It’s time to fire the robot who tries to do your selling for you. Yes, somewhere deep inside your brain is a robot who thinks it needs to step in whenever you are cold calling or warm calling clients. The robot is a graduate of charm school, etiquette school and HR school. All punctuation must be perfect, and no emotions are allowed. It’s all very corporate and sterile.
<spoken like Beldar Conehead>“Hello. Mr Smith at XYZ Corp, this is Julien. from ABC corp. I’m calling today to inform you that I can provide 5% savings on your long distance. and free cookies. if you agree to 4 easy payments of $49.99. (Not valid in Montana, Canada, Hawaii or in any city that starts with the letter L). By the way, one of my friends has been trying to reach you about your expiring car warranty. Please hold while I transfer you.”I exaggerate for effect, but you get the drift. No one actually talks like that. No matter how big the company you are prospecting is, the person answering the phone is first and foremost…..a person! Yes, A human being that wakes up with a sore back, stubs their toe on the door jam, runs out of toothpaste, and has people they love and laugh with. If you treat them like a robot, they will respond like one. BE HUMAN!
Humans vary their tone when they speak. They don’t spout out miscellaneous information without it being in context (unless they’re drunk). Humans are inquisitive, and acknowledge the tone and demeanor of the other humans around them. Part of your job in sales is to connect with the other person….human to human. If people responded to that, companies would replace us all with robots.
Also, it is disrespectful and borderline rude to talk to someone like 100% of their meaning is their job title.
Some of you might do that to a waiter or a bartender. Most of you don’t. When you order a drink, you acknowledge that the person who is going to bring it to you is a person. They do the same back. A sales call is no different. There is not etiquette that requires you to be corporate, EVEN WHEN, AND ESPECIALLY WHEN delivering a disclaimer (like the “recorded line” deal).
This doesn’t come naturally to some, I get it. I understand that I am lucky to just love talking to people. The other day, I stopped in the Mcdonald’s drive through with my teenager. I wasn’t paying attention when he ordered, so I was caught off guard when the lady at the pick up window asked me “Large Vanilla Shake?”. It created an awkward moment, so I did what I always do and deflected with humor, and apologized.
“Sorry, I was confused because I didn’t know we ordered that. And Large Vanilla Shake is also my stripper name.”The outburst of laughter from the drive through window didn’t fool me into thinking I was that funny. It confirmed for me that the drive through crew gets treated like robots most of the time. A human to human connection around a stupid joke was a welcome relief. No one likes to be treated like a robot.
Be the one interaction in your prospect’s day that doesn’t make them feel like a robot.