Monday, March 19, 2012

Everyone but You

I just learned on the airwaves that one of the Auto Makers- might have been Toyota- was holding a sales event at one of their dealerships. I was told that I unequivocally needed to attend because, and I quote, "EVERYONE is going!".

I was alarmed.

How am I just finding this out now?

I got on my bag phone and called a close friend. I was a bit embarrassed (for me)reaching out to him to ascertain my level of social blindness. He answered his car phone and I just spit it out. He was also unaware of this event of such grandeur. He then told me this is an advertising method called the "bandwagon technique" used by advertisers, reaching its height of popularity in the year 718 A.D. He said it is never used anymore, largely because its creative ingenuity is on a par with infomercials purporting weight loss with no exercise or diet.

The first paragraph is true; the remainder is me having a little fun.

Jerry Seinfeld once observed that a man leaning on his car horn to hopefully garner the attention and favor of an attractive female pedestrian is "out of ideas". That poor SOB isn't alone.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pardon the Interuption

People do not like being interrupted.

This helps explain the immense popularity, historically speaking, of the Web pop-up window, the television commercial during the suspenseful moment of the film you're watching, the BLARING car dealership ad on the radio (NOBODY beats our prices!...we're customer-centric!!)and the knuckle-dragging script reader who calls you at home trying to sell you vinyl siding for your brick condominium.

If you are required to cold call ANYONE as part of your job and your employer also requires you to read from a script or close to it, you have no shot of succeeding. You are human spam and my heart goes out to you...seriously. Nobody deserves that type of abuse...on both ends of the line.

A small parable: My kitchen is on fire. You solicit my business by knocking on my front door. You happen to be selling hand-held fire extinguishers. Good timing, bro. Where do I sign? Actually, gimme that bad boy so I can put out this inferno; then, you just made a sale hombre. Great timing. If you're selling something else, I'm not interesting in speaking with you right now.

This horsebleep about "overcoming objections" when you're calling me cold really grinds my gears. It's the proverbial trying to teach a pig how to sing. All you are doing- as you attempt to "overcome my objections"- is pissing me off. Nothing else. If I'm already your customer and we know each other, that's different. Even then, be tactful and be smart when you try to persuade me to see things your way.

You can make money and new customers by cold calling.It's not easy and it's DEFINITELY not for people with thin skin.

There is ZERO magic involved. Aside from effective voice projection, modulation, tone and some common courtesy, success is in the numbers. People are either in the market for something or they are not. And even if they are in the market, they might not tell you because: 1.) They don't like what you're saying on the phone and how you're saying it. 2.) They don't know you or your company and 3.) They do know some people AND some companies who do make what they are in the market for.

Be a pro on the call and you have a shot.

There have been numerous exceptions in the marketplace over the years (Most people were not "in the market" for a portable digital music player when they bought their first iPod). There are examples in the business-to-business arena as well...though I can't think of one off the top of my head...that's how rare they are).

Find people in the the market for what you are selling. The other 95% + you speak with, be polite and thank them for taking your call and move on.