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09 June 2019

Sales Call Pushback – Turn it On Its Head

Many sellers approach sales calls for business development with some anxiety.

I can completely understand that feeling.

In spite of good, better, and even amazing efforts, if you’ve been in sales doing business development for a while, you’ve been on the receiving end of grumpy prospects, hang-ups, yelling, or otherwise unpleasant calls.

I can completely understand the perspective of a buyer or a decision maker too.

Many of our predecessors have given them a reason to be grumpy, hang up on us, yell, or otherwise be unpleasant.

But don’t fear, sellers, and don’t buy into the notion that we are an inconvenience or a nuisance (well, most of us, anyway – the ones that live by the Modern Sellers Creed)

Hold your heads high and dial and email with confidence when you believe you have value to offer.

We bring value to their decisions. Insights and education. Why shouldn’t they want to talk to us? Right?

This blog is inspired by a LinkedIn post I saw recently by Mark A. Smith, Sr. Advisor at Frontpoint Security.

As a sales professional, he eloquently stated why buyers and those in authority or decision-making positions are doing a disservice to their organizations if they DON’T take our calls …

“If you’re in a position of authority and don’t accept cold sales calls, you’re hurting yourself and your organization.

Be honest. You don’t have the first clue about every new product which could improve your business. You’re not proactively searching for new innovations on a constant basis.

Even if you are, you can’t possibly get lucky enough to find all of them.

The fact is, by refusing to take sales calls you’re likely shutting down the single best source of new information. And, it is a virtual certainty that you are missing out on amazing new solutions.

What are you afraid of, anyway? Certainly, you’re smart and powerful enough to not be pressured into something unless it brings you tremendous value.

Humor me for one month:

    • Take as many calls as needed to set up just one 30-min demo per week of a product which shows real potential.
    • Fully invest in those conversations. Ask tough questions. Learn why you were chosen as a prospect, how your competitors are using their product, and so much more.
    • Be candid and open. Tell them your biggest problem and challenge them to fix it.

Your worst-case scenario is spending 4 hours a month learning about new technologies. Your best-case scenario is finding a game-changing solution that makes you a hero. You’ll thank me later.”

Boom. That’s a mic drop moment for me.

Or, maybe a mic “pick-up” moment – one where we share this type of mindset with our buyers.

We can challenge our prospects and buyers’ thinking when their knee jerk reaction is to push back and shut down our request for a conversation and ask them,

“I understand how you feel, but can I ask, how do you find out about new products/offerings/innovations?”

“How are you learning about new offerings on the market or if your suite of solutions is the most cost-effective?”

“Sure, you have solutions, but how are you able to compare your existing price points/vendor/contracts to other options?”

There is an opportunity to push back to their pushback and ask to share information and insights so they can perform their duties better.

I mean, it’s NOT an altruistic endeavor but don’t forget that we can provide tremendous value and service to our clients IN their buying and decision-making process – a worthwhile reason to meet us, know us, love us (too much? Nah.)

Push back to pushback and earn more conversations.

Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!

-sks

 

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