Breaking a Sales Habit
I Just Can’t Do It
I purchased my first cell phone in 1986. It cost just under $2,000 and was hardwired into my Honda Prelude (in fact, when my car was stolen, it was the phone records that helped the police to track it down quickly). Back then, it cost a $1.85 a minute to make or receive a call so believe me, one didn’t linger on the line!
Having a phone in my car was certainly unique. I justified it in my head (and to my wife) by saying it would improve my efficiency but I rarely, if ever, gave out the number. Being the son of two Depression-era parents, I couldn’t stand blowing money hearing people say, "You are in your car? That’s so cool!"
As the technology spread and got cheaper, and more importantly, of better quality, phone etiquette changed as well. What was once taboo, like making sales calls from a cell phone, became the norm. Dropping a call is a rare occurrence but back in the day, it was not only common, it was expected and even anticipated ("I'm coming up on a dead spot and will call you back!!!").
Naturally, that's all behind us. Today, the biggest problem we have surrounding cell phones involves getting people to stop looking at them at the dinner table.
But I still find it very difficult, if not impossible, to call a prospect on his or her cell phone. I know that it doesn’t cost the recipient any money—and I know it is probably the most reliable way to connect with someone—but there is something preventing me from calling the number on the business card with a "(C)" next to it before the one with the "(O)."
Some habits just die hard and I think this is one of them.
I am honestly not sure what it is going to take to rid me of this limiting belief, but this old dog will likely stay Old School for a little longer on this subject.
Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at Epicomm. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out sales.epicomm.org and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: I heard this story many years ago and have never bothered to verify it, but it wouldn’t surprise me...
One of the very first people to put a phone in his car was President Lyndon Johnson back in the 60s. He was so proud of it that he would drive around Washington, DC, just so that he could call people and say, "I’m calling you from my car." Well, his political archrival was the second person in Washington to get a cell phone installed in his car and the first thing he did was to call the President (after confirming that he was driving around). Johnson, ever the egomaniac, picked up the phone and heard, "Mr. President, I'm calling you from MY car phone," to which Johnson quickly deadpanned, "Hang on a second, son. My other phone is ringing."
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.