Sunday, May 20, 2012
Selling MFP's "Making All the Calls"
Before I get into my tips (by the way, I'll have the tips in my next blog) I'll tell you about something that happened to me this week on the phones. There is a certain Direct Mail account in my territory and about 4 years ago I had cold called this company. It wasn't until about a year later that I entered them into my data base and started on a regular call pattern. I had the name of the "right" person and roughly after 3 calls I go through to "Mr. Right", we had a long conversation probably in the ten minute range. The potential customer told me about a bad experience and then I asked a few questions about different media that Mr. Right seemed interested in. Actually I thought he was extremely interested in one of my solutions. I was not able to set an appointment, but was confident that I would be able to call and schedule and appointment so I could present my solution. Boy, was I ever wrong....three years later, 7 mailers, and 26 voice mail messages and I had squat! But, you know me, I pretty much don't give up, ever! This week I called and was prepared to leave a voice mail as usual, however I was surprised because Mr. Right picked up the dam phone!!
I stated this is Art Post with ......... and asked him if he remembered me? Mr. Right stated "Yes, I could I not, you call me almost every month". With that I gave a short review of what we spoke about years ago (it's good to keep notes, but at this point I had pretty much memorized the first phone conversation that we had). I closed for an appointment as was rewarded with one!
Mind you the appointment has come and gone, I didn't sell anything, however I was able to present my services, knowledge and expertise. Before leaving I had taken a tour of the operation, identified every hardware system by age, lease, own and asked about their needs in the near future. I also closed more importantly how often to follow up. The last thing I want to do is call every month again for three years. So, while the appointment didn't out any money in my pocket it did help better understand the customers needs and what he does like and doesn't like with his present equipment. I fell I'm pretty much on track to at least present a quote in the near future.
The moral of the story, if it's a big enough account that you'd like to get into, don't ever give up. Don't put them off and bury them for 5 or 6 months on your call list. Make sure you make the dials every month and sooner or later you'll get the appointment. This is not the first time this has happened to me, however it's been awhile since the last one. Don't ever give up and remember "Winners Make Things Happen and Losers Wait for Things to Happen" along with "The Hardier I Work the Luckier I Get"!