Seems like no one is returning phone calls these days. For that matter, who is actually answering their phones these days?
I know I have experienced this growing trend in the world of B2B Selling. And, at first I believed these people were just plain rude and courtesy had left the building! Well, the truth is there are other reasons – well, some are just plain rude. 🙂
The fact of the matter is important people have no time any more. It’s true. I watched an excellent role play at a recent presentation showing exactly how busy people are these days. So, later, I actually chatted with some of the decision maker types that I know ( some actually called me back and others I met at Chamber sponsored meetings.) to learn what there world is really like.
It is amazing these executives and key decision makers have any time to do anything – which explains why so often actual decisions are no decision and the status quo lives on at their companies.
So, how do we get this busy people to communicate with us? Here are a couple of key ideas for getting in contact with key people.
First, respect the fact they are very busy. I mean very, very busy. It seems everyone is doing more with less, which equates to good people doing several job functions at the same time since there is no one else to get it done.
Second, there are no administrative assistants to assist you in getting the best times or to get on a busy decision maker’s calendar. This was a key resource for me during the years. If I could win the confidence of the assistant (and I did it often), they actually helped me gain appointments with their bosses.
Third, since few people answer their phone in the office, you must master the art of leaving effective voice mails. Notice the plural on voice mails. It means you must be prepared to leave multiple messages to get the attention of a busy decision maker. That’s right – multiple calls per week ( not in the same day, that is stalking.) since in most cases the decision maker does not remember your previous message.
Fourth, remember voice mails are best used when they create curiosity on the part of the decision maker and they want to know more. So the better your voice mail messages are designed – the more return calls you will get.
Finally, in addition to curiosity, you need to think like the decision maker. What is on their minds regarding their company, their industry, their functional area of responsibility and their personal challenges at work? Realize that you can no longer just pick up the phone and call someone expecting to get an appointment or make a sale.
Today, you need to research your customers and prospects and focus upon what is important to them. When you address their issues, then you trigger a response need based upon their curiosity of how you can improve their situation.
There are a few additional factors regarding the voice messages for today. One, this is no longer a “wing-it” situation whereby you use your wit and learned sales skills and tactics. You will get the best results when you have a plan and execute the plan with discipline. This does not guarantee success for every target you seek, yet, it will improve your chances with the people who actually need you at this point in time.
By the way, you need to have several “scripts or messages” prepared and practiced so they sound genuine and sincere with a heavy dose of confidence added into the equation. Then you will get more actionable opportunities in your b2b sales efforts. Use these b2b sales tips to improve your sales results.