Many struggling sellers believe master sellers are saying magical things that are getting customers to buy from them.Â The reality is most master sellers:
1. Have a crystal clear idea why they are calling their customers
2. Use a simple approach
3. Ask for the order more often!
When I started selling, a great salesman, Jack Greene, taught me a simple opening that at the time seemed too simple, but has proven to be a sure winner:
“Good morning Mr.Customer, the purpose of my call is…” then present, promote and sell our idea.
Working with struggling sales people, I find one of the biggest mistakes they make is not knowing why they are calling on the customer. Does this seem unbelievable? Many salespeople call customers with only a vague idea what the call is going to be about, much less what they will sell the customer.
When we enter conversations with customers with no direction, they sense it. What will happen when a customer senses that we have no purpose/direction? Several things can and will happen; none of them good for us as salespeople.
The customer will become irritated and show us to the door (end the call). The customer will take control of the call. This in turn wastes our time and/or drains the profitability out of our proposal. When we turn control of our sales call over to the customer, we automatically turn ourselves into quotron units. We are no longer selling our customer, but servicing their inquiry. Servicing inquiry is not partnership selling.
Many salespeople think they are calling to ˜Touch Base’. This is a waste of the customer’s time. Customers will become annoyed when this happens and will begin to treat the seller badly. Why wouldn’t they? The seller is wasting their time. Many sellers blame this bad treatment on the customer, when it is really their own fault.
The customers who don’t get irritated are still confused.Â Many will begin to treat the seller as if they are a service agent. Customers will ask the unfocused seller for all kinds of options and information but will not buy. Again, sellers will get upset with these customers for wasting their time, when they (these sellers) have not sent the I-am-here-to-get-the-business message. These sellers mistakenly think that if they send this message the customer will shy away. Most sellers underestimate how hard they can push for an order without upsetting the customer. Conversely, many sellers would sell much more if they quit sending the I’m-here-to-talk-about-the-market message.
Sellers who send the right message work in their own favor. How? The seller who sends the message “I am here to get the business” and does it on every call, conditions the customer. When a customer goes to a meeting or picks up the phone with these sellers, they know, before they go to the meeting or pick up the phone, they will be asked for the order. When customers already know this going into the meeting, our job is half done.
Sellers who send the ˜I’m here to talk about the market’ or ˜I’m calling to touch base’ messages have twice as much work to do on every call. They have to convince the buyer they are a salesperson and then they have to sell the buyer!
Timid sellers are afraid the customer will get mad at them if they ask for (and fight for) the order. If a customer gets upset with us for trying to get their business, we should ask ourselves why we are spending time with these customers.
Do we have to service our customers? Yes, of course. Should we service them for free, forever, never! There will always be give and take in a competitive sales environment. I am not suggesting we tell customers who don’t buy from us every time to go take a jump. I am suggesting that we not work against ourselves by sending the wrong messages.
Our attitude with customers should be one of purpose, partnership and mutual respect, not servitude. When we call with a purpose we send partnership messages, and develop partnerships. If we send servile or vague messages to our customers they will treat us like servants.
What is the purpose of our call?