Tag Archives: Sales Calls

Follow up! – Importance of sales calls!

>While sitting over dinner, my girlfriend and I had a conversation about her banking situation. She stated her girlfriend, who just joined the same bank, got $250.00 for using a rewards program. My girlfriend went on to complain about the banks and their business policies, all to the disadvantage of their current customers. Only the new customers would get perks, in this case a rewards program. With a look at the website, the confusion was corrected: The program was on the website, for everyone to sign up, even the current customers.
The advice I gave my girlfriend was, read my blog. Just a few days ago (01/27/2011, in this blog) I wrote of the importance of sales calls, on a business2business level. Well, very embarrassing, she didn’t read it. Therefore, she couldn’t establish the link that sales calls are also important for the regular consumers out there. The problem with her is, like with many other people: The phone rings, ID will be checked, looks like a sales call, no pickup. If she runs into a sales call, she hangs up faster than the guy on the other side can take a breather to start the sales pitch. Needless to say, if the mail looks like junk, it goes unopend into the trash can. Calling her from an unknown, not blocked, phone number, with the intent to give her a million dollars, would be impossible. .As far as I know, there is only one exception, the coupons from Bloomingdales. Funny, isn’t it? Well, she didn’t turn down a million dollars yet, at least I hope so, but who knows how many hundreds of dollars she left on the table, just for ignoring the bank’s website, mail or phone calls in this one single case. She actually knows that companies give stuff away from time to time, but, more or less, just ignores the fact. One is tempted to believe she has nothing else than clothes on her mind. That’s not the case, though, she has a quite broad horizon.

So, again, this time to all: Listen to sales calls and check your mail. You never know what you find, and best, it doesn’t cost you anything, except money you leave on the table and a little time.

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Another business tip – Importance of sales calls – How to prevent problems in the future.

In my profession I see or speak to somewhere between 50 to 80 business owners and decision makers a week. In order to help, I ask several questions and the answers give me a picture of the good as well as the concerns of these enterprises. When you exchange information in such numbers, certain patterns or problems become visible and repeatedly appear. ​It also becomes apparent who are the most important business partners​ of small and mid-sized businesses and in what areas businesses lack action and activity. ​While every business’ major effort is in sales, business development and marketing​, those that have sales and business open up another box of concerns that are pretty much underestimated, not only by the businesses itself, but by the main business partners of such operations. In my experience, it appears the main partners are the banks and CPA’s or those that take care of the administration process in the back office.

When a business, small, mid-size or big, faces groundbreaking changes, usually problems come to light. As an example for such a ground breaking change or event is financing or lending for campaigns/projects, growth, inventory​ or other. This is the time when the books undergo a thorough test, by the bank/lender. And it is also the time when mistakes or underestimated issues from the past can have a negative influence on planning and taking action for the future. (Please keep in mind that this example is only one of the many possible reasons that can bring light to mistakes from the past, there are really plenty)

Who is to blame? The business owner that neglected to take a close look at his business on a regular basis? The CPA that didn’t mention or didn’t follow up on possible upcoming problems​? The admin that faced “lots of work and problems”, but didn’t mention them in order not to “look over-challenged​” in the job? The bank that didn’t really care of the long time customer since the deposits were made on a regular basis and the account was in the books anyway? The answer is clear, ALL OF THEM!​ How short-sighted that is for all involved is also on the table. Everyone is losing in this example:

  • The business owner that can’t grow his/her business and therefore can’t make more money
  • The CPA is losing out on the opportunity to create more revenue from within

 

  • The admin might lose the opportunity for a bonus, raise or might even lose the job

 

  • The bank all of the sudden has a dissatisfied customer and a long term relationship is in jeopardy

 

What to do? Or, how to prevent such things from happening as a business owner? In order to answer the question, let me ask you a few questions. How many sales calls do you receive in a week? How do you handle them? They are bothering you, right? That is a problem. Many business owners claim they stay on top of new things and inform themselves via associations, their CPA’s or the Internet. While this is all good, one of the most valuable information settings is a sales presentation. Yes, you get a sales pitch and you hear and see a lot of sales/marketing power words. However, you have a chance to ask questions and get answers to these questions.

A sales call is an information gathering event and it is important to invest more time in these events and inquiries, because if you ignore them, you will miss valuable information. In the example above, whatever the problem was, payroll, receivables, the bank, insurance, accounting, account management or any other, you can bet that you missed a chance solving the problem you are facing right now, just because you ignored the incoming sales calls in the past. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? Think about it.

Keep a few hours in the week open for sales presentations. Sort out what is important to you and your individual case. This might be accounting, banking, cash-flow, HR and payroll, sales and business development. Put these on top and make sure you see these people. If you really are so short of time, invite them all together and give each a few minutes to explain what they have for you. The sales guys might not like such a setting, but, if they are good, they’ll go for it. Try it out and let me know your opinion.

v@maxus1.com