For months now I have fought the urge to start my blog – but when I received a call from the Amazing Window sales person yesterday, I knew this couldn’t wait any longer. He started out by acknowledging that if I needed windows, I would have already called him, but since I had not, I must not really have a need. However, if I would just let him come over and get an estimate, he would keep my information on file until such a time as I needed to replace these windows I am currently using.
If you’ve ever attended one of my workshops you know that I love these inbound sales calls. Many of my stories and examples of how not to sell come from dinner time interruptions read from poorly written scripts. But somehow this one was different. I politely explained that this was not a good time; I was in the middle of some preparation for an event I will be speaking at this Friday in Orlando. It was only at this point in the call that I heard him reading from a script. His reply, “I understand you are not looking for windows, do you have a brick house or wooden structure?” Again I tried to politely end the discussion only to be asked again, “Are your windows hard to maintain, or is the lack of energy efficiency the problem (of course I never said I had a problem)?” At this point I was struck by this man’s tenacity. He was not going to let me go. I said, “Your really not letting me end this call are you?” “I hate to be rude and just hang up on you….” But he kept on going, “How many windows do you have in this house.” Finally I did hang up, but somehow I wish I had stayed with him a little longer.
In my workshops I frequently meet sales reps who are trying to get back to profitability. They look back and recall years of success, living off of the memories of the late 90’s; a time when they commanded large commissions from global accounts in all areas of high-tech selling. They’re gone now, something has changed. Two things I learned from this call, first, if he had memorized his script and perfected the ability to sound less scripted, he would have held my attention longer. The stiffness of his presentation was a turn-off. On the other hand, he was tenacious. He knew that as long as we stayed on the phone there was a chance that I’d give him enough information to create something for the future. Sales takes work and it takes tenacity. It takes being willing to have people reject you without taking it personally. I am sure this guy made many calls yesterday; that’s his job. And I am also sure most of them were rejections. But he held to his script (even if it was too rigid for me), without letting on that he had been rejected all day, and I was just one more. Success in this market is going to take that kind of drive. Looking on past success should be brief and motivating to move on to today – make today a success simply by learning from yesterday, setting your course, driving forward, and making course corrections along the way. Daydreaming never produces anything.