Sales Calls: It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
In my former life, I was first a print buyer and then later became a sales rep for a printing company. I remember one seminar that my sales manager sent me to that taught that print sales is really a numbers game. If you cold call “X” number of companies per day, you’ll get “X” number of jobs to quote on and that will turn into “X” number of sales per month. The theory was that the most important thing that you could do as a sales rep was to cold call as many buying companies as possible. The higher the number, the more successful you will be.
Bruce McCurley submitted a great comment on my last blog entry, It’s Not Cool to “Drop By” Without an Appointment.
He said, “Blame it on the printing company owners. Almost without exception, they require their sales reps to make a minimum of 7 in-person sales calls per day, and if the rep cannot get that many appointments during some days due to scheduling conflicts or otherwise, he or she will have to include some drop-by’s to keep the boss happy whether they produce sales or not.”
While obviously printing sales reps need to proactively seek new leads, sales activity has to change to reflect how printing companies must change their business. Both must become more strategic in their approach to developing new business. Good strategy lies not in the quantity of prospects, but the quality of the prospects and the quality of contact with those individuals. Sales manager and owners need to stop forcing their sales reps to make extraneous sales calls just to satisfy management’s idea of keeping busy. Being busy doesn’t correlate to being successful. If fact, asking sales reps to call on too many print buyers a day can backfire. Resources are wasted and print buyers are offended.