18 Sep Why Have Salespeople Not Evolved?
18 Sep Why Have Salespeople Not Evolved?
My phone rings, it’s a mobile number I don’t know, so of course being in business I have to answer it. The lady on the other end says rather gruffly:
Gruff lady: “Hi it’s Jane from blah blah Pest Control company, do you still live at 123 Sesame Street?”
Me: “No I don’t.”
Gruff lady: “Oh ok so do you need any pest control services at your new place.”
Gruff lady: Silence
Oh, wait she hung up.
It amazes me businesses still use telemarketing. Does it actually work? It doesn’t on me. And you know why, because like most consumers out there I want to get to know a company/person a bit before I buy from them. I want to build a relationship with them, I need to have synergy with them or it’s just not going to work. So, when I get a phone call like that it not only puts me off using that company, but it makes we wonder why are so many sales people not evolving.
As a small business owner, like most I think, I don’t like selling. I’ve even been told (by an older man) that I’m not good at selling. To his amazement I took that as a compliment. Why? Because I don’t want to “sell” to my clients, I want to build a relationship with them. I want to find out what their needs are, what their sore points are and to be able to help them with these.
Now this isn’t a blog about selling, as I do it my own way which seems to be working for me, and I’m not about to dish out sales advice, I will leave that to the experts. But I am getting more and more frustrated at pushy sales people who have obviously read the 1990’s handbook on selling. I am frustrated that all they see is the $$$ as the finish line and not the bigger picture.
A few months ago I needed to book regional advertising for a client. (not print) I rang the station to speak with someone and they told me that the salesperson that was assigned to the client was away and wouldn’t be back for ten days, so he would call me then. I said to the person I was speaking with that the client had never done advertising through this station before so they couldn’t have a salesperson already assigned and I wanted to find out our options and isn’t there someone else I could speak to. The answer was no. Black mark number 1.
Ten days later the salesperson called me, we went through what the client needed, he sent advertising options and I said I was meeting with the client the following week to discuss and would get back to him. I met with the client and literally the next day he started calling relentlessly. I emailed him 3 days later to say what package the client wanted to go ahead with, he sent the paperwork etc. Again around 3 days later he started emailing and calling relentlessly, saying he needed it back as they had cut offs and needed to plan the station rotation. He even said to me he would stop in at the clients and get them to sign it! I don’t think so buddy. Hmm so it’s all about him and his needs and not understanding the client right??
When I first spoke to him I told him that Mondays and Thursdays I am with my daughter so I have very little touch time. Fast forward to when he was constantly calling me about the contracts he conveniently forgot this. I explained that the client is extraordinary flat out and I meet with them once a month to get things signed off etc. After the next client meeting I had everything signed off and scanned it back to him. He then emailed me saying they needed another document filled in and signed regarding payment. I said I would get it from the client. The next day happened to be a Thursday and my out of office was on and he still emailed me and called me twice! Next email I get was something I was cc’d into and it was replying to my client. He had contacted them directly. Now this is a big no no in my book and again it left me feeling like he was pushing for his own purposes to get the sale.
Next came the fun part, production. I will spare you the details on this! And again enter the salesperson constantly chasing me up. I don’t know how many times I said, it isn’t what we want, you haven’t understood the brief, we are getting this done ourselves. It got to the point where I actually emailed him and told him to back the f$%^ (I didn’t use that word) off as emailing and calling me incessantly is irritating and I’m about the pull the work.
I thought, surely this can’t be just me experiencing this. And no, I wasn’t alone. The more I mentioned this to people the more stories of pretty much the same thing I got. To me traditional sales tactics don’t work or they are losing their efficiency, they simply don’t match buyer expectations. Sales people – you need to catch up with the consumer with a sales process that caters to peoples individual needs and wants.