Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tell the Truth

from Art Sobczak:

Don't Hide the Purpose for the Call


The caller greeted me with,

"Mr. Soba-E-zack?"

ME: "It's pronounced Sub-check. What do you need?"

"Oh, uh, sorry. I'm Pat Jones with Trojan Golf.
You're still a golfer, aren't you?"

(I'll normally listen to ANYTHING golf-related,
even if it is a telemarketer reading from a
script, as this person was. At least their
target marketing was good.)

ME: "Yeah, I golf quite a bit."

"Well, good news! As an avid golf fanatic,
you've been selected to try out our new titanium
irons. We're looking for feedback from golfers on
these revolutionary new irons. These new irons ..."

ME: "Stop. I know the routine. You send out the
clubs, and then I get an invoice after a trial
period. You're not looking for feedback on your
clubs--this is how you sell them, right?"

"Uh, sure we offer the opportunity to buy them after
a free trial period. But there's no obligation."

ME: "I understand, but again, the purpose of this
call is to sell golf clubs, not get feedback on
them, right?"

"Welllll, again, you are under no obligation, and
even if you nicked or scuffed them, you wouldn't
have to pay for them."

Lucky me. How kind of them.

I had enough and ended the call.

This is the problem with some sales calls, both
to consumers and businesses. Callers misrepresent
themselves to get and keep someone on the phone.
They use such guises as,

... we're taking a survey ...
... we want to update our information ...
... we're doing an opinion study ...
... we're updating our records ...
... we're conducting some marketing research ...

... and then later in the call, they inform the
person about their "offer," or that they'd like a
salesperson to visit.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying surveys and
marketing research do not have a useful function--
they do. Just don't mask a lead generation or
sales call as something that it's not. After all,
if a company must use less-than-upfront tactics
to get you to buy, wouldn't it justifiably make
someone leery about its product and character?

OK, so what is the suggested alternative?

It's no different than what I always suggest:

Have a good opening, generate interest, ask questions,
make a recommendation, then ask for commitment.

For example, the golf club salesperson could have

"Art, the reason for the call is that we have
introduced a line of irons that have been designed
to help high handicappers eliminate hooks and slices,
and help better golfers shave those last few strokes
off their scores. You still golf, right?

Great! Because we don't spend millions on
advertising, and market these directly to golfers on a
free trial, no-risk basis, we're able to give
wholesale prices for custom-fitted clubs as good as
what the pros use. I'd simply like to ask a few questions
about your game, and your satisfaction with the
equipment you use to see if you'd like more information
on these clubs."

Granted, that might seem a bit long when you read it
on a computer screen. But, delivered in a
conversational way, to the right audience, (as all
openings should be anyway) most people would be at
least interested enough to continue, and not be
skeptical about the call. With well-planned and
executed questions based upon the prospect's answers,
reps could make persuasive, tailored recommendations
and then ask for commitment.

Bottom line, if someone has to hide the reason they're
calling, they either don't have anything worth buying
or they don't have a sound strategy, tactics, and the
skill to execute them. The good news is, the latter
problem is fixable.

"Chance never helps those who do not help themselves."

Continue having your best week ever!


Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or,

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: