By Dave Brock, Published November 10, 2014
Just when I think I’ve gotten the worst possible cold prospecting call and that nothing else could be worse, some sales person proves me wrong.
Today, I got a call from someone selling “promotional items.”
I answered the phone and get this over the top with enthusiasm greeting. I had to hold the phone 6 inches from my ear as he shouted the introduction. He referred to our speaking previously and of my having expressed interest in his products.
I wedged my way into the conversation, “I don’t recall every speaking to you. We don’t buy promotional items as part of our marketing and relationship building.”
I barely got those words out, when he goes on, “You haven’t heard my deal, we have something that you just can’t not buy–it’s the best possible deal you can get on promotional items…”
Again, I wedge myself into his pitch, “I’m sorry, we don’t use these…..”
But he couldn’t be deterred, “You absolutely have to take advantage of this deal, you won’t have an opportunity to buy something like this at this price…..”
I’m interested, not in buying, but in seeing how this guy reacts, so I say, “Haven’t you ever learned to listen to your prospects, to try and understand what they are trying to do?”
He’s a little testy by now, of course he only knows his script and it doesn’t include listening to customers, he responds, “No, all I have to do is tell you about our product and you will buy….”
Again, I’m pushing him, “But that’s not what great sales people do…..” I was interrupted by his hanging up the phone. I know he was off to another random dial, another lie about the relationships, and another endless pitch with the only question being, “How many do you want to buy?”
It’s no wonder selling has such a bad reputation when business and sales leaders train their sales people to focus on the deal and not the customer. When they don’t have time to listen to the customer, but only care about the pitch and moving on.