7 Ways to Be a Pest: Bad Sales Advice From Inc.

What do you do when the sales process has stalled? We’ve all had situations where a prospect gives us buying signals and then goes silent.

Photo by Garry Knight

Photo by Garry Knight
Creative Commons

On Inc.com, Geoffrey James offers 7 Ways to Nudge a Potential Customer. They include:

1. The Simple Reminder

“I am following up on the quote I sent you. Do you need any additional support in the decision-making process?”

and this:

3. The Personal Plea

“I’ve got my manager breathing down my neck for a forecast. I was hoping you might have some good news about the ABC project, or could give me some idea where it is right now? Can you help me out with a quick update? I’d really appreciate it.”

Of the 7 suggestions James makes, five of them are strictly about the seller’s needs. One (“The Note of Concern”) pretends to be about the customer but is so transparently fake that it’s clear that the real concern is for the salesperson’s commission.

What’s missing? Anything that the potential customer might find interesting. Anthony Iannarino put it best in his Open Letter to Those Who Make Check-In Calls:

Your message said that you called to “see if anything has changed.” Lots of things have changed. I am busier than I have ever been. I have more responsibility than ever. I am under greater pressure to produce financial results, and I am now responsible for my division’s profit and loss statement. All this, and I am being asked to do more with fewer resources than I had when I was being asked to do less. That’s what changed.

But wasn’t hasn’t changed is that I still don’t have time for salespeople that aren’t going to create value for my company and me. I still don’t have time for time-wasters that don’t have real ideas about how they can help me produce better results. I still don’t need vendors that sell whatever it is you sell.

Before picking up the phone or writing an email to “check in”, ask yourself how you can provide value with the call. Is there new information you can provide? An answer to a question the prospect asked before? Something new for the customer to think about?

Are you calling as a valued partner, or a pest?



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