Post written by Callista Bond, Creative Entrepreneur | Graphic Designer | Photographer | Artist | Planeteer
We’ve all read the sales leadership articles on how to sell, make the competition disappear, or make your interview great. Whether it’s selling a product, a service or yourself as a potential future employee, a lot of these articles make several good and valuable points. Have confidence, know your product, and know your customer. However, not all selling tips are created equal. It’s easy to get carried away and OVER SELL.
I see OVER SELLING frequently. For me, over selling is when someone comes off as inconsiderate, overwhelming and desperate in his or her attempt to sell to me.
As a graphic designer, I get hammered with marketing pieces and phone calls from packaging companies, printers, website firms, SEO and web marketing agencies…the list goes on and on and on. We live in a world that is filled with advertising and selling…more than we can compute…and it can become quite overwhelming… and annoying.
FIG. A) An example of the amount of marketing pieces I receive from companies who want my business. This may not look like a lot, but it’s a small percentage of what is actually sent. And these are just the ones I decided to keep! The reality is the amount of contact I get from companies wanting to sell to me is unmanageable, resulting in their leave-behinds heading straight to my recycle bin.
It’s perfectly okay to send a few marketing pieces now and then, but keep in mind that your potential customer may be getting flooded with marketing pieces from your competition or other businesses.
Don’t send them EVERYTHING. Send them something that stands out, captures their interest and makes them want to contact you for their next project. If I get too much information too soon, it goes straight to the recycling bin. Time is precious and unless I’m in the market at that very moment, I won’t want to store all that information for later.
Whatever I get in junk mail, I get in e-mails times 10. That’s not even including what goes automatically to the spam folder. It’s quite ridiculous, really. Every single one that isn’t from someone I recognize, had spoken to previously or sent an inquiry, gets thrown into the trashcan. I know I’m not the only one who uses this elimination method. Unless a consumer says they want you to e-mail them, verbally or in writing, DO NOT email them.
There’s a big difference between a sales call and a cold call. Trust me I know how there’s potential there to bring awareness of your product or service to a potential customer with a sales call. Most of the time sales calls are from trade show leads, previous and/or current customers, or surveys that may have generated a list.
But others may have been from a purchased list or someone just making their way through a phone directory. As a consumer, I absolutely despise cold calls. I especially hate it when the person on the other end has no idea what business I’m in, nor did they take any effort to find out anything about my company or me as a potential customer.
If you want real leads, do some legwork to find those who are interested in your business first before cold calling a random name on a list. It’s a waste of your time and it’s a waste of their time.
Face to Face & Follow-ups
So maybe you did get a sales meeting set up. Or maybe you were just dropping by in person to leave some information. Whatever the situation, remember that your time with that person is limited and first impressions count! Be confident, but be careful not to be cocky. Don’t slam your competition…consumers want to hear about what YOU can bring to the table.
Be considerate of the customer. Don’t take over the meeting. Find out about them, their company and what problems they might have with their current service and/or product. Provide solutions to their problems.
Another important thing to remember is not to pressure your potential customer. If they’re not sure and need more convincing, that’s one thing. Read your customers reactions. If they say “No, thank you”, please accept that as “No”.
Don’t follow up or request another sales call immediately after. Put them on the back burner for a while. Their needs might change in the future, but it won’t be immediately. If you’re too pushy, it could lose you that opportunity forever.