Don’t Be That Sales Guy. Or Do.
When does persistence cross into annoying? That line is different for all of us. Personally, I love me a good follow-up call to check in, so long as it is accompanied by good listening skills. It demonstrates sales professionalism and I’m all for that. But there needs to be a guideline to follow. Fortunately, you already have one.
Car sales reps fall into that category of over-doers who don’t listen. I wrote earlier this year about a visit to a KIA dealer south of Boston and the first follow-up call that came four MINUTES after we left. Five months later and they are approaching stalker status as the barrage of follow-up actions ran right past our stop signs to the point where we are planning to make our first trip in our new VW Atlas Crossover a drive by their dealership with buttcheeks firmly pressed against the glass while we test out the horn.
On the other end, you have the Volvo dealer who promised to call us and never did. Perhaps they read my blog in February and thought, “Yikes! We should steer clear of this guy,” so clear that we can’t see them in the rearview.
Where’s the persistency balance? It’s where YOU choose to put it. When you find yourself asking, “How often should I contact this prospect and when should I stop?” use your own preferences as a guideline. If you are the persistent type who loves a frequent follow-up call, stay on it and call more often. If you prefer the occasional touch from a sales rep just to let you know they are thinking of you, go down that road and call less. You are the best judge, based on what YOU think is too much or too little.
In general, I advise my clients to err on the side of assertiveness. You will win more than you lose, unless you sell cars for KIA south of Boston, in which case you need better listening skills.
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.