I’d like to tell you a short story – one that will seem very familiar to anyone that makes outbound sales calls as part of their daily activities.
This morning I called a company who I felt would have a very strong need for our services and, as usual, having established who the decision maker was within the business, had a brief conversation with a lady on reception to find out if the relevant individual was available and in a position to discuss how we could help their business.
I could tell from both the way she answered the phone and the way she responded to my questions that she wasn’t really in the mood for talking and, in essence, just wanted to get me off the phone so she could continue with her day. Still, I pressed ahead with my usual air of enthusiasm, ensured I made the benefits of talking to me as clear as possible and asked if I could speak to the relevant decision maker.
“Hang on, I’ll just ask the question”
Now, the second I was put on hold I knew that, regardless of how attractive my offer was, the likelihood of success entirely depended on the quality of her message to that decision maker.
Sure enough, only 5 seconds later, she comes back on the phone with “they’re not interested”
Well, of course they’re not interested – she wasn’t. I’d place a significant amount of money on the fact that, rather than relaying the key points of my message to her colleague, she simply took the most minor parts of information from my introduction and possibly condensed it into something along the lines of “there’s a man on the phone, something to do with sales”
If that was the message you received, would you want to take the call? My guess is not.
Now, I’m not one for blaming others, there’s clearly more I could have done to win her over during that very short conversation but, the fact remains that it’s vital that you win over EVERYONE you speak to, not just the decision maker. I couldn’t really expect her to put as much enthusiasm into passing the message on as I’d given in my initial intro and I could just chalk this down to a bad experience – after all, in reality you aren’t going to win everyone over but it’s vital to keep in mind how important it is that the benefits of your message are effectively communicated.
Yes, it’s a very frustrating part of this job – I knew we could help them and, if I’d only had chance to communicate with the person that actually made the overall decisions in this area, we’d now possibly have a new client on board.
Also, this business will be losing out on countless other opportunities due to the way their receptionist handles incoming calls – yes I was someone looking to sell a service to them but I’d hazard a guess that this approach isn’t one purely reserved for salespeople. The fact that they had a “no name policy” also confirms this in my mind.
Don’t close yourself off to the wider world – we’re not all looking to coerce you into buying things you don’t want. Some of us have genuine solutions to genuine problems!
And if you need help with any aspects of outbound sales and marketing give us a bell on 0330 20 50 500 or fill in the contact form on our website and we’ll call you straight back
Inspired Business Development Ltd