addition to closed deals (although this is the ultimate goal). Suggest that tracking lead development is also an important metric which projects what the pipeline will look like a little further into the future.

In closing, if I don't pick up the phone when you call it is either because I am busy, or the phone you are calling from is blocking your phone number. Either way, leave a message and I'll call you back (if you aren't trying to sell me something that I don't want).

 

Contents

+ Score Conference

+ Online Networking

+ Do You Treat Your Prospects As If They Are Stupid?
 


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