Lou Johnson is CEO of BlueSky Revenue Generation, a telemarketing company that works with progressive entrepreneurs and business owners turning prospects into opportunities. Bluesky is a conduit between marketing efforts and sales-pipeline closures; simply put, they find business in the follow-up and help to grow your business.
Lou will be sharing a series of blogs based on her forthcoming book ‘It’s in the Follow Up’ over the next few months.
In this post Lou looks at the importance of relationship building with the right people to secure a sale.
Please don’t DIS the Personal Assistant..
I love speaking with the PA and you should too. If it’s the MD or CEO that you are wishing to speak to they are the ideal conduits to get you an appointment. Never, ever disregard the status of the PA, they often ‘run the shop’ and usually have their ears to the ground.
For example, they may have been taking the dictation from a board meeting when the subject came up about the need for more sales training. When a business that provides sales training just happens to call, the said PA may well put you directly through to the MD if they are available.
The PA is caught between being in trouble for putting a call through, or for a missed opportunity if they don’t. The weighing up of this sits heavily on the PA’s shoulders, so it’s your job to lighten the load during your conversation and get put through.
If you cannot get over the great value that you could provide for the PA’s company quickly, they are likely not to put your call through as this would be seen as wasting the MD’s time. So be sure you add value and that it becomes more of a problem if the MD misses your call. What industry insight can you offer to ensure they need to speak with you now?
Now being realistic, the MD might not be available (assume that this is genuine. MDs are busy people and often out of the office or in meetings). Adopting this attitude keeps your chin up and it is often the real deal. Expect that if you answer a problem that the business is experiencing, they will want to speak with you and a delay however frustrating it may be is part of the process. The PA may ask for an email first and you can choose to see this in two ways. As a major fob off and don’t do anything about it or a real opportunity to send in a specific message to the company, of course also making a note to follow-up in a timely manner.
I usually tell the PA when I will call back to check that they have received my information. We put this in our diaries and I do just that, call back at that precise time I said I would. This builds up trust that you do what you say you will do. A needed attribute from any supplier.
At this point you may choose to take the conversation offline and actually write a letter or send them something of use and value. Perhaps sending a book relevant to the sector or the directors individual interests could be a smart move. From your deep research and insight into this prospect is there another link? Could you send something inspirational and unique? Or continue to communicate online and send a specific video showing them how you can really help?
You need to get under the skin of your prospects, get detailed, specific and specialised in both your target audience and the delivery. Calling the office is often just the start of the relationship.
Go get focused, enjoy the conversation with the PA and make sure your next move is smart, has value and pays off.
Keep visiting the TBE website to see my future blog posts that will give more insight into the list creation and actual sales call structure.
To find out more about Bluesky Revenue Generation visit: www.blueskyrevenuegeneration.com and follow them on Twitter: @BlueSkyRevGen
Pictured above: Lou Johnson, CEO of Bluesky Revenue Generation