sales is part acting, part investigative reporting. In order to get the best quality leads and the decision
maker on the phone, one has to aspire to be Woodward and Bernstein. Not only do you have to ask a lot of
questions —“Who’s the regional president?
What’s his cell number?”—but you need to be crafty at times. You have to extract information in a
not-so-normal fashion. For
Mary, is Bill in?”
is he in?”
Roberts, of course.”
have the wrong number.”
you transfer me to four one two three?”
is four one two three.”
my gosh, Mary, can you look up his number for me? We’re late for that big meeting in Jacksonville.”
trouble getting the direct line for the VP of Sales? Reception doesn’t want to give it out? No problem. Ask the receptionist to put you through to the president or
CEO. When you get the EA (Shirley)
on the line, ask for the VP of Sales.
Most likely she’ll give you the direct line. Why? Because it
doesn’t affect her.
Sometimes you need to shoot high to reach a lower level decision
maker. Another effective way to
get a direct line is to call another office. If Bill is at the corporate office in New York then call
Cincinnati or Jacksonville. They
won’t be as “tight” or “security sensitive” there; their guard will be let down
a bit more than the folks at corporate.
the final decision maker on the phone is difficult and it gets very
discouraging when you don’t consider other avenues. What’s encouraging, however, is that there are many ways to
be creative and get Bill on the phone.
You just have to be willing—optimistic, always optimistic!—to explore
and try new ideas and strategies.
tone of voice plays an essential part in getting past the gatekeeper and
getting Bill on the horn. You must
be all business, authoritative without being rude, and sound like you’re just
as important as the person you’re calling. And you are.
That’s right. You might be
a sales rep but when you pick up the phone you must believe that you’re Bill’s
equal. And if you don’t buy
that then make believe that you and Bill are on the same level playing field.
That’s acting. Think of it
this way: Life is a movie and you’re
the star of your own movie.
Everyone else is a supporting actor. Ready for your close up?
this doesn’t matter if you can’t have fun at the job and make sales interesting
each and every day. Your
personality has led you to where you are.
Someone, somewhere has probably said to you, “You should be in
sales.” Explore your personality,
dig deep, let the prospect get to know you. Sales is a gigantic playground and you are free to create
whatever environment you wish and go in whatever direction you desire.
Woodward, Bernstein, and Brando and you’ll be loose and ready to close business.