In today’s ever-changing business world, more is expected of us in less time, and the same is true of the people we sell to. Whether your role is “Inside Sales” or “Outside Sales” you are probably experiencing a shift in how customers are buying today.
We absolutely still need to sell, but our potential customers are giving us less and less time to do that, particularly in person. A recent quote in Forbes Magazine states that for sale cycles less than 90 days: “75% of buyers would prefer to not spend their time meeting face to face with a salesperson.”
The question is, how can we be productive and do our jobs if we have fewer opportunities to get in front of potential customers?
We need to tailor our approach to what makes the most business sense, and think critically about the range of touch points we can have with our prospects (and customers) that are time efficient for us and honor their busy schedules.
Learning to properly utilize the telephone, email and social media as tools will help us stay connected and will keep time from killing as many deals. In this issue, we will focus on the telephone, a small but mighty tool!
If we focus on the telephone for connecting with our prospective customers, what are some upsides and challenges to consider?
Let’s say you have considered the pros and cons and you like the idea using your phone more in an effort to adapt to the needs of your customers. How do you do this efficiently?
- Make a list of what you can expect to accomplish by phone vs. face to face for each prospect or customer to make effective use of your time.
- Establish certain hours each week to make pre-planned purpose driven calls to your customers and prospects. The purpose of the calls can be to make appointments, to make follow up calls if you won’t be in their territory, to thank them for their trust and loyalty, to introduce new products and services, or to gain commitments for future business. These are your “money hours.”
- Know your objective when you call. These are not calls to simply “check in.” Decide in advance the value you will bring to each call.
In closing, the average cost of an outside B2B sales call is $215-$400 per call. The average cost of an inside call, on the other hand, is only $25-$75.
Don’t keep that little phone in your tool belt. Take it out and consider its power. Adapt to the changing business environment and put it to great use today!