Um – that would be neither and both plus…
Many sales professionals believe that nothing succeeds like a face-to-face meeting or, at the very least, contact via the phone. They believe that activities such as writing a blog, commenting on other blogs and in forums, sending out regular e-newsletters, using social networking, such as Linked In and Facebook are a waste of their time.
I couldn’t DISAGREE more!
First, 65% of all sales are lost in the first phone call. You can go back to one of my sales blunders and read all about it. The stark reality is that most people aren’t good on the telephone and they blow it immediately. That translates into “game over man”.
As for the notion that face-to-face is the winner. Well, just like phone calls there are plenty of people who can’t make a decent sales presentation to save their life. What happens if you get in front of someone – before you’ve built up some type of relationship with them – and you blow it? Yup. You lose. No sale!
Here’s the deal…some things just do not change. You must accept that it can take an average of 7 interactions/touches before a sale is closed. That’s because effective selling is all about building relationships and demonstrating to your prospects the results they will receive when they purchase from you. Technology provides a wonderful advantage in that sense, because you can learn to create value and build relationships far in advance of meeting people personally.
The next missed point to consider is how important it is to protect your time. Success comes from focusing on the right activities at the right time! Your ability to to quickly evaluate sales opportunities will either help or harm your sales activities, because opportunities ARE NOT all created equal. You must learn to become very discerning; otherwise, you risk wasting a lot of precious time.
Building a sales pipeline these days requires a “blend” of approaches, and in this day and age if you are not incorporating the use of online tools into your sales toolkit, you will be left behind. Seriously – you WILL become irrelevant. Contributing to blogs, sending out informational newsletters, participating in online forums, using tools like Twitter, webinars or webcasts offer you opportunities stay in front of people who can either buy from you or refer you to someone else who can buy from you.You’ve got to grasp that when people are ready they think of you!
Recently, I picked up two new clients and $10,000 in new revenue all because I send a monthly newsletter. The point is that it’s naive to think that when you call someone on the phone or meet them face to face for the first time that they’ll be ready to buy at that exact moment. That’s why you need to remain in front of people providing them with relevant, meaningful information that delivers real value to them BEFORE they’ve made a purchase.
Disagree? I’d love to hear why!