It took you months to secure the first meeting – could be phone or face to face – with your prospect. You thought it went well, but you got nowhere after that. What happened?
Spirits were high when you walked into your meeting. You thought you connected and convinced them with your story, but the entire presentation fell flat. Now what?
You offer a great service or have a great product, but still customers haven’t come. What had made you think they would?
Sales opportunities are missed or lost completely every single day, often for some of the silliest reasons.
With all the hype and noise surrounding “social selling”, it is easy to forget that technology may get you in front of a prospect or to the meeting, but what you do after that will either lead to moving a deal forward or killing it fast.
In no particular order, I’m going to highlight the ten most common sales blunders I see salespeople make. Today, I’m focused on Blunder #6 – blowing a sales opportunity in the first email or phone call.
Did you know that 65% of all business is lost in the opening phone call? I read that statistic years ago in a study conducted by a prestigious university…I think it was Duke. I admit, it shocked me. But then when I started thinking about it, I can absolutely see how it happens.
Fast forward a few years and realize how often salespeople are blowing opportunities by sending out emails that are both random and not clearly thought out, as well.
Consider a gem from my inbox yesterday…
The work done at Social Centered Selling looks impressive. Given your position, I am sure you had a hand in the success, amazing work. I thought of you because XYZ’s sales enablement platform boosts team performance and aligns sales with marketing. Our content delivery platform is tied to a tablet app, which allows for smooth presentations online and offline.
In addition, we reduce collateral spend and uncover best practices via reporting & analytics. This allows enterprises like -insert big name companies here and none that look like my small business – drive revenue by ensuring the freshest sales content is in the hands of their reps.
My goal is a quick chat to see if we might add similar value to Social Centered Selling. As a bonus, any virtual summit participant (I’ll speak to that another time) will receive a free hour of consulting with a free 30 day trial.
Do you have a few minutes to talk in more detail?”
I wrote back and said…
“XYZ rep – your email starts off nicely enough but you don’t know anything about me. Of course I had a hand in our success. It is my company, and I built the brand.
Not interested in your service.”
“Thank you for your response. My apologies for making it sound like I know you. I looked into your company and I liked what I saw. With the idea of social selling, I can imagine presentations occur. Given that XYZ is an application that makes presenting to a client a great experience for all involved, I thought you may be interested.
Please let me know if things change in the future.”
With so much information available to sellers, why don’t more of them do their homework before trying to engage a prospect?
I don’t buy that this salesperson actually looked at my website at all. He simply saw the name of my company on the email list. And even if he really did go to our company site and he “liked what he saw”, he didn’t bother to find out who I am. I am the person who decides to make a purchase or not.
Though I don’t often bother sending salespeople any feedback, I did this time. Notice how the rep apologizes and at least admits he didn’t find out anything about me, but he rolls right back into a sales pitch. Let me know if things change in the future? Uh, that’s not gonna happen.
As the saying goes, you may never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Doesn’t it make sense to make that first impression count?