I’m normally a calm, easy-going type of person, but I must confess that sales calls make me angry. They disturb me when I’m busy, or worse, when I’m trying to relax. They push their product into my face in an aggressive manner, and then become aggrieved when I don’t want to buy!
I Don’t Want to Know
I’m not interested in their product. Even if I was I wouldn’t buy it on my doorstep or over an unsolicited phone call with a stranger. If that’s not enough, the fact that they’ve disturbed and annoyed me just makes me determined never to buy from that company. For every sale that they win, how many more potential customers do they lose forever?
It’s All About Them
Doorstep salesman (and they are mostly men) have got it all wrong. They call at their convenience, not mine. They are pushy, aggressive, and focused on themselves and the sale that they want. To them I’m just a ‘prospect’, a way of making money, a means to reaching their sales targets. They don’t care about me as a person, or care about what I really want or need. They don’t care if I need the thing they’re trying to offload. These are just a few of the reasons is why I hate being cold-called.
I’ve Heard It All Before
The crocodile smiles and tired platitudes of the doorstep salesman and cold callers don’t fool me. Don’t they realise that I’ve heard it all before? So don’t ask me how I am, I know that you don’t really care. Don’t tell me you’re not selling anything, I know that you are. Don’t talk about the weather, you’re just wasting my time.
You’re not asking me these things because we’re friends. You’re asking me because you’ve been on a training course that told you to ask, in order to get me to lower my guard. Guess what? Those are things that friends say to one another, and we’re not friends. I’m not fooled.
Get It Over With Quickly
If you really must cold-call, because your boss insists on it, or your ideas on selling are ten years out of date, at least get to the point quickly. Then I can say the inevitable ‘no‘ and get on with my life. By the way, doing it over the phone isn’t any better than doorstepping me. Unless I asked you to ring me, you’re not likely to sell me anything.
How Could You Sell to Me?
On the other hand you could decide not to cold-call me in the first place. What are the alternatives? Attract me by being excellent at what you do; advertise where I will see it stating why I need you and what problem of mine you can solve; send a letter which I can read at my own time and convenience; or be so amazing at what you do, that everyone I know is talking about you already.
In the businesses that I have been involved with and in the business that I now run, 99% of our referrals were generated by recommendation. Why is this? Because our number one priority is being the best at what we do.
So, What’s the Best Way to Sell?
In Jeffrey Gitomer’s ‘Little Red Book of Selling’, Gitomer states “People don’t like to be sold…but they love to buy.” He goes on to say that the question “‘Why do people buy?’ is a thousand times more important than ‘How do I sell?'”
If only more salesmen read Gitomer’s books instead of pestering me on my doorstep, then I might end up by actually calling them!