Recently, I was talking with a salesperson about his initial approach to prospective customers. He couldn’t seem to get folks interested in having a conversation with him. He was hearing the immediate brush off of “no thanks, not interested” soon into every cold call. While this is common, there are specific tactics that can warm up cold calls enough to get prospects to take your call, and even set aside time by scheduling an initial call. My call with this particular rep was to share some of those tactics and best practices to help him experience more success during his initial approach.
As our conversation progressed, he took me through his typical cold call dialog. We talked through some ideas to help him better prepare for his call to strengthen his credibility and build rapport. That’s when he said 6 horrible words that stirred my emotions and made me immediately uncomfortable!
He said, and then “I go in for the kill.”
After he said those words, I remember shifting in my chair and then pausing to take a deep breath. My heartbeat was noticeably faster… I was startled and genuinely taken aback by his warning. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, this salesperson just admitted to being a predator!
Customer focused salespeople are not predators!
Merriam-Webster defines predator as “one that preys, destroys or devours.” It lists synonyms as bloodsucker, buzzard, shark, vulture, and vampire… all these animals are well known for “going in for the kill.” Customer focused salespeople are driven to help their clients grow their business NOT blindside them into buying from them! Customer focused salespeople are well know for being problem solvers who work collaboratively with their clients to find solutions to complex business problems. They’re valued and trusted business partners and allies.
Think about how you approach business development, how you view your relationship with your customers and the sales process you follow. Are you working collaboratively with your customers to help them solve some of their biggest challenges? Are you putting their needs first, or are you trying to prey upon their vulnerabilities to “go in for the kill” and get their signature?
If you’ve ever found yourself using those 6 horrible words, I encourage you to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you would ever want to work with someone who used those words to describe solidifying a relationship with you. Choose not to be a predator, work to become a trusted and valued resource for your customers to help them grow their business!
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Demrie Henry is a Performance Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy.