A few days ago I received a voicemail from a woman saying she wanted to speak with me about coaching. I thought, “Cool”, because I have a few openings for new clients. Normally when people leave toll free numbers as call backs, I might have some suspicion about why they are really calling. I also work with many folks who work for companies so it’s not always clear cut as to whether the message is disguised as a sales call.
So, I called her back, left a message and we played phone tag a few times before we finally connect,ed which was about an hour ago. Within 15 seconds she launches into a sales pitch and is asking me to go to a website so she can walk me though what her company can do for me. She says, “It was only take 15-20 minutes.”
I said, “Bottom line what you do so I can determine whether I even want to continue this conversation or see your website”.
She said, “I can’t really do that because we customize what we can offer people and it is better is I show you.”
I said, “If you can’t give me any idea about your company or why I should even care about looking at your website, you are wasting my time and this conversation is over.”
Her response was to offer me her website address for me to look at my convenience.
Oh, you bet I’ll go look. I’ll do it right now…… not.
You see, if she had come out and left me a message that was direct and told me why she was calling me, the likelihood I (or anyone else) would return the call would potentially drop. Telling me she wanted to speak with me about coaching was a perfect hook…until she gets me on phone. And had I been willing to visit her site, give her my time and attention, she was probably hoping that I would like what I see enough to consider doing business with her, right?
I find myself shaking my head in wonder that approaching people this way actually results in a sale and it must work or people wouldn’t keeping doing it. I’m sure she was trained by her company to prospect that way. And, even if what she has to offer might be worth considering, I would never do business with her or her company because I don’t like being handled or manipulated and I won’t play along.
I received an email invitation last year to attend a special event by someone whose name was familiar to me. The invitation was compelling and certain bits of information was missing like who the company was, what it was about…. So, out of curiosity I went to the first online presentation. It was a beautifully presented webinar about being on the ground floor of an exciting new business, blah, blah blah and had just enough information to keep a person interested to take the next step and still left out what the product, program or company was. The campaign was strategic and pushed all the right buttons. It’s a percentages game of prospecting. Done correctly, a certain % of people will say YES.
I don’t believe in “one size fits all” sales and marketing tactics. I prefer direct infomation without all the hype like we’re having a conversation over a cup of coffee.
Many years ago I was a sales rep on 5th Avenue in New York selling different women’s accessories (scarves, belts & unbrellas). I had lots of pressure to open new business, meet quotas and sales figures. One of the reasons I was so succesful is that my accounts felt I cared about them doing well with their company sales and they trusted me.
Most successful people recognize that building relationships is the cornerstone of having a thriving business and personal life. We build relationships by making connections. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, you bring “who you are” into every conversation and interaction. The first thing people “buy” is YOU before they consider any product or service you have to offer.
Creating rapport is an important factor in making connections with people. We can do that by being forthright and sincere. When we genuinely seek opportunities to help others succeed by asking, “How can I be of help to you?” we invite affiliations and friendships to form.