I’m a sales professional just like you. And just like many of you I get in a rut, fall back on bad practices, and sometimes bemoan how much work all this sales stuff is!

smartphone1Then something happens that reignites my passion and desire to really sell well and I put in the time and energy that results in success.

One recent bad practice of mine has been emailing people instead of calling for a real conversation—lots of emails for contacting prospective buyers and for following up. I did get decent results, but not great ones.

The spark that helped me re-institute selling best practices was talking with Joanne Black, the author of No More Cold Calling. We discussed lazy communication and the art of the conversation and she told me her next book will be: “Pick up the Damn Phone.” It was just the nudge I needed to examine my bad lazy habit and pick up the phone. I am very excited about the results!

  • Several sales that were slowly moving along have advanced to decisions!
  • Two sales meetings have been scheduled with apologies from both for not returning my emails and thanking me for calling.
  • Renewed interest in something I thought was dead.
  • A follow-up thank you note from the buyer to me!

Not bad for making a few phone calls, right?

There are many buyers who appreciate the opportunity to actually TALK with another person who is focused on them. This is how to get their attention and a possible sale.

  1. Prepare by reviewing your notes and clearly identifying the action or decision you want from the call.
  2. Ensure your voice demonstrates your desire to connect with them—not relief that you got a voicemail and can cross “follow-up” off your To Do list.
  3. Make it about Them— not about what you want. Why should they care or do something about what you want? What’s the benefit to them slowing down, talking with you, or securing your solution?
  4. Don’t make calls when you are distracted. This includes the driving distraction. If the person and opportunity is important to you, pull over or call when you are in a building—you will be more focused,

I bet many of your competitors are relying on social media and emails to communicate these days. If you want an easy and more effective way to differentiate yourself—pick up the phone!

Your Turn! How do you keep the actual conversation alive with your prospective buyers? Share your comments and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Conversations That Sell.