The other day I was speaking with the Vice President of a large company and we were discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly of sales and selling. When I broached the topic of prospecting calls he shook his head and expressed his frustration.
“I can always tell when it’s a sales person calling,” he said “because they all sound the same. They say, hi Mr. Williams, it’s Bob Smith calling from My Company; how are you today?
“I know they mean well but I highly doubt that they really care how I’m doing and quite frankly, I don’t have time to waste on social chit-chat especially with someone I don’t know.
He continued and said, “Sales people don’t have to be so polite; they need to get to the point and tell me why they’re calling. I’m not suggesting they act rude or treat me with disdain but they need to respect my time and cut to the chase quickly. Tell me how I’m going to benefit by listening to them.”
I later spoke to one of the top sales people in that VP’s company who told that he used the “hi, how are you today?” approach when he first started selling. He went on to say that his results improved dramatically once he took a more direct approach. He admitted that it took a lot of practice in the beginning but he found that the executives he called on didn’t seem to mind or notice.
Here’s the deal.
If you sell to Directors, VP’s, C-level or any other senior executive, stop being so nice and start being more direct. They will appreciate and respect it and you will achieve better results.