I had a moment of reassurance today. You know those moments – though maybe few and far between, that validate everything that you are working towards is for the greater good and the universe supports your efforts? I had that today. Eva and I were doing our “touch-backs” in Philly. We were visiting companies that haven’t seen our faces in awhile. This brought us to a plastics manufacturer that had seemingly gone nowhere in the previous months, but hey, we might as well give it another go. Maybe today “we’ll get lucky”. And lucky we were, as one of the owners answered the door – which is mildly unheard of. Anyone in sales knows that THIS is the moment you chase. Just 5 minutes in front of the decision-maker. 5 minutes, that if spent correctly, and the right words are strung together can lead to a lifelong relationship. This was THE moment. So we go through our spiel and are quickly met with the comment, “you guys are very different from the people that call everyday, all day.” He was right, we are. And for a damn good reason.
We had a nice chat with him and he again commented on our in-person business model. The rest of the day I spent trying to figure out why telemarketing hasn’t been deemed obsolete. It should’ve died in the 90’s with crimped hair. Think about it, companies can’t honestly be making quotas from cold calling right? The chances of you even getting a decision maker on the phone is about as rare as they come. Even more rare than them answering the door to their own business. Not only is the whole telemarketing model dead, the world that we live in is so far from human connection that I think we almost crave it. So much of daily life is now done on a smartphone or behind a computer, why make sales a part of that too? I think what these telemarketing companies are missing is the actual foundation of sales: trust. How are you supposed to build a trustworthy relationship over a telephone? The same statement can also be made of email marketing. Hiding behind a phone or a computer is a cop out, it’s been overdone, beaten to death and clearly doesn’t work. Sales and relationships (which go hand in hand) take hard work and time. Way more than a 5 minute phone call.
I say bring back the in-person sale. Put the phone down and go shake someone’s hand. Trust me, you’ll be better for it. Learn someone’s name and maybe even their pet’s name. Learn about what people ACTUALLY care about. In a world that has replaced human connection with an internet connection, be different. Put in the work – you owe it to them. And if you don’t, just know that someone else is. Like me.
Written by Kristin DeBias