March 31, 2016

Are sales calls as dead as the dodo?

It’s so funny how we don’t talk any more.

Is the sales call as dated as gold lame shirts? It does depend of course on your current fashion sense as to how you respond to that question of course! The immortal words of Sir Cliff, “It’s so funny how we don’t talk anymore”, resonate now more than ever, but how should businesses overcome the increasingly difficult problem of talking with clients?

“I am soooooooo busy” or “I haven’t got time to take a sales call from my supplier” are the frequent utterances in response to a sales call. Is that because we still refer to them as sales calls? Why doesn’t business view them as opportunities to hear what is new in the market place, see them as a vital way to keep informed of developments in your industry?

The telephone on my desk is under utilised. I almost jump out of my skin when it rings. However, my email inbox is very full – mainly acting as an instant message service rather than a good way of communicating coherently and well following a constructive conversation with either a client or a supplier.

How often do we hear after a good meeting how “great it was to put a face to the name”, and how much more productive that meeting was for all concerned. It’s about a smile, a reassuring word or the value that is placed in the ‘effort’ to ‘make and take’ a phone call or spare time to listen and learn. How do businesses get to talk to their clients when nobody likes receiving business calls? How can meaningful relationships be built?

Voicemail should be BANNED!

In our office, we have 6 members of our client services team that have a combined experience of over 100 years of working in the direct marketing, print and direct mail industry. As suppliers we should be viewed as people to engage with and help, advise and ‘tap’ for experience. How can we get our clients to USE that experience? Help and advise in the direct marketing industry is hugely beneficial and can save you time and money if accessed properly.

As a client you are about to spend a lot of time, money and energy on your campaign. You are entrusting the future success of your campaign, business and possibly career with a supplier, that you may have never met, or held an involved conversation with. Perhaps we should all stop thinking of contact from our suppliers as sales calls and start to view them as opportunities.

the sales call is a vital learning tool for clients

Emails are a superb ways of transferring confirmation instructions and summarising conversations. They make excellent tools for conveying easy sell messages. Complex services, ideas and concepts however, are not easily communicated in the dry environment of a business email. When David Cameron and Barack Obama are holding international diplomatic talks, they don’t email each other. You never hear on the news that Mr Putin emailed Angela Merkel about the situation in Syria. They get on the phone and discuss things, or hold face to face talks to discuss the detail and then they write down the summary and sign up to the deal.

Take time to take a sales call. Take time to make a sales call. Pop the kettle on – It’s not just good to talk – it’s beneficial.

Written by Robin Sumner, Managing Director at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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