Posted by: petsweekly | May 28, 2010

Sales: Is it Follow Up or Stalking

Today, let’s talk sales. For me, sales is sort of like dating. There’s the initial “getting to know you” stage, followed by the “do I call you or do you call me” stage, and ultimately it culminates in a love, hate or love-hate relationship.

But during the initial dating phase, there’s a worry that you’re going to be too pushy (stalking), and then the worry that you’re not pushing hard enough (appearing uninterested).

I don’t like dating or sales. But I have to do sales. Thank God, I don’t have to date anymore.

Marketing, well –  I like marketing. That’s more like marriage, and I like marriage. It’s all about getting word out and meeting people, sharing resources, and growing your businesses together. I can get behind that.

Sales, though, has always been difficult for me. I don’t like to force people or companies into anything because I know what it’s like to not have the resources available. Trust me, I do.

I have to do sales. I like to do marketing. I love to write.  I’m really not good at any of them, but 90% of the gig is just showing up for it every day and that’s where I get ahead of the competition.

My question is this – how do you know how often to call or contact a prospect? Is there a “pet industry average” or a group that sets the standard on how many follow up calls a person should give? I’m sure there is. I’ve been in this industry for quite awhile, but I haven’t always been in the business of selling ads.

Let’s hear from all those seasoned sales professionals (or serial daters if we have any) out there. What are your thoughts on follow up and sales?

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Responses

  1. Stacy, I’m a scientist, not a sales person nor a marketer, but the latter two activities are things everyone in business needs to LOVE doing or we’ll never be any good at it.

    What we LOVE about it is showing people a product or service that they really need or that can improve their lives (or their profits) in some truly significant way. When a new store buys our line, it makes me very happy, and when I’m selling to them, I’m excited and passionate and 100% confident that they will feel the same way I do once they are aboard this train.

    So, this excites me. Excitement makes me happy and eager to bounce out of bed in the morning (well, after a latte or two, that is).

    Knowing how to respond to potential customers or how often to bug them is a gut feeling one gets from listening to each one them, carefully. You can tell if they are just being polite or if they are really interested and just have a full plate and haven’t followed through.

    Personally, I don’t believe in “selling” as pushing product or services out the door. To me, it’s an offering, and those who accept will be better off. Statistics are for sales professionals who sit in a sound booth and cold-call people all day long. We’re in the business of pets and pet owners, and that’s really about sharing the love.

    So smile while you’re on the phone with clients. They will hear it in your voice and smile back at you, and you’ll get to a “yes” much more quickly! If you believe in it and are passionate about it, everyone you touch will feel it too, and that’s the most important thing you can convey.

  2. Thanks Dee! VERY good points! And with a product like yours, it’s no wonder that your so happy to get on the phone!

    I have always had an excellent response and people end up loving the increase in exposure and sales, but it’s so hard to make yourself dial that first call, you know?

    Once I do make it, I find that I love talking to everyone and learning about all the amazing new products and services out there for pets. I think if it was any other industry, I would never do it – but there’s just a common bond with pet owners – no matter what kind of pets they have!

    If I could only get past the dialing… 😉


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