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Hey Buddy! Lessons for a Salesperson’s call for new business.

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by Mark Smith

3 months ago

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So it’s a bad day already. The dreaded nemesis virus had been let in to our servers through a misfired click of an attachment, so everyone in the office was struggling without email. When my mobile phone rings, it is with some relief that I am distracted from the melee in the office.

“Is this Mark Smith?”

“Yes”

“Hello buddy! We haven’t spoken before…”

BUDDY! Seems strange that I would be such a good friend to someone with whom I have never spoken before and who had just randomly called me. I was a little put out so I responded swiftly;

“How can I be your buddy if we’ve never spoken before?”

“Sorry, I am calling from XXXXXXX company.”

“You have really put me off with ‘buddy’.”

“Sorry mate”

“I am not your mate either”

This call was obviously not going so well for this particular salesman. He went on to say that people2people had in fact worked with this company previously, to which I replied with the fact that we had cancelled our account, due to a lack of results. Our intrepid salesperson had obviously not done any research before calling. Then came this;

“I thought we could take you to lunch?”

That, my new friend, was not going to happen. The conversation ended swiftly after that. There are so many lessons in this call for budding sales people and account managers I cannot list them all here, but here are three takeaways;

  1. Do your research. Make sure you know the history on the account before you make the call. It’s not war and peace, but there is more information to be shared, than the fact the person you’re calling had a previous account. Understand what has happened prior to your call.
  2. Don’t be overly familiar. I would go so far as to say to even limit saying “how are you?“ to people you have never met. If you don’t really care then don’t ask and whatever you do don’t call your prospective customer, “Buddy” and I also know a lot of women have to put up with “love” and “darl”.  A very basic rule in sales is mirroring and you can’t do that unless you observe first.
  3. Finally, just because you love going out to lunch, does not mean your prospective client does. In Australia and New Zealand, lunch is more closely aligned with thanking clients for their business. Not trying to winning it.

Now, back to dealing with the cyber threats. 

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