Salespeople spend an average of four to five hours per week on the phone. Out of a 40 or 45-hour workweek. In my work with clients, we increase first to eight hours, then 12, then 16. Guess what sales do when phone time doubles, or triples, or quadruples?
But sometimes salespeople say to me, “But my customers don’t want me to call.”
Me: “Really? Do they tell you this?”
Salesperson (80% of the time): “No, but I can tell. They sound rushed.”
Me: “They’re allowed to be rushed. They’re busy. It’s our job to provide value — our help — as quickly as possible. Say to them, Tom, I was just thinking about you [it’s impossible to be mad at somebody when they tell you they’re thinking about you] and I wanted to pick up the phone. We have a customer similar to you, and they’ve been buying a lot of product x from us. I know your customers have a need for this too. Do you want me to add some to your next order? The price will be right, as always. That’s 30 seconds, and extremely high value.
At this point there is silence.
Me again: “You can also do a basic followup: “Tom, I was just thinking about you, where are you at on that quote you requested last week?”
The salesperson nods.
Salesperson: “Sure, I can do that.”
Me: “The discomfort with picking up the phone is ours, not the customer’s.”
What about the other 20% of the answers? They go like this:
Salesperson: “Yes, my customers tell me not to call them.”
Me: “Interesting. How many have asked you not to call?”
Salesperson: “Four or five have asked.”
Me: “Over what period of time?”
Salesperson: “Three or four years, I guess.”
Me: “So about one a year. How many customers or prospects are in your territory?”
Salesperson: Long pause. “Around 500.”
Me: “So 495 have not asked you to stop calling? Call THEM!”
Call. Communicate. Help customers and prospects. The discomfort with the telephone is ours. The customers are almost always happy to hear from us, even if they sound rushed. Want to stand out from the crowd? Use one of the original technologies, the telephone!
Listen to my 30 minute podcast interview on happiness and sales growth here.
Want to implement systematic, fast revenue growth at your organization? Call me at 847-459-6322 or reply to this email.
I'm a market strategist, consultant, coach and speaker for product and services companies that are looking for dramatic growth and increased revenues.
My clients include Fortune 500 firms like Amazon and Sprint - as well as publicly traded companies like Logitech, TiVo, Virgin Mobile and Yelp.