2016-03-07 19:34:48 by Tim
“Hello, This is Tim Coyle from Signal Bytes Technology. You recently attended one of our webinars and I was wondering if you had a minute to talk?”
“Yeah, I remember that webinar. I’m busy right…”
Click the line goes silent and I know that I’ve gotten the dreaded hang up again. It’s moments like this when I begin to wonder if there isn’t a better way to reach out to customers. I understand it on some level. We all get phone calls from people trying to sell us stuff all the time. I can say the longer I do this the less I get bothered by it. It’s not personal, it’s business, or so I like to tell myself.
One of the things I talk about most when people ask me about running small business is the fact that you need to get over your fear of rejection. Truth be told it’s probably the single hardest part of being a business owner. It is infused in your everyday routine. Nope not interested, don’t have the money for that right now, already have a provider for that, I’ve heard it in all shapes and forms. I’ve been on the delivering end of it too at different times in my career. Sales is a complicated process. I like to think of it as a relationship not a transaction. Each transaction with a potential client adds up over time and hopefully like any good relationship I provide something of benefit. If I’m not providing a benefit then my potential customer has a right to end it right then and there. The hardest part is the very first interaction. I try to keep the lines of communication open and honest and I don’t give up.
So, what did I do in the above instance? Well, in this case I had the contact information from a webinar sign up. Instead of calling the customer right back I sent them an email. I mentioned that I knew someone at the company, talked about the services I could provide them, and acted like the hang up never happened. I didn’t bring attention to the elephant in the room. I understood that the person was probably busy and I left it to them. Guess what happened? That person sent me a follow up email and apologized for hanging up on me.
Here are a few tips on how to survive the rejection that comes with sales.
- Don’t start off cold. Cold calling is a difficult sell. If the client has no connection to you then they are more likely to hang up on you. Try and find a connection and start there. If someone attends a webinar or gives you their contact information, then that’s a different game. It’s no longer cold. It’s lukewarm.
- Don’t retaliate. Potential clients might not enjoy being interrupted. That’s okay. I don’t necessarily like it myself. The best response to a negative interaction is a positive one.
- Provide a benefit. If you are talking to a client and you aren’t a fit, then the best thing to do is cut them loose. You need to be providing a benefit and if you aren’t then the best response is to move on.