By now you should have heard that educating, coaching, advising, and guiding prospective customers are the new buzz words in sales and marketing. No longer are we putting the hard sell on our prospects, we aren’t offering them discounts if they sign up today. Now we help them make the right purchase decision.
Why do we help them?
By helping them, we accelerate their emotional connections to us and help them know, like and trust us more quickly. This emotional connection is key to getting their commitment to hire us. Marketers do that by providing educational content and sales people do that by applying what we call the “guided sales process.”
Are calls part of the Guided Sales Process?
So the question arises, when do we call the prospect? Remember that piece of technology on your desk that actually connects real people, voice to voice, person to person?
To illustrate my point, let me tell you a story. The other day, I was sitting in my office and the phone rang, after it startled me…because it rarely rings these days, I picked it up. On the other end was a guy from a company (names have been removed to protect the innocent) who provides video services. He proceeded to tell me that I had requested some information from their website and in that process provided my phone number. Now he wanted to know if there was anything he could do for me. Sounds pretty innocent, right?
It wasn’t a big deal, but I only vaguely remembered the company. I DID remember downloading a PDF from their website on “how to use video to get SEO results.” But I wasn’t interested in anything more than information. I definitely didn’t want to be interrupted during the day by a phone call and if I had needed more information, I would have proactively, on my own requested it from the company.
What is really going on here?
Let’s look at this approach more closely. First, I didn’t ask to be called and there were no expectations that I was going to be called. Had they informed me that by downloading that PDF a sales person might, in fact, call me, I may have chosen to NOT download the PDF, either way, I would have been prepared. One way to avoid bad feelings from prospects is to set the appropriate expectations.
Next, if you think personal calls are appropriate for your process, then offer prospects something of value that requires the call. For instance, we offer prospects a 30 minute website review via the phone. The worst thing you could do is call with no real reason for the call. Remember, what is in it for me, the prospect.
But honestly, the way marketing works now, the call is an out dated follow up tactic. Buyer behavior is different. Marketers are educating, advising, counseling and sales people are simply guiding buyers through the decision process. The day of the unsolicited, unexpected, unnecessary phone call is over. Get your sales people to understand the new buyer behavior and watch your close rate soar.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading the Reality Marketing Revolution!