I’m sorry ____ is no longer with the company (prospecting tip 3 of 5)

Hi my name is Lynn and I’ve received the following news when calling a customer who I was in the middle of a project with:

“I’m sorry ________ is no longer with the company”

and NOT had another contact.

Aaaaargh

Talk about kicking yourself!

Plus  –  fired, retired, quit: it doesn’t matter why they left all that matters is your relationship went *poof*

Some of you may be saying “well I only talk with decision makers”. Really? First of all I don’t believe in ONE Decision Maker:

  • How about the person tasked with gathering information? … if you don’t get gathered you will not even be in when a decision is made.
  • What about the person who determines something is broken to the point it needs fixing BUT doesn’t buy anything? … they can give you insight into what is coming up “next” or in the near future.
  • There are also those evil committees and boards who decide if ANY money really needs to be spent. Are they the decision maker?
  • Add a dash of purchasing departments. Maybe they only process the order, or compare prices, or decide who to buy from, or put you on an approved vendor list. Are you speaking with them?
  • Plus the boss who may need to “sign off” on something. Would you call the boss?

This next one needs a story before you will believe me. As a relatively new salesperson in the IT industry I took over a buying account when one of my successful colleagues earned a promotion.

Not knowing any better, I called everyone who’s name was in our CRM database. *gasp*

This guy John answered and I did the “hey we do business w/you but haven’t spoken with you – what do YOU do?” intro (I know doesn’t fit what we’ve been talking about lately but I was young). His answer was “oh the same thing as Bill who works with you.”

Again, not knowing any better I asked “why don’t you do business with us?” wait for it…

“because no one from your company has ever bothered to call me.”

You heard it – the only reason he didn’t buy was because we weren’t calling him. He didn’t feel special, needed, or wanted.

  • Are you talking with everyone on the TEAM who does the same job, but may just make their own decisions regarding what to buy and who to buy it from?

That is just my short list. If we talk about what UpYourTeleSales.com sells, I want to talk with the head of the sales organization ~ line level managers ~ anyone who has anything to do with training (maybe HR or a development group) ~ salespeople.

The larger the organization, the more people I want to know about UpYourTeleSales.com!

Why? When someone is making a purchasing decision ~ you want everyone involved to say “Oh I know them” (and in a good way!)

It is amazing how smoothly a decision to purchase from me can be if

  • a line level manager says “yeah, lots of my salespeople get their A Chip off The Block newsletter”
  • or the director of sales passes on my info to the training manager
  • or a salesperson says “I would really like to attend this UpYourTeleSales.com teleseminar”.
  • or “I’ve been to some of their free events and think their spin on Objection Handling is innovative and will really help in our business.”

Now there are some people who are asking “What if I sell a really specialized thing?”

I’ll admit that in some sales and/or organizations it may be one person determining something needs to be done, what to buy, and who to buy it from.  Even there you don’t want to be caught! Here is the Minimum Three

  1. decision maker
  2. their boss
  3. someone in purchasing

Final Safety Tip: Now don’t go trying to start relationships if you’re in the midst of a deal ~ then you’re “going around” the person you are currently talking with. Instead, work for a conference call where it makes business sense FOR THEM to involve someone else.

Our next prospecting tip (#4) discusses the evils of voicemail. Just kidding I’m a proponent of leaving well crafted voicemail messages. Need a preview? Check out A Chip Off the Block: Go Fly A Kite Edition

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