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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."

 

Why Am I on Speakerphone?

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Recently, I’ve been involved in a number of conversations where I’ve been put on speakerphone. Is this a trend or are people trying to send me a message?

Okay. If there is more than one person in the room, speakerphone is a no-brainer. If someone is driving while they are talking to me, again, I get it. Speakerphone or Bluetooth communication is the right choice when safety is a factor. I, myself, have Bluetooth in my helmet so that when I’m on my motorcycle and get a phone call that I choose to answer (a rare occasion, so you can save your finger wagging), I can speak without taking my eyes off of the drivers whose sole purpose in life is to kill me.

There is a time and a place for speakerphone use. On hold with Best Buy, the IRS, or your cable company? Go ahead.

What I don’t get are the people who use the office speakerphone to have a one-on-one conversation. The logic of that one eludes me.

Now, I am certainly no VIP but I believe that simply having a pulse makes me “I” enough to warrant the use of a handset.

Are you using the speakerphone? I don’t mean while speaking to me (I have a simple strategy for dealing with those who do—see below). I am referring to conversations you might be having with customers, vendors, and fellow salespeople. What are you doing with your hands that is so important that you can’t cradle the phone? What reason can you give for sending the message, “You are not important enough for me to be clear enough to understand?”

Sitting in front of someone, you are easily able to ascertain whether that person is present to you. Their body language, and in particular, their eyes, tell you if they are engaged or if they’ve checked out. Over the phone, it’s more difficult, but use of the speakerphone is an almost automatic, “I’m not listening to you” message. Is that really what you’re trying to say?

Okay. I’m done ranting. For now. Gotta go. I’ve being on hold while writing this blog and it’s been so long, I’ve forgotten who I called.

Weekly Sales Tips, free Short Attention Span Webinars, and sales training material can be found at www.AspireFor.com. Bill can be reached at781-934-7036 or bill@aspirefor.com.

By the way, my strategy for getting people to pick up the phone is as follows: if I’m on a coaching call, I simply ask the salesperson to pick up the phone. For just about everyone else, I place my hand over my mouth and talk normally. This typically results in my sounding like the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon and after a few “What’s?” my efforts are rewarded and the speakerphone is turned off.

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