101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas
WHY ARE YOU CALLING?
This book has touched on one of the perennial success factors of selling: preparation. Good records, clear thinking before a sales meeting, an agenda and more all help you to run the kind of meeting that you want, and those customers find useful. One fault I have seen more regularly than any other over the years is linked to this idea. It is somehow perpetuated by being rationalized as “useful”.
For all sales people who do not think through the reason for calling…
If I had even modesty valued coin of the realm for every time the words “courtesy call” has appeared on sales people’s call report forms, under a heading like “Reason for call”, I would be a millionaire. Let me be clear immediately: there should be no such things a courtesy call.
Every call needs specific objectives. It is not useful, least of all to productivity, to call because it is month since you saw someone last, because you can fit a call in easily en route somewhere else, or worst of all, to make up the number of calls needed to hit the target for a particular week. You must be able to spell out tangible reasons for the call, and not least to express them in customer terms – saying what they will get from the call that is useful.
- Of course there are certain calls that are less directly related than others to getting an order. Some refer to these as public relations calls. But if you are seeing someone as part of building a long-term relationship, or to set the scene for some future initiative, you need clear objectives for the specific visit.
- Calling something a courtesy call allows a lack of thought and planning to seem somehow justified: “It’s just a courtesy call”. If there is no real reason for the visit, something you spell out in terms of clear objectives, do not make the call. Set objectives for a meeting with another prospect, and see them instead. Your sales will benefit.