The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson ,

Dear Print Buyer...

We haven’t spoken in a while, you and I, so I wanted to reach out and check-in. I've got an idea.

I want to make a deal with you. You have done an excellent job of avoiding my readers and, in particular, their phone call attempts to get some face time. This is unfortunate because they have a lot to give to you and truly believe that they bring great value.

The problem is, however, you neither answer your phone or return their calls.

Statistically speaking, I got some questions for you:

- How many total phone calls do you get in a day?'

- How many of those calls are from salespeople you don't currently do business with?

- And how many calls from those new salespeople are second attempts?

- How about third attempts?

- And fourth?

Here's my point:

I would guess that your phone rings 60 times a day (I am guessing high but I might not be too far off). Of those calls, let’s say 50 are from new salespeople and the remainder are either internal or from reps you know.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting...

Over the years, I have queried company presidents, owners, and managers and asked this question: "What percentage of the time does a sales rep call on you, leave one voicemail message, and never call again?"

Would it surprise you to know that the answer consistently comes in at 90 percent? That is, nine out of 10 times a prospecting sales person leaves just one voicemail message.

Okay, but let's assume that that number is just 80 percent. That means that of the 50 calls you are getting each day, only10 are from salespeople calling a second time.

Carrying that thinking one step further, if 80 percent of those callers will call more than twice. This means that just two of the 60 calls that you got today are from salespeople persistent enough to call you more than two times.

Now then, here’s what I propose:

Go ahead and let that first call from a salesperson go to voicemail. You have my permission to delete it after listening. If that rep calls again, you could do the same thing: listen and then delete. And if that rep calls a third time, do the same thing.


If a sales rep demonstrates enough diligence and persistence to make a fourth prospecting call to you, either pick up the phone or return the call.

Do we have a deal?

I will get off your back and stop complaining about your lack of professionalism. I will not bash you in any of my sales tips, blogs, my presentations, or Short Attention Span Webinars. I will even talk with Santa about taking you off of the naughty list. All you need to do in return is to promise to hear out the sales rep who was taking the extraordinary step of calling you more than three times.

This is all I ask. For now.

Source: http://www.piworld.com/

Bill Farquharson

Bill Farquharson

Sales trainer for the printing, packaging, publishing

Bill Farquharson | Sales trainer for the printing, packaging, publishing, labels, and signage industries

Bill Farquharson has a long history of driving sales momentum through his various training programs and initiatives.

His free video sales tips and Short Attention Span Webinars go out to 85,000 people a week. Bill is unapologetically Old School in his thinking and coaching, and he’s fundamental in his approach and communication style.

As a columnist and blogger for Printing Impressions magazine, Bill shares wit and wisdom from the experienced mind of a 30-year sales veteran.

bfarquharson@napl.org | http://napl.org/


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