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Great post! 11. Assign a rep a topic (round robin) to present at the next weekly sales meeting. Rules- show the team a new selling feature / function / solution, present it as you would to a client, and keep it short ( 5 minutes max) & sweet. After presenting, stand and receive constructive criticism from the rest of the team. Keep it fun and informative- but don't take it the task lightly. This will improve product knowledge, research skills, and presentation skills.
I like 11.!! I even like the rules better. Your thread also reminded me to add this. 12. Reps, especially new reps would be in charge of training their customers on how to use the system. At first, they would travel with the solutions engineer or (me) and watch them train the customer on how to print, copy and scan.
I ALWAYS cold call in person. No one wants to speak to a disembodied voice on the phone. Sometimes I walk in and find someone I used to work with in the office. SCORE! You just have to get out of the office if you want to make something happen.
Not so much. It’s such a weird deal, like trying to sell cars door to door. I usually say something like: ‘I was in the building seeing…whoever, and thought I would stop by and introduce myself and the company that I represent. Then I leave them with a flyer that shows a couple of different machines and monthly costs. I never got any training so would appreciate any suggestions that you have, Art.
When I cold call in person, I'm after a few things. Usually I do not bring a brochure unless I already know who the DM is. Here's what I want when I get in: The name of the DM for Office Technology The name of the gatekeeper When the DM maybe available or best time to call Does the DM have an assistant that will schedule appointments, if so what is the name of the assistant I also want to get a good look around, make mental notes of any hardware that I see. My old boss used to ask to use the...
OH, I’m Miss Eagle Eye when I go anywhere!! The other local dealer lost his partnership with Ricoh (he was selling Kyoceras instead) so I am always looking for his customers to touch base with too. Sounds like you are in a much larger market than I am. Rarely, do I find even an in-house IT person much less someone who is in charge of Office technology. All the larger companies here are branch offices and decisions are not made locally. My FIRST question is always are you a local company?
I too am in non metro area and there is a lot of oil and gas here that are not headquartered here so I understand why you ask if they are a local company. However, you are making a huge mistake if you assume that just because they are not local, that they have no control or influence over the equipment they get. There are a whole host of companies that don't wish to get involved with the purchasing decisions of their outlying branches, especially if they only have a handful. You still need...
Oh, I do.. . That’s funny you say, ‘Does the copier just show up?’ Because I hear that a lot and that’s exactly what happens. My questions are a little more involved but I didn’t want to type all of that out. Even the little oilfield services places have HQ’s somewhere else and they go directly to the Ricoh Corp. I don’t say, ‘Is the decision-maker here’, exactly, but I do get to that answer. FedEx, Wells Fargo, Conoco-Phillips, to name a few of our Nationals, don’t even know they are...
Amen, to the paper boy gig. I actually had one at 11, lied about my age. In addition to my 2 cent per paper profit, and tips, I would offer taking out garbage cans, shoveling, and other services. Kinda like offering solutions, mps, other office products with a better profit margin. Passion, work ethic, and with some creativity it yields a great career in the wonderful world of sales where every day is different.
Seems like everyone was a paper boy in those days. I started when I was 10. Can't believe people acutally waited until 4:00pm during the week to get their news back then (early 80's). Also can't believe they trusted a 10 year old with that much responsibility and that you can't anymore. I guess we've all been in the document management/information management a lot longer than we think. I can still remember the smell of the paper as I rolled them and rubber banded them watching Tom and Jerry...
js that was awesome! Bringing back the smell of the newspapers! What about the thunder storms that soaked us while we were on the route. I can remember dropping off many soggy papers. I guess us old paperboys make great copier sales people
Art, great article. I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were alluding to the fact that cold calling is dead and social media marketing has replaced it. While I believe both are necessary, there still doesn't seem to be any substitute for face to face contact. You get so much more information! As Frank Betcher puts it in his book "How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling", if you "act" enthusiastic you will become enthusiastic.
JS: Thanx for the comment. Yup social media is here to stay, but, it can be so impersonal. Too me, social media marketing is akin to radio, in order for it to have a lasting and dramatic effect. You have to develop a strategy and do it over and over for a long period of time.
I always enjoy reading short reminders regarding this and always share with our sales team. The key for me is that I enjoy talking to and engaging with new folks. When I stop thinking of selling or "trying to out-talk" someone and focus on how our services can help them improve their business, the exchange is fun!
This is a good point. The problem with most people cold calling is that they get that "defeatist" attitude when someone is rude to them. Kill them with kindness I say! I always put it like this, if I see a place that I don't know about...I think, well...if I don't go, I don't know! For every 5 people that are rude, there are 10 that are pleasant and willing to talk to you for a few minutes. Keep Up The Grind!
Nice post. Truly, "Attitude is everything". Whenever I get a bit gun-shy about making cold calls (which is more often than not, I confess) and the seeming 'wasted' effort it can feel like, I remember some sage advice my wife (a.k.a Head Cheerleader) gave me one time, which helps: "Honey, remember, you're just looking for the live ones."
Hello Art, Your problem in the start sounds a lot like Buridan’s ass. When faced with options that are too similar many people may decide not to decide at all and starve... And research suggests that if they do decide they may be less satisfied than if they had not seen the competing offers. Dropping all the technical details and focusing on sector expertise is a great idea. Have you pitched this to any of your customers yet?
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I know we haven't lost as much time due to snow and ice as the north east, but we have lost a total of about a week this winter. We haven't necessarily closed, but a lot of our clients have. For January & February, I'm at about 150% of my number.
I remember the first copier I sold, it was an Olympia wet process job, and it happened back in the early 70's. I was actually a typewriter salesman at the time, but they wanted a copier as well, and I had to beat the guy from Apeco. Eventually I started in copiers full time, in mid-1976, and the first plain paper machine I sold was a U-Bix 101, which was quite remarkable, because the machine caught on fire during the demonstration. I can't remember what the excuse I gave was, but I got the...
Well said Art. What I have just read there, is what a lot of us that have been in the business for a long time need to remind ourselves of, if or whenever motivation and the will to succeed begins to ebb, in this mature and ever changing market. I have been selling copiers for 35 years, and what you posted there is spot on, mate !!!
Wallingford: Thank you! Us old bird dogs can still do, it's just that it's getting a little harder and harder to get those birds out of the bush and into the dinner plate. Younger reps need to learn that they can't give up to easily, it's not easy, but who ever stated that going to work every day was a walk in the park!
You're right on Art. LinkedIn is becoming a valid generator of leads for my business. 2 qualified ones in the last 30 days or so. You need to be involved constantly just like a website or blog. Activity drives activity.
Very Important Top Officer It's an alternative to talking about C Level Officers as if they are really approachable. VITO may be a C level person but doesn't have to be. The best book in the world is called Selling to VITO by Parinello
Art your comments are great to help remind people of the "Lost Art of Cold Calling" or Gold calling. I was kicked out of the Sears Tower more than once cold calling Laser Printers (yup Laser Printers in the 80s) but uncovered some great deals as well. You've added tips that show how better prepared we can be on cold calls now than back in the day!
Could agree more to the cold calling as well as the planning and preparation. I can send an intro letter in the mail, but if I take it to the reception desk to personally deliver, chances improve. A planned segment of cold calling/hot knocks along with a few scheduled appts makes for a good day. That cold call is your first impression and make the reception person or initial contact a VITO!
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