We’ve all received them; those excellent telemarketing calls.
They usually come around dinner time or in the early evening (not past 9:00 PM please!) and often at work. I receive offers to buy credit card processing, sell my timeshare, buy business lists, advertise in a journal, or the program of some retired sports figures playing a charity game against the local fire, police, what have you. And ALL of them are absolutely awful sale pitches.
I’ll say this up front – the callers are just doing a job so I never get personal with them – in fact I’ll offer suggestions to help them improve their pitch by NOT reading the script, usually written by someone who thinks it contains enough sales triggers for the listener to decide that what they were doing can wait, in place of listening to this absolutely critical information. If you really want someone to listen to you, you have to have a compelling story or reason, not the usual blah, blah, blah. I’ve even put down the receiver and noted how long the person talked at me before realizing I wasn’t listening. Of course the caller thinks what they have to offer is the greatest thing since sliced bread or the wheel, but if you cannot tell me why you want me to think the same, then you are falling miserably.
Want me to care? Do this:
Sell benefits, not features. Features may or may not apply to my situation. Benefits always apply to my situation. You have to be engaging and ask questions to learn what makes the prospect tick. An airline representative offered me their co-branded airline AMEX card immediately after I paid with my AMEX card – do I need another AMEX card? No, and especially not for the ‘status’ that an AMEX card affords. Feature. Would I have been interested in the double miles that come with each purchase? Maybe but we never got there.
Sell for my reasons not your reasons. The time-share tour sales guys on the street in vacation destinations are the kings of guilt? You want me to go on the resort tour so you can make your quota and buy your kid a nice Christmas gift? How is that my responsibility? You want me to buy the car so you can win the sales contest with a trip to Hawaii? Did you seriously just say that? The most popular radio station in the world remains WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). “What do you like to do on vacation?” “What is important in a car to you?” These questions start us down the path of my reasons. Nobody who ever bought anything cared one little diddly about the salesperson’s reasons or what they got out of the sale.
Have a compelling unique sales proposition? What makes your product or service better than what I can find on the internet? Do you do something different with the services? Are your satellite phones delivered in a manner that makes them easier to use (BTW – YES, if you buy from GlobaFone). Do you know enough about your industry to create something special, even from a product or service that I can find anywhere? For years, I bought gas exclusively from one gas station chain because their stations, stores and restrooms were the cleanest I’d ever seen. Was their gas any better? No, but it was a far better experience than anywhere else. If you cannot articulate in 10 seconds what makes your company/product/service better than the competition, you have some work to do.
So there you have some thoughts to help you more professionally present yourself and you products or services to prospects in a way that will be more engaging for and make your calls more enjoyable, even if with a ‘No thanks’. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a cold call…….
Thanks for reading!
It was 65 years ago that Chuck Yeager piloted the Bell X-1 to break the sound barrier – a remarkable feat at the time. Perhaps equally as remarkable was his flight Sunday at age 89, piloting an F-15 to repeat his milestone feat. Perhaps around the same time, Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier in a record-setting free fall jump from 24 miles above the Roswell, NM desert. People may opine on the mental state of such people but everyone must admire the sheer guts and will to do something that nobody has ever done before. In 1947, jet propelled aircraft were still new so Yeager’s feat carried the same uncertainty of Baumgartner’s. These are certainly not something that more than one or two people will ever do. Or will they? TBD.
Such first and amazing achievements bring future innovation. What did we learn from the Bell X-1 plane? How did it’s flight impact the modern age of jets. Did this impact the engineers’design of Concorde to account for the 6 in stretching of the fuselage during it’s near Mach 2 speeds? What about the suit that Baumgartner wore? How will it impact future astronauts clothing? What other uses of such a suit can be discovered? What about the effects on his body? How will is help us better prepare astronauts for longer distance flight at higher speeds?
It is fascinating to see the potential ripple effects of ‘first-ever’ flights (think Wilbur and Orville). While we can admire the people achieve them, and maybe more so the support staff on the ground, we can only wonder what future impacts are yet to be discovered from these remarkable events. Our technology is impacted by the dreamers – the few magical people who are always asking ‘What If?’ Here’s a ‘what if’ – What If they never got to fly, to pursue their dreams? Where would we be?
We salute you – the Few, the Bold, the Daring. The people whose pushing the envelope advance technology for the rest of us.
Thanks for reading.
We had a client in today, he’s a commercial fisherman – a hardworking life for sure. Fish stocks are down, restrictions are in place, limited catches – not too appealing, and it can be hazardous work. This is a recipe for fiscal conservancy out of necessity, not just choice.
Spending $1,200 plus service for a satellite phone is a very serious consideration for him. But what are his options? How far will his cell phone really work out to sea? He had to ask some substantive questions and carefully consider the financial implications before spending the kind of money it takes to buy a satellite phone. He made the choice and became a subscriber.
While he was in our office he relayed the story of a recent trip; fueled up ($4.00+/gallon for marine diesel), bait, meals, crew – all ready for a few days fishing. He was on his way out – about 120 miles each way – and passed the limit of his cell phone. His satellite phone was on…. It rang and one of his buddies told him not to waste his time making the trip – no fish. He turned around and fished in close, caught two big keepers and cashed in. He said it would have taken 500 gallons of fuel to get out (just out!), not to mention bait, crew time, food, time away, and the ever-present risk. October weather can pose a significant threat in New England. Do the math – that is a lot of money to bust.
He got the call on his satellite phone and it saved him a ton of money, time, resources and most importantly, risk. The next time you are considering the value of a satellite phone, be sure to look past the actual cost; take a closer look at the value the phone can provide for you. It is easy to count the dollars spent. It may not be so easy to count what is saved.
Thanks for reading!
A train derailment. A 6.8 earthquake. Flooding. Tornadoes. Ice Storms. Fire and Hurricane seasons. All are emergencies, all can happen any time.
Nature will throw a catastrophe our way any time and if you add human error to the mix there may be no warning (other than hurricanes and flooding). So with the constant threat of disasters looming (and happening!) are you fully prepared? Do you or your organization have the resources, equipment and training in place that will enable your survival and continuance? What is your organization doing to ensure that your people are safe, business can continue or your responders are fully prepared to save lives?
Having a good plan in place can make the difference between success and further disaster. Having an emergency plan means that all aspects of your business are accounted for – employees, financial records, vendors, customers – can you still sell from your parking lot? The statistics are staggering – according to Corina Mullen on www.chamber101.com; ‘Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Similar statistics from the United States Small Business Administration indicate that over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster.’ (Copyright The Mid-County Post – http://www.mcpost.com) 90 percent FAIL within two years! That is astounding. So what do you do? Prepare, yes, but given the complexity of creating a business continuity plan, one can easily become overwhelmed.
There are many resources available for developing a plan that you can find with a simple Google search. FEMA offers a great emergency preparedness information and a business continuity plan building tool: http://www.ready.gov/business/implementation/continuity. With the number of resources available, there is no reason to not have a plan, even a simple one, even for the smallest business.
Emergencies can happen any time, so you need to be prepared all the time.
Thanks for reading!
I commented to my wife the other day that after competing in London, all of the athletes can forever call themselves “Olympic Athletes”. Just think about the gravity of that proclamation: Olympic Athlete. That is just so cool! The commitment and dedication of time, money, resources and support is astounding. Olympic athlete – the best in the world. The athleticism is phenomenal, each athlete in their own right for their sport. I don’t think I’ve seen rhythmic gymnastics in the past because – WOW – is that impressive! The precision of the divers and gymnasts, volleyball – both indoor and beach is amazing to see. The pure strength and power of weightlifters and shot-putters and the speed and endurance and resilience (running with a broken leg?). It’s so refreshing to see the optimism, the hope, determination, guts and glory; going for gold has been a lifetime pursuit for these young athletes.
On the other hand as we head into America’s most important presidential election…well, not as refreshing, to say the least. The misinterpreted comments that reach the news desk, the out-of-context statements used for political gain, the nastiness that has become American politics is disheartening. Our government is broken and it needs to be fixed. So far our elected officials have simply stalled and put things off and passed the buck. The unpleasant reality is that we all – everyone, no exceptions here – need to help pay for the damage of the past 30-40 years. Spending money we didn’t have (and still don’t have) has become an addiction. Here’s the tough question: Do we have the backbone to face up to the fiscal mess in which we are embroiled, or do we just shrug it off as ‘that’s life’ and get back to our lattes, unlimited texting, facebook updates and on-demand video services? Will we pay as much attention to the political games as we did to the Olympic games?
So what’s the tie into Satcom? Threefold:
1) Satcom was used extensively during the London Games
2) Satcom will be used extensively during the upcoming political season and
3) Whether you are an optimist or cynic about the Satcom space, there is plenty to discuss. Between Inmarsat’s channel conflicts and pricing adventures, Globalstar’s litigation with various providers, the guys who are still ‘selling’ Terrestar knowing there is no network; one could easily be a pessimist. However, look at Iridium’s tie into the future ATC system, hosted payloads, the storied success of Globalstar’s SPoT and the revolutionary functionality of BGAN and KVH’s increasing presence and one may conclude Satcom’s best days are still ahead of us.
It just depends on your perspective. What perspective do you think the athletes who participated in London would have regarding Satcom’s future? Please feel free to e-mail me with your view.
Thanks for reading!