Note: This is a full-on rant about sales that I just published over at my other blog, www.YouSuckAtSales.com — but I felt there were enough ideas on how to remedy their “sales fails” that it qualified to be shared on the Idea Guy site.
I just received a cold-call from a mobile marketing company trying to pitch me on using their services. This is a large company and they’ve been in contact with me approximately every-other year to try and hook me into using their overly-expensive (albeit extensive array) of mobile marketing tools.
The problem is they keep starting from from square one.
When I originally met them I went through their entire sales process; from being qualified as a lead, to sitting through a Webex demo, to an in-person meeting, to being pitched a contract. The result was no-sale.
And then NOTHING.
Fast-forward 24 months and I get the identical qualifying call and get pitched on sitting through the same demo. No thanks.
And now (another 24-months later), it’s deja vu all over again.
Same cold-call from a very nice, sweet dispositioned (but oh-so unsuspecting) member of their sales team (probably an intern who wasn’t getting paid NEARLY enough to deal with a sales-critical attitude like mine!) to qualify me enough to put me into their sales funnel and connect me with their “specialist” — who I already know by now will try to close me on a Webex demo.
In my frustration with their process (and my admittedly rant-leaning tendencies) the cold-caller got an earful of opinion and advice on how they could improve their process. Given the fact SHE isn’t the one who needs to hear that message, I post this article not only as an apology for being a tad “passionate” in my response to the innocent and vocationally mislead cold-caller (shame on their company for making sales newbies think this is an acceptable sales process) but to also serve as a sales lesson on how to fix their broken sales model and earn more customers.
1. It’s not a NO… It’s a “Not Now”
Anyone who says they’ll NEVER use mobile marketing won’t be around in a few years, so you don’t need to even put them in your CRM system. Mobile ain’t going anywhere and it will simply continue to become a more important part of your marketing strategy. Treat any No you get as a Not Now and move them into a different phase of the sales process, don’t just dump them into a file marked “call again in two years.”
2. It’s your fault
Given that mobile is so pervasive and vital a medium, only an idiot would say No to the incredible marketing tools your company is making available — and not everyone who says No to you can possibly be an idiot — so it’s YOUR fault they said Not Now in the first place. You didn’t do a good enough job of presenting your offering in a way that would matter to me.
Your canned sales formula of “Qualify, Pitch, Demo, Contract” doesn’t work on everyone because everyone has a different reason for buying. They value the individual benefits of your features differently. They measure ROI differently. But your pitch is the same to everyone. I guarantee you don’t know the real reason they turned down your offer. (Why not start there?)
3. Don’t ASK before you GIVE
The first words out of their cold-caller’s mouth were to identify the company she was with. The second words out of her mouth asked me questions that were none of their business. (What kind of mobile campaigns are you running now? How are you using mobile in promotions? What kind of mobile sales are you making? etc.)
NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
Why in the world would I tell a stranger about my marketing strategies and ideas? You want me to tell you about the money I’m making (or not making!) using mobile.
NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
Why don’t you just ask me for a copy of my tax return or ask me for my social security number? I’d be just as likely to give you that information as share private information about my sales numbers and concepts.
It would have been so EASY for you to have gotten that information out of me a mere two or three minutes later by simply SHARING information of value with me first:
“Hey, I don’t know if you’re selling any mobile marketing to your clients or not, but I just wanted to share something one of our clients is doing in another market that earned them an additional $20,000 in new revenue over and above what their client was already spending with them…”
TELL ME MORE!
Another $20k in additional revenue?
Oh, you better believe I want to hear about one idea that will net me twenty grand in new business. You could have closed me on the Webex by giving me the core details of the deal, and if you drive the hook in deep enough I’ll sign-up to attend the Webex to hear exactly how you did it and to see the campaign details, video testimonial from the client, etc.
But you didn’t.
You asked me for intimate business details before you have even BEGUN to build rapport or even provide a good reason (or even a BAD reason!) for why you would need that information (or what you’re going to DO with it.)
What you SHOULD be doing…
1. Don’t Qualify — Connect
Don’t qualify, categorize, or filter me. That’s insulting. You don’t want to waste your time, so you have a person whose job is to blatantly see if I have interest and then move me up your sales funnel? Hey Sales Guy, do your own homework! What happened to the whole “never get a second chance to make a first impression” deal? What if I like your qualifying cold-caller better than I like you? If I’m NOT the right guy, but you have real insight to share on how to improve business at my company, you can bet I’ll match you up with the right person on my side of the fence.
2. Don’t Reboot — Build
If I go through your process and we don’t strike a deal today, don’t put my name in a cold case file to be revisited every two years. Put me in a “YOU weren’t compelling enough” file and start sending me weekly messages that are of such high value to me that I will have no choice but to phone you up and ask buying questions. An easy way to gauge the value of your content is by sending it to me on a specific day every week for two months and — then skip a week. If I send you an email asking “where’s my weekly tip/idea/success story?” You’re doing it right.
3. Don’t Pitch — Position
Instead of pitching a list of leads so cold you must have found them in the freezer section, why not position yourself as being the one company to seek out if I want to make money and deliver results using mobile media. Promote the availability of a white paper or (even better) a book that positions you as THE expert in your field. It has never been easier to publish a book (physical or electronic) — and if you’re trying to reach digitally-savvy people, I guarantee you they have Kindles or Nooks or iPads or smart phones capable of downloading your ebook.
Why not give me the gift of a book that will make me a better marketer by educating me to the biggest opportunities in using this media rather than trying to make me fall for your latest sure-fire “Close?” I’m excited to receive one and desperate to avoid the other.
I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which.