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By: Adam Gill

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Monday, 1-Oct-2012 06:46 Email | Share | | Bookmark
WHEN SALES REPS LET TECHNOLOGY GET IN THE WAY OF THE SALE!

My associate (I will refer to him as the prospect for our purposes) was on the phone with a sales person. Things were wrapping up and the next logical step was the subsequent appointment. The sales person said “Could you email me three times when you are available and we’ll set our next appointment from there.”

The prospect, somewhat confused said, “Well ... uh... can’t we just pick a time now while we’re on the phone?” The sales person then replied “It’s just easier for my calendar if you email me.”

I was shocked! This sales representative actually let technology get in the way of the sale. Sure, it may be easier for the representative to book an appointment into a program like Outlook when someone emails, but it certainly is not easier for the prospect.

Taking this a step further, even if the prospect actually takes the time to send the email, what are the
chances that an appointment is going to be booked with just one email? Not likely. All the sales representative has really done is inconvenience the prospect, wasted a lot of valuable sales time, and has mostly likely lost the sale.

In another example a few days later, a sales rep insisted that I send him an Outlook Calendar Request to book the appointment. Many people do not have the ability to send calendar requests this way. The results were the same - a lot of wasted time and a lost sales opportunity.

The desire from a prospect to book an appointment is a buying signal that requires immediate action in the same way as picking up a pen to sign a contact does. Would you ask the prospect to put the pen down and wait until it was more convenient or easier for you? I don’t think so. So don’t do the same thing when he asks to book an appointment. Always be prepared to act immediately when the opportunity arises.

The only possible exception to this is when a sales person is speaking on a cell phone when driving. Even still, you should be familiar enough with your own schedule to book a tentative appointment right there and then. You can always confirm or change it later if necessary.

The whole point is to keep the sales process moving forward. If a sales person cannot enter an appointment into their system when they are lucky enough to be speaking directly with the prospect, either in person or on the phone, then that sales person needs to get another calendar.

In other words, perhaps your Blackberry should only be a cell phone!

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections

Susan A. Enns is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections Inc. experience in B2B Sales, sales management & Sales Training Programs. He helps clients achieve greater sales success in theB2B marketplace by focusing on recruiting, training and marketing services for sales organization & sales professionals. For more information, please visit http://www.b2bsalesconnections.com


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