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Salesmen: How to Make People Ignore You in One Easy Step!

The Story:

This is a familiar scenario for me. I have a need, and I’ve found a service that seems to fit it. I’m reading their website, all my questions are being answered one by one. Great! I just have one more question I need an answer to before I spend a ton of money on their service though. So I navigate to their contact page, find an email address or a contact form, type my question in, give them my email address to respond to…and bam, now just waiting for my simple answer…almost excited that I’ll be handing them a ton of cash tomorrow once they answer me.

The Response:

Then comes the almost predictable answer:

“Thanks for your questions, my number is (555) 555-5555, give me a call and we’ll talk about them! Thanks!”

My next thought: #$%^ You. I just asked a simple question, and you won’t even answer it unless I jump through your sales hoops? Once you get me on the phone you have a better ability to sell to me, eh? Well guess what ups the conversion rate even more than that? Answering my questions.

You know what type of sales pitch works best on me (and everyone else)? The pitch that answers my questions. The normal problem is that you never truly know which questions are in the person’s head when you’re giving them a sales pitch.

But I just told you “Hey, salesman: these are the questions I need an answer to. No wining, no dining, I’m easy as they come. I want to give you an easy commission, I just need to know one more thing.” and you reject me. You tell me: “No, I will not allow it to be that easy. I must waste your time with a sales pitch to you over the phone, even if you’re already sold except for a few simple questions.

We Don’t Do That Crap

If you ever ask us a question, we’ll answer it or do our absolute best to come as close as possible to answering it. If you want to talk over email, we’ll talk over email. If you want to chat on the phone, we’ll do that. There is no more effective sales technique than telling people what they need to know when they ask; without attaching strings or pulling them into higher pressure pitches. I truly believe that.

Do you have any suggestions to sales staff for how to actually sell to you? Comment and let me know!


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There are 3 Comments
  1. Bryan (Floggem Admin) says:

    This post has struck up a little conversation on reddit. It’s got some good value to it, so I wanted to post over here in the comments as well!

    Basically, there’s some people disagreeing on the grounds that sometimes the phone conversation is important. We agree! The main issue is the ignoring of my questions in the response. Below is my initiali response on reddit:

    Hi guys, thanks for your opinions!
    However, some of you are forgetting the main focus of the post: it’s not necessarily that it’s wrong for a salesman to want to get to a phone conversation…….it’s that it’s wrong for a salesman to blatantly disregard your questions in the response.
    Even questions that require a conversation you should explain why they require a conversation, then give the phone number. And for questions that are answerable over email: answer them in the email, and then give your phone number and ask for a conversation. It’s ignoring of the question in the response that is the problem! Why do I want to talk to you on the phone if you’re already ignoring direct questions?
    By answering those questions that can be answered in that first response, and explaining the unanswerable ones, you’re creating the first steps to that trust and leading into the possibility of a phone conversation…and greatly increasing your ability for a sale.

  2. james says:

    You should post the actual email you sent. That guy might be trying to reel you in because he probably works on commision or with a quota, so instead of just answering your question he would like to talk with you in a phone call and set you up completely.

    He is a sales guy who is trying to help you out.

    • Bryan (Floggem Admin) says:

      I work in sales every day dealing with clients. The absolute key is to provide value to them. So any response to an email with questions absolutely needs to provide the value of those answered questions. You can ask for a phone conversation too…but not before answering my questions! I have about a 90% close rate with our inbound leads, so I’m not pulling this out of my butt either :) You provide value in your responses, and they’ll respect you and be willing to speak with you over the phone, because you’re building trust and a relationship with them. After a back and forth of at least one round of email responses, you are many times more likely to get them on the phone, and many times more likely to have a productive and helpful conversation with them once you do.

      I was speaking of a general trend, not a specific email. But I dug up an example for you:

      Hey, I was wondering about your hosting packages. I didn’t see anywhere that specified what languages are installed/running on them (such as PHP/ASP/Java). Can you tell me what languages will run? Is it different for different package levels?

      The wrong response:

      Thanks for getting in contact with us! I’d love to talk it over with you. Give me a call at 555-555-5555 or give me your number and a time and I’ll call you when it’s convenient for you.

      The right response:

      All of our hosting packages have the same language capabilities, running PHP, Perl, and Java. So whatever package you get, it will have those. I’d love for you to give me a call at 555-555-5555 and I can help figure out what’ll work best for you (or you can send me your number and a convenient time and I’ll call you). Thanks!

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