Recently Chris (my business partner and husband) has been courted by a sales rep trying to sell him booth space at a trade show. This seller has tried all manner of tactics to get Chris on the phone and I dare say I admire their persistence. Chris is a VERY DIFFICULT buyer to sell to. In their last attempt, the seller’s manager called Chris personally (because he was an important exhibitor) to set up a time that his rep could be in touch. Chris agreed to a time, (I think out of guilt) and, at the appointed hour waited for the call.
No call came. Chris went back to work. And 50 minutes past the scheduled appointment time Chris received the following voicemail from the seller’s manager:
” Yeah hi Chris. This is Y from ABC Corp. Tony just finished up a call and then realized that because we are in Brooklyn, his car was at risk of being towed. So he had to go out an move it. Can we arrange another time for our call?”
A couple questions for you
1) Do you think Chris responded to this email?
2) Do you think Chris will schedule another call?
No. And No
1) If you have your manager call to set up your appointments you send a message to the prospect that you are an important prospect. To then blow the meeting because you are illegally parked shows that you are incompetent.
2) It took the manager to call back? Couldn’t the rep call on his way out of the office at least to let Chris know f the change of plans? If the rep can’t walk and talk at the same time how can he manage our project. Sure that might sound like an extream opinion to you but your buyers are making these judgements every time you interact with them. Don’t kid yourself. Buyers prejudge.
3) They called 50 minutes late? Surely the manager and the seller knew within 5 minutes of being late that Chris’s appointment was going to be missed. By waiting so long they showed Chris that his business wasn’t important. Too bad, with the commission they could have earned from a sale to us perhaps they could afford a legitimate parking space.
4) Even if we give this seller every benefit of every doubt in this case. The situation still sounds fishy and the excuses weak. Trust is eroded even if Chris agrees to take his call.
5) He didn’t realized he was illegally parked until just now? Does this rep plan badly for every activity in his life?
In this marketplace we can’t afford to make junior mistakes like this one. There is too much competition, too many sellers, and too many distractions after your buyer’s dollars to let a good quality prospect slip away. In this case we will chose to spend our money at a different trade show. This company lost out and I fear it won’t be the last time. Mistakes like this are never made in isolation.
This week examine every step of your sales process. Do you treat the buyer as important?
Do you keep your commitments?
Are you making weak excuses for not following through?
Does your manager have to come to your rescue on deals? Or can you handle the prospect alone?
Fixing small mistakes can have a huge impact on your sales!
Dedicated to increasing your sales,