Okay, it’s time for a heart-to-heart talk, here. While I do appreciate your questions, I have found myself having to repeat the same answer over, and over, and over.
“How can I get those buyers to listen to me? I cannot seem to elicit a call back or response, or even get their attention.”
Many of you seem to be of the assumption that there is a special technique or trick in getting someone to return calls. But my response to these questions is always a question back to the asker:
“What do you do differently than the other 311 salespeople knocking on that prospect’s door, or crowding into their inbox every single day?”
The chances are good that you don’t obtain responses or cause movement from your prospects because you are sinking into a “sea of sameness” along with most sellers.
Same events, same messages, same phone calls, same approach, same emails…same, same same equals ignore ignore ignore.
So, communicating to you totally in the name of “tough love,” it is with deep annoyance and tremendous aggravation that I must declare to you:
“Your sales messages are complete crap.”
Even if I wasn’t a selling coach and sales trainer, I would still be telling you this–simply because I’m forever the recipient of such lazy, useless, meaningless and vague junk emails and totally uninspired, haphazard voicemails.
Harsh much? Yes. True? Absolutely. But here is why you, along with your sales manager, or as a business owner should care:
A full two-thirds of sales sales reps are not reaching their individual quotas, according to a 2015 study from TAS Group.
Yes, that’s two thirds. Not reaching quota, not increasing revenue, and not making bonuses. The good news is that if you’re underachieving, you’re not alone. But the bad news is that you’re indeed not in good company. You are, in fact, running with the rest of the herd.
Zebras all have similar stripe patterns for a very good reason. When they’re herded together, they blend, and it becomes difficult for predators to identify individuals. In short, “same” equals “safe.”
But for salespeople, “same” equals “lame.” Or in other words, “ineffective in obtaining response” and “inept at moving prospects to action.”
We decided to obtain some “real time” insight from sales message recipients who have been barraged daily with sales approaches. We discussed the matter with a dozen business owners and executive buyers in our own network, and through an informal poll asked them to relate the most common sales messages they receive. We also asked them to let us know how they really feel about these approaches.
See if you recognize any of these moves as your “go to” approaches, and see if you can understand how your prospects might really feel about receiving them:
“When I receive the email that says, ‘I’d love to grab a cup of coffee and chat.‘ I think – ‘Yeah, so would I.’ I don’t have time to get half of my list done for the day, much less casually grab a cup of coffee and chat with you! This approach irks me – really irks me because it’s clear they don’t understand anything about how much I have to get done every day to run a business.”
– Office Administrator of a large law firm
“This one really floors me: ‘I’d love to sit down and learn more about your business/what you do.’ If you don’t know what I do or can’t research my business, you’re absolutely confirming my worst fears – that you’re going to waste MY time educating you on how to earn MY business. I immediately ignore this email.”
– Business Owner of a technology services firm
“This voicemail is ridiculous but it’s how most cold calls end: ‘If you don’t mind, please give me a call back at your earliest convenience.’ You called me and gave me no compelling reason to want to return your call. Don’t hold your breath. I do mind. And it’s never convenient.”
– VP of Operations for a manufacturing company
“I’m pretty sure this is in every single email message I’ve ever received from a sales rep: ‘I’m confident we can save you time and money.’ Everyone says it, so why should I believe it from you? It’s vague and unspecific so I’m not going to waste my time guessing how you would prove it.”
– Business Owner of franchised restaurant chains
“A huge pet peeve of mine, the ‘Just checking in to see if you’re ready to move forward’ email. If you don’t know where I am in the process, you are NOT part of my decision-making process. It’s a Hail Mary with no real effort and no deserved response.”
– Business Owner of The Selling Agency ?
Whether they’re cold calls, cold emails, or follow-up messages – these are just not cutting it. Listen to what every buyer is saying – both in the responses above and in your buyers’ absence of a reply.
Quality, unique, thoughtful outreach, combined with value driven insights, are generally well received by prospective customers – particularly when you prove you understand your context and relevance to their business objectives. Exceptional sales efforts are appreciated – especially given how rarely they are encountered.
When you don’t make quota. When you fail to get a bonus . . . are you going to blame your customers for not taking your calls or returning your emails? Or are you going to DO something about it and put forth a better effort?
We’ve written about emotional engagement, alternatives to lame emails, referral introductions . . . all to help you achieve better sales results.
The reality is that most of you will read this . . . nod your head in agreement, “mmm hmm” . . . and then keep on charging on with the same, ineffective messages and getting the same unsatisfactory results.
If you’re one of the handful who decide to really ramp up your efforts and create compelling, value driven messages, this is good news for you. Your competitors who are still selling like it’s 1989 . . . blending in with the rest of the sales herd – and are handing you an incredible advantage.
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING (with improved messages)!
Pipeliner CRM empowers precise sales messaging. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.