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By Telephone Selling Report

1. Give the Entire Number

If you have one of those cute numbers that spells something, you might miss calls if you don't also list the numerals on your printed material. I know there are bigger crises in life to worry about, but I personally get frustrated when I have to squint at the keypad to decode which letters go with what numbers.

2. They'll Buy Sometime--Be Sure It's From You!

A Darnell survey states that 80% of sales are made after the fifth contact, but that 90% of sales reps quit selling before then. (There's another statistic we should be able to calculate here that I think I've heard before . . . 10% of the sales reps make 80% of the sales?) In the past, reps were concerned about asking, "What can I do to get you to buy right now?" That doesn't work anymore. As I've also repeatedly stated, find out, "What can I say to be involved with you when you're ready to buy?"

Stay in touch with the prospect with letters and phone calls. Just be sure that when you do call or write, you're delivering something of value, so their memory of you is positive--not of a salesperson looking to make a sale.

3. Be Sure Customers Are Satisfied

Dissatisfaction is the difference between customer expectations and results. The wider the gap, the greater the displeasure. It's your job to understand what results your customer expects, and then ensure that you can deliver before you sell them. It's better to turn down a sale rather than have it degenerate into a costly nightmare later. You won't always have a perfect fit with what someone needs. Letting them know, and even referring them elsewhere, still accomplishes what should be your ultimate objective: helping the prospect/customer get what they want and need. It shines a spotlight on your credibility, and these situations have an uncanny way of mysteriously reappearing . . . perhaps when the prospect does have something you can help them with.
Don't leave it to chance though. Plant a seed. After referring them, say, "Dan, keep us in mind when your department does grow, and if you do find yourself looking for a system that will handle the volume you'll likely encounter, I have something that would be appropriate at that time. So please keep my card on file. You know I'll take care of you."


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