We’ve all had those days. It seems like everything is coming at you at sixty miles per hour, and that phone just simply won’t stop ringing off the hook. What’s worse, as soon as that insistent voice comes over the line, you know that it is one of those pushy sales people. You know the ones. They essentially wedge their foot in the door jam, and won’t give you a chance to push them back out. At times you will reluctantly and politely listen to their sales pitch; other times you have little tolerance for being targeted. And consumers are targeted quite a bit. In fact, the average person receives nearly 3000 messages per day, either by phone, email, radio, and television, or print media. Add to that the various billboards and supermarket specials, it’s enough to drive a person crazy if they pay attention to all of it.
So when the voice comes over the other line, and you hear their sales pitch coming forth like a freight train, it’s enough to make you scream. Honestly, though, in most cases the sales people were taught by a sales and marketing department head to never ask a prospect or client if they have a few minutes to talk. They’re trained to think that this act of politeness is actually an escape hatch for you, giving you a way out of the conversation.
So if you’re one of these sales people, I have a challenge for you. Start asking for permission, and get an invitation to the conversation. By doing so, you are extending courtesy and respect to your prospects and clients; chances are they will return the favor. By giving them the choice instead of playing power games, you show them that they are valuable, even before they become your clients. If they are shown respect from the start, they are more likely to stay.
Here is an example of a possible introduction: “Hi, this is Mary James from CDE Company. I know you weren’t expecting my call. Would this be a good time to talk?” By consistently using this approach, you’ll be invited into more conversations. This important tool can help you build a loyal client base, and separate yourself from your impolite conversation.