I recently became involved with several ventures that have allowed for business expansion and revenue gain. Through each of these ventures I have become involved with a myriad of selling professionals and their attributes - or perhaps lack thereof.
I recently returned the call of a selling professional who had called me. Not only did he not recall my name, but left his cell phone as his call back number and he answered on speakerphone. What if I were a client? How unprofessional!
I am continually surprised by the lack of discipline and professionalism in the profession of selling. My recent observations illustrate an increased degradation in the spirit, behavior, ethics and actions of many so called professionals. There are times I think I am in the real time version of Boiler Room!
Items that require immediate change:
Dress the part. I tire of the bromide of business casual. If you want to be in business you need to look the part. Stop dressing like you are working on an automobile, dress better than your clients.
As I mentioned above, I recently returned a sales call to the number given-- their cell phone! Worse yet they answered with the speakerphone! Ghastly. This is a distinction certain to cancel many contracts. Calls must be returned to hard line phones and with the headset. The example implies “I am too busy for any more sales revenue”.
Voicemail. Simply leave a name, number and best time to reach you. Why deliver a Shakespearean monologue, no one has the time to listen.
Leave a professional voicemail. Be professional, not casual.
Provide accurate data as to your availability.
According to Challey Research 40 per cent of client interaction involves customer service. All calls, and I do mean all calls, require a reply during the business day. Stop procrastinating.
The proliferation of caller ID has enabled many professionals to avoid calls they would rather not take. Selling is a profession not an entitlement, every call from a client is an opportunity to provide value and obtain revenue. With increasing competition, clients can quickly become antagonists. Caller ID works both ways.
Many representatives use email because it is easy. Selling is a relationship business and requires client interaction. E-mail is vexatious and illustrates your apathy. If you want to engage, pick up the telephone or visit. Why do exactly as your competitor?
Read your e-mail prior to sending. Do not send what you did not mean.
Increase your vocabulary and literary skills. There has been a degradation of language in both secondary schools and university. Proper language engages clients and instills confidence.
About the Author:
Drew Stevens PhD, President of Stevens Consulting Group and renowned author, consultant and sales expert literally wrote the book on improving sales skills. Dr. Drew is the author of the best seller Split Second Selling and Ultimate Business Bible that have helped thousands of frustrated sales managers, selling professionals and entrepreneurs improve their skills and gain dramatic results.