What Are You Selling and Why Do I Care?

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!