A sales rep rang me up today (just as I was about to go out to a networking meeting) and tried to sell me her income protection plan. Apart from not being in a very receptive frame of mind, I was irritated that she tried to pin me down to a time, first before Christmas and then in the New Year, so she could come to my ‘offices’ to continue her sale. When I asked if she had any literature she could send me, the answer was in the negative, but she did have a website.
After I had finally fobbed her off and put down the ‘phone, I wondered why I was so irritated. Of course, she had gone straight into ‘sell’ mode and had by-passed the ‘marketing’ part. I suppose a sales person thinks they can win a sale if they can get an ‘interview’ with you, and I was further annoyed because she kept saying ‘well, I will only spend 15 minutes of your time’ – oh, yeah, and was I born yesterday?
If you want to achieve in business, it’s best to go through the correct methods: introduction resulting in attraction of you and your business; marketing to form a relationship and to educate them about your services or product; then the sales patter to influence a positive reaction to purchasing what you have to offer; and finally money exchanging hands with completion of sale.
This method may take a little longer, but the results are more positive and long-lasting, and may influence word-of-mouth referrals to other potential customers. Also marketing can educate your prospectives into other products or services you can offer, and you can learn by marketing research exactly what is needed and wanted, thereby improving your business accordingly.
I feel sorry for sales reps, because sometimes they’re banging their heads against a brick wall. Of course they will have successes, because of the nature of their patter, or the product or service they offer is presented to the right person at the right time, but is this ‘sell’ method more profitable? How many ‘no thanks’ do they get against ‘yes please’? If their company allowed more time for it to be properly marketed, budget depending, the outcome would be less stressful and demoralising, would have longer-term prospects, would allow itself to adapt and reform to become a better business to survive the future, and would result in larger sales from a wider audience with far less hassle.