At least once a day I receive marketing cold calls from a wide variety of service providers : SEO companies, software companies, CRM system, and digital publishers all promising to "increase sales, ROI, and everything in between." Like most of you I screen out about 95% of these calls, and on the off chance that they caught me in a weird mood I would actually pay attention to what they offer. But the most difficult group are the previous vendors who lost our contract for one reason or another. Unless they can grab me the first 10 seconds of their claim to return speech, my mind is usually back to what I was working on.
Today one such vendor scheduled a 30 minutes sales call with me hoping to regain our business. It was a particularly difficult call for him to make as we did not have much success with this vendor, nor did we get any value out of the relationship. But the sad part for him was that he didn't get much briefing on our history or service records before he was told to call on us, so he was already in a disadvantage when the call started.
Sadly it was becoming apparent for both parties half way through the call that there are simply no synergy to the relationship, but he pushed through his sales call check list anyway. The harder we pushed back, the softer he got. In the end he wasn't even sure the benefits he was trying to sell us. While he promised some additional data to prove his point, it was pretty apparent to us that was just a lie and that we will expect no follow-up action from him.
Start selling when they say "No"
Our VP of Sales always says : the moment to start selling is when your customer says no. I believe there is certain truth to that. While wining a piece of business gives us the boost to keep going, it is the customers who reject your proposal that needs selling. Periodic follow-up? They work best for inactive customers and prospects who will keep taking your call. Good old-fashion customer visit? They work best for those who may enjoy your company but not yet sold on your services. Periodic industry insights and product updates? Perhaps they can be a gentle nudge on your customer to check out what you have been up to. Whatever your tactic and approach, add a large dose of customer education for yourself. Keep researching the customer, keep yourself updated on your prospects updates, and you may be able to find the right time to call and be the hero that save the day, and close the deal.