In a previous post, I gave 5 tips to sales teams trying to schedule a meeting with an IT Director. In summary,
1. Never call from a blocked number
2. If I’m already a customer don’t “cold call” me
3. Send invites and conference info
4. Don’t use generic social media profiles andinvites
5. Know what you are selling
Today’s tips are a little more subtle. These are things that bother me, but maybe don’t bother everyone. I think it talks more to integrity and honesty than the last tips which were more about “call logistics”. If that sounds confusing, if may make more sense once you see the next five tips….
6. “My Director (or VP etc) really wants to meet (or network, or partner with) you”. I understand that you may be calling on behalf of them, but don’t exaggerate and make it sound like it’s this persons life long dream to talk to me, and when I do have the call either they start with “Who are you again?” or pronounce my name or my company name wrong. If you think it will be good for us to chat because we fit the target market, just tell me that.
7. Be respectful of my time. If you start the call with “I just need 5 minutes of your time” and after 7 minutes I’m asking if we are almost done, then I’m probably going to make sure I’m not available for the next call. Now if the call is going really well and I keep the conversation going and ask for a follow up meeting that’s good.
8. If I have listened to you, understand what you are saying and just don’t have a need at that time, stop trying to sell it to me. It may be the best “ITIL process management software” in the world, but if I don’t need it; I don’t need it. If you want to follow up in 3 or 4 months and haven’t annoyed me I am definitely fine with that. If you want to email me the information I’ll save it and if I need that particular product in six months I’ll search my archived email for it,
9. Don’t name drop. You can tell me Aaron Levie (CEO of Box), Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft), or Marc Bennioff (CEO of salesforce.com) suggested you call me, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t. If they truly did, they probably actually called me to tell me that I should talk to you. If you are lying to me about this, I’m pretty sure I don’t trust you. If I don’t trust you, I’m not going to buy from you.
10. Please don’t call me, tell me how much you want to work with me, then spend 15 minutes “qualifying me”. I understand that you need to focus your resources on people that are likely to buy, or are big enough to buy a lot, but do that before I’m on the phone. If you have to ask me some questions at least make it seem like a natural part of the conversation and not an interrogation. One hint that I feel like I’m being interrogated is when I ask “Are there a lot more questions?”
Hopefully this helps. I really do want to talk to people and love learning about new products and solutions. Be knowledgeable. Be respectful of my time. And be honest and sincere.