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What Most Businesses Get Wrong When It Comes To Selling

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

Pop around your nearest call insurance call center for a visit and take a walk around the sales floors and see what patterns you recognize. Or if you couldn't be bothered to do that, have a look at your own sales teams and there's always one recurring pattern - (follow the script until you make a sale). Being part of a few organisations over the years I have seen myself how this cut, copy and paste approach dominates most call centers and sales functions.

There is 1 big problem with this. People who are on the receiving end of these calls universally hate it. Cold calling someone who has no interest in what you have to offer is both wasteful in money and energy. Most people will only bare to put up with a sales call because they have a need for your product or a product like yours so accept their fate that they have to sit through a little bit of a drivel from the sales script they are about to endure.

Does it not make sense then to only choose to deal with people who are interested in your product or service instead of spam calling to hell the majority of people in a day who will not do business with you? The trick is that not everyone who clicks on call me back or leaves a message to call them back WANTS to buy. There could be a million reasons why they will appear interested and still not buy from you even if you have the best product out there. So what should you do?


One of the biggest reasons why cold calling doesn't work even when people are interested in your product is because sales agents always call at inconvenient times. Here's a tip, there is no convenient time for a sales call. The best you can do on that first call is to not sell at all! What you should be doing is getting the customer to tell you when they are available. Think of it like step 0,5 before the ''sales call''. So when you call someone, your only job is to get them to tell you when would they be available so you can discuss some of the information that might help them. That's it. It should have nothing to do with you and your sales at this point.

Why this works well is that people don't like being caught off guard. Just think of a time when you got a cold call in the middle of something really important and remember how annoyed you initially got at the person for calling you at that time. It's an almost irrational anger but it's still there and has a lingering negative impact on your experience of that company. So it's good to understand how to avoid that so that you people to lower their guards when you are in ''sales'' mode (which should happen on the 2nd call). The worse mistake sales agents can make is trying to convince someone to buy from them after that someone has said no already.

Any more pushing is an instant turn off. People should naturally be drawn to want to buy from you because of the branding and reputation your business already has out there. The sales team should ultimately be the last hurdle, the easiest part of the sales process in a perfect world. Their function should be to guide the customer home to you. But most businesses don't build enough credibility and loyalty in the first place and then push their sales teams hard to make sales- this approach is not only exhausting, but also not sustainable for long term growth and staff happiness. Short term tactics don't produce long term benefits, so build a little more trust with potential customers and get them to be available first. This has two great benefits as it makes you look more helpful to customers and it also drops their guard when you are doing your sales thing.

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