a salesperson. You dial Bill the client, he picks up, and you identify yourself.
flashes through Bill’s mind?
he mentally sigh and think, “What’s this guy going to sell me today?”
Surprise, Bill! Nothing. That’s right, I’m going to sell you
Salespeople are always thinking of ways to retain
clients and to generate more revenue, but they don’t always think of the client
first. Instead, they place their
call and jump right into the pitch, never bothering to ask what the client’s been up to. Instead, it’s all
about I-Me-Mine, and don’t think for a moment that Bill doesn’t see this. It’s as clear as day, and depending on his mood it can be a big turnoff.
I know what you’re thinking. We’re salespeople, we’re supposed to be
dialing and pitching and closing.
True. But how about
dedicating twenty to thirty minutes a day to what is known as the non-business
business call, the “friendly” call?
During that dedicated time you can reach out to your best clients, the ones who help you pay the mortgage.
Is this time well spent? Well, number one, it’s not a lot of time, and it’s not
really a lot of calls. Ten calls a
day. That’s fifty calls a week. Two hundred calls a month. Twenty-four hundred calls a year. Aren’t your clients worth this extra
attention? And if you’re targeting prospects, don’t you know think
you’ll be able to convert some of them. Absolutely.
It’s very easy to panic in this economy, to take a step back and be creative. You’re thinking, “I’m not hitting my numbers, I got to
work harder. I have to ask for the
Good salespeople are asking all the time—they’re
asking for the sale. Great,
but let’s not forget about the bigger picture: the client.
How’s he doing? How’s his business?
Remember, he’s being pitched everyday by other salespeople just like
you. But you’re different than other salespeople because you’re going to make
an extra effort to learn more about your client and his business. You’re going to take a chance that these non-business business calls pay off.
If it’s not a sales call, you might ask, then what exactly is the focus of the call? Just to say “hi’? Of course not. There must be purpose to the call, an
angle. It might be a question
about his product, or a seminar he spoke at. Whatever it may be, you have to find the connection. Do not force anything, though. You have to be comfortable in making
this non-business business call.
“Hi, Bill, it’s John Doe from XYZ. I see you spoke at the ABC
seminar. I’m just curious how it
went because my company might be interested in participating next year.”
Is your company interested in speaking next
year? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe they should be. In any event, you get Bill
talking. Ask him how often he
speaks, if he sees an ROI in these engagements. Remember, this should be a fairly short call, you don’t want to waste his time or yours.
“I don’t want to keep you, Bill. I was just interested in how it went.”
Close the call by asking Bill if there is anything
you can do for him, if he has any questions. This is just a gentle reminder of your product and how you
can offer your services.
Most people are grateful and appreciative when you’re
asking them for their expertise.
And sometimes a non-business business call is just as effective as the
typical sales call. But you’ll
never know unless you try.