All my news feeds are filled with guru’s talking about how much customers hate certain sales approaches. Some of the most fashionable are: Cold calling, prospecting, any kind of email, social channels, pitches, sales people, …….
The lists go on and on. declaring the dissatisfaction with everything we do in selling. Pretty soon we are tempted to throw up our hands in frustration and just wait for inbound calls.
Oh, but they hate that too!
So then we start declaring the death of sales, with customers going on their rep free digital buying journey’s. Oops, those are filled with buyer’s remorse.
The reality is that the customers don’t hate these things. Some research shows they are actually agnostic on channel and engagement preferences.
What customers really hate is these things poorly executed. They hate things that create no value for them or that waste their time.
I’ve seen customers welcoming cold calls, prospecting, other meetings. I’ve seen them respond in positive ways to emails, social engagement and everything else we like to believe they hate.
Customers say, “Wow, that was amazing!” or, “I never knew that before….” or, “Tell me more….”, or “That was a good use of my time, can we discuss this further?”
Customers actually value the help great sales people provide. The learning, insight, different perspectives, the ability to help solve problems, grow and move forward.
The real challenge in getting customers to respond is not to search for doing something different, but to do the we have always done, but execute them well. We have to create value with the customer in every interaction.
So abandoning cold calls, emails, social channels. Hiding until the customer finds us is not the answer. Waiting for the next new miracle technology or approach won’t save us.
Professionalism, outstanding execution of those things we have always been doing are what customers care about.
Focusing on those customers who have the problems we solve, helping incite them to change, helping them learn, rethink what they are doing, navigate their buying journey, solve their problems, and achieve their goals have always been what creates value, and all that customers are asking of us.
Demonstrating this every day in every interaction demonstrates both our understanding and caring.
Sadly, it’s not the customers declaring their dislike of these things, it’s just rational responses to bad execution.
Isn’t it about time, we, as a profession, stopped finding excuses for our bad execution, and just start doing our jobs?
I have great confidence our customers will respond.
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