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State of the "Art" Sales Technology

Today, I had the chance to site with our newbies for about an hour or so.  There was no agenda, just an off the cuff talk track.  My first intention was to see how much they know about closing, whether for an appointment or a sale.


After about ten minutes of asking them questions, and of course listening to their answers. I gave them an over view of what the industry was like 25-30 years ago.  For me, it was simple, all I had to do was grab one of the yellow page books, start at A and I was off to the races.  It was all about the phone calls, in fact, the pitch kind of went like this. "Hi, this is Art with XSY and I'm calling to see if you are in the market for a new copier?".  If yes, we asked for the person in charge to close for a demo and if no, we stated thank you very much and went on to the next call. There was no stinking CRM or even customer call index cards.  Our goal was to book at least 5 demo's on a call day.  I can even remember a few calls where the customer asked if we could get there now!  It was exciting times!!

My goal for our little session was to try and teach them the finer points of selling. Watching someone's body language, enabling the prospect to do most of the talking and the reps do most of the listening is key.  Then building rapport, being prepared to take an order, and listening for hints and tips that they want to buy from you.

Without a doubt the toughest part of my job is to get the DM on the phone. One of the newbies stated, "how the heck do I get them to take a call?".  I chimed in with, "you don't".  It's hit and miss and if you really want to get a DM, you'll need to make more calls.

Just a side note, you can get the DM on the phone, of course not every time, but you have to do some research first, you need to find out who they know, who they do business with and then translate that to your own pitch.  It's nothing new, we've been doing it for years and years.  But, you have to do the research first.

Feeling sorry for the newbie, I explained my box approach to contacting prospects.  The box approach works, however, you need to be dedicated and follow the process over and over. It's like radio advertising, you have to do it over and over and sooner or later you will get that person on the phone.

Since they are newbies,  I held back with teaching them about the fine art of connecting with prospects on LinkedIn.  Just didn't want to give them too much to soon. I figure I'll wait a week or so and then teach them everything I know about connecting with prospects.

I thought, these guys are lucky, so lucky!  When I first started in copier sales (with no sales experience except for selling stereo's from a van), I was given a desk, a pen, a pad, a calendar and a yellow page book.  That was it!! But, I did have the station wagon!!

Today, it's not just about picking up the phone (even though most of us are measured how many call we make) to get an appointment.  You need to combine all of those great communication tools, such as LinkedIn, Email, Blogs, Forum stalking, Google Alerts and of course my favorite cold calling in person.

-=Good Selling=-

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Comments (5)

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Okay, thanks! I have the phone call, Email, In-person aspects covered. I use LinkedIn to find the right person—I don’t use it for communicating with them yet. I’ve tried to get referrals from people who are linked to them, but no success with that.

My sales rep uses LinkedIn to continue my efforts.


Hey Jeff, Art's Box Approach (I believe) is using 4 different methods of communication:


Phone Call



In-Person Cold Call


You "box" the prospect in until they finally give you the time of day. Using all 4 methods of communication ensures that you are optimizing your ability to reach the DM via his preferred method.

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