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The Dangers of Sales Casual... Why Webinar Follow-Ups Need More Focus
Posted on February 4th 2010
In recent months I have noticed a disturbing and dangerous trend in the unsolicited telephone calls I get from sales people. People are behaving too casual. During several calls it appeared that the callers were trying to be, or act casual, perhaps to better connect with me or to be perceived as a non-sales person. Here’s what I noticed.
The callers used a casual tone. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it reduces the overall professionalism of the call. When I asked one caller how he was (in response to the same question he had just asked me) he replied, “Well, ya know, I’m selling (product name), it’s a challenge out there.” The immediate thought that raced through my mind was “Gee, that’s a surprise with an approach like yours.” As you can see, he also used slang during our conversation which is okay if you’re talking to friends or coworkers, but not a new prospect. You have exactly one opportunity to make a powerful first impression and using slang greatly reduces your ability to achieve this.
The callers seemed to ‘wing it’ and were unfocused. In their attempts to sound friendly and casual the sales people seemed to lack focus. It took all my patience not to demand, “What are you selling?” Recognize that business people are extremely busy. Get to the point. Know what you want to accomplish and concentrate on achieving that objective. Which leads us to the next danger of begin to casual in your approach.
They didn’t seem to have a specific objective during their conversation. It appeared that these callers were following up on leads generated by a recent webinar their company had hosted. But they lacked a clear cut objective for their call. Although they asked if I had had a chance to review the presentation, it was evident that they didn’t really have a strategy in place if I said no (‘cause that’s what I said). That approach and question left little or no room for the conversation to continue.
Lastly, their casualness prompted them to make assumptions. One person said, “We have sales reps in the area. I can just have him pop by sometime” to which my reply was, “I operate my business from my home so I don’t think that’s going to work.”
This ‘new’ approach to make the sales process more casual and friendly may sound good in theory; however I take issue with it and think that it is very dangerous for the sales profession regardless of who your target market is. I get that many individual’s don’t want to be perceived as sales people but being too casual in your approach is having a negative impact on your results. Once you have established a relationship with a customer, your approach can be more casual but until then, step it up a notch!
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