Technology in Business: Use It, Don't Rely On It
Grab your blackberry and check your appointments, while you're at it, see if
any of your clients have posted anything worthwhile on Facebook, tweet your
new prospect, check your e-mail for any new appointment requests and then go
grab lunch - what a day! More and more sales professionals are relying on
technology to drive sales and increase market share; unfortunately that is
the first step to staying mediocre.
Getting sales professionals to find vertical markets and make outbound
prospecting calls as well as setting sales appointments with prospective
buyers (in person!) is still the best way to increase sales - period. All
of the technology in the world cannot close more deals than getting in front
of the decision maker, so put away those e-mail marketing techniques,
fax-ready sales pitches and automatic voicemail calling systems. It is no
more difficult today than it was 20 years ago; we just have new excuses.
The gatekeeper now is voicemail with a delete button versus a receptionist
and a pink message pad. The great handwritten letter to the decision maker
and the trashcan has been replaced with e-mail systems that have auto junk
mail programs. The prospective customers have always been too busy or happy
with their current product or service to meet. Principles and disciplines
of getting new sales are the same today as 20 years ago; the tools and
skills needed to get the appointment are new.
Make the call:
What do nice letters, great e-mails, logo gifts, catchy tag lines and
marketing campaigns all have in common? Every sales person hopes that it
will be the "new thing" that gets their phones to start ringing by
prospective customers, but in short they are all just a "another reason for
a sales person not to make a prospecting call." No matter what marketing
idea or event you use to attract prospective customers, the sales
professionals still must make the follow-up call. If you are going to use
a technology-based tool (e-mail campaigns, voicemail systems, etc.), use it
only as a tool for you to follow up with the prospective customer, not as an
excuse for you to wait for customers to call you.
"Social media" is just another tool; it is not a sales plan:
Social media is powerful and there are many experts that have shown and
believe that social media can really help a company become better known, or
take the "word-of-mouth" to another level. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
are some of the great social media forums, but they alone will not increase
a company's sales. It is a nice added inexpensive media outlet (and highly
encouraged!), but if social media is the primary source for a company to
attract new customers or to sell their product and services then they are
sure to fail.
Social Media should work in conjunction with a marketing and prospecting
plan that is based on network marketing, cold calling, vertical marketing
and other key prospecting activities. Prospecting is still the most
difficult part of any company's sales process, but it is not complicated.
Prospecting is 90% discipline and 10% skill set. Sales professionals should
take the time to learn how to maximize their social media, but they should
not rely on it to make their sales. In the old days sales, professionals
were taught to follow their dollar. This means where a sales professional
spends money, they should look there for future prospects as well including
friends and family; the "old" social network. Just like then, as it is
now, social networking is not the only way to grow business and should not
be relied upon exclusively.
If increasing sales was only about coming up with some creative way for
prospects to call then companies would not need professional sales people
and especially the added expense of their high salaries. If you want to
increase sales in today's economy, then use the technology of today with the
disciplines and principles of yesterday. It has been said a million times
and it is still true; increasing sales is simple, but not easy. People are
still buying; the question is whom are they going to buy from? Make the
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Jamail, president of the Jamail Development Group and author of "The
Sales Leaders Playbook," is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur and
corporate coach. As a former Executive Director for Sprint, and business
owner of several small businesses, Nathan travels the country helping
individuals and organizations achieve maximum success. His clients include
US Army Reserves, Nationwide Insurance, Metro PCS, State Farm Insurance,
Century 21, Jackson National Insurance Company and ThyssenKrupp Elevators.
To book Nathan, visit http://www.NathanJamail.com or contact 972-377-0030.