Ssshhh . . . . I’m trying to sell
I recently found myself working from a business centre hub whilst travelling to a clients office, this office was fairly typical of these types of environment with a selection of chairs and tables positioned around the room and also a couple of banks of desks and stools for people to hot desk from, it was here that I overheard these immortal words.
The exchange was between two salespeople one was steadily working through their pre-prepared call or prospect list making dials and having conversations with prospects, Being a sales training and sales leader for over 20 years it was difficult for me not to be drawn to their conversation as I cannot help myself but listen in and observe and to be fair they were doing a brilliant job working through the list and having some valuable dialogue, it was after maybe the 7th or 8th call that the person to their right stood up and said “do you have to be so loud I am trying to sell to my clients” there was an awkward moment and then a look of total confusion on the face of the person making the calls and to their credit they responded with “really, but you’ve not spoken with anyone” the inevitable reply was of course “I’m sending some very important sales emails”, now at this point were it not for the fact that it would have been illegal and frankly a bit weird I could have picked this person up and put him in my case and taken him with me to my destination as he personified exactly the behaviour and attitude
I was tasked with developing this new client as they too were suffering from SOSS (Silent. Sales. Office. Syndrome)
Unfortunately silent sales office syndrome is not as uncommon as you would think, there have been many occasions that I have not realised that I have walked into a sales office due to the sheer lack of noise and buzz from the room, the silent sales office fuelled by an email selling culture is killing the art of having valuable conversations over the phone and without realising it these sales teams are losing sales because they are entering into very transactional dialogues with buyers without creating some of those key cornerstones of successful selling, creating a connection, establishing a rapport and building a relationship with clients and prospects and those fundamentals of know like and trust.
Have we really become that dysfunctional as sales professionals that we have forgotten to or have chosen not to use one of the most valuable gifts we have, our voice?
My wider observations indicate no, but there are far too many sales teams that are shying away from the phone in favour of email, don’t become one of these teams, don’t forget people buy from people, not email trails!
What challenges are you or your own sales team facing?
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