Sales Calls You Don’t Want Your Salespeople to Make

I received a rare cold call today, from a business machines (copiers) salesperson.  She was surprised she got through and didn’t take advantage of her opportunity.  She didn’t ask the right questions, favoring powerful probes like, “just checking in to see how you’re doing with your business machines” and “do you buy them or lease them?” and “when do the leases expire?” as if I’d know the answer to those questions.  Had she asked me if my business equipment ever interfered with my people’s productivity she’d have not only gotten an answer but she might have booked an appointment.

Instead, she did what was comfortable for her rather than what the situation called for.  She asked if she could send her business card so that if we’re ever in the market I would remember her.  Unfortunately, this call is more typical than you think.  Most salespeople don’t know how to make an effective cold call.

Take the commercial real estate salesperson that recently got through.  He asked a beauty – wanted to know “how are you doing with your space situation at 114?”  I told him we were fine, the lease didn’t expire until the end of next year, and I’d prefer to stay right where we were.  He must not have heard me when he asked, “I was wondering if you’d like to get together and talk about what else is out there?”.  I repeated what I said the first time and he asked another really great question – “if you want some help on the lease you have I can help with that too”.  Geez!

Please listen to your salespeople make their calls.  They have to be able to do better than this!