We all know that feeling – someone talking to us because it is their “job” rather than because we are an interesting human being to connect with. Ever sign up for some sort of service (or trial offer) and get an obligatory call from some greenhorn sales rep saying that if you have any questions, to call them back – among other corporate mumbo-jumbo? I got one from Hoovers yesterday – a great company, for sure. I’ve used their services at several points in my corporate and consultant career with great success.
The voice mail that was left for me was so blah and uninteresting – this rep was reading a script, word for word. I’m wondering who trains the sales team at Hoover’s and do they monitor performance? After the v-mail I received, not only did I feel bad for whoever is responsible for inside sales numbers at Hoover’s but it prompted me to post this.
With our sales hat on, we are selling HOPE, people – we are CHANGE AGENTS. If you have anyone calling your clients or prospects (or longstanding customers) make sure they are energized and that they seem interested. Don’t give them the feeling that they are just number 24 on a list of 100 calls to make today. That will never work for you. This is a fatal flaw that many companies make.
Outside of the sales team, this happens quite a bit in customer service and support. Often the sales reps are trained but the other customer-facing team is not. Customer service turns out to be the “customer detriment” department.
It’s not just Hoovers – it is the coffee barista who is too busy talking with her co-workers, or the retail person who can’t answer a question, and doesn’t ask other interesting questions to find out what the “looker” is looking for.
Craft what you say – by phone, by email, and in person. Hone it, refine it. Bounce it off of others. What you say in the beginning of a conversation with someone new can shape your future relationship and revenue stream. This is a great area to focus on when you have some down time to think about it. Thoughts?