When you look at this picture, do you think, “I wish it was this easy to get a qualified lead.”? The truth is, many salespersons can be fooled into thinking this is the best way to generate leads. Their thought pattern I suspect is: “If I send 100 emails a day, I’m bound to get at least one qualified lead.” Now hear me out. I’m not saying this won’t generate any leads. In fact, I have seen it be marginally successful in the past. But at that rate, you would need to send out a hell of a lot of emails to get enough qualified leads that could potentially turn into a sale.
A Time Before Technology
I believe that I am fortunate enough to remember a time before iPads and Blackberrys. A time when it wasn’t even an option to send out an email pitch. A time when you had to meet face to face with a potential customer in order to tell them how your product could help them, and why they should invest in you and your company. In my experience, it has always been easier for a potential customer to say no to a computer, than to your face. While it is quite easy to give a quick email summary of your product, the fact is, you can always get the “key benefits” of your product or service across much better in person. By meeting face to face, it allows you to listen to your customer’s concerns, and help to come up with a solution that best suits them, even if it means that your product and/or service is not the correct fit for their business at this time.
Customize a Solution
As salespeople, we sometimes forget that the products and services that we sell are not for everybody. I would be pretty ignorant to think that the product or service I am selling is the only option available in the marketplace. If this were the case, everybody would be driving the same car, wearing the same clothes and drinking the same beverage. When a customer is shopping for a car, there are certain qualifying questions a salesperson asks. “Is this a family car?” “Will this vehicle be used primarily for business trips?” By asking these questions in person, a car salesperson is customizing an individual solution for the customer. You wouldn’t sell a family of eight a two passenger sports car, would you? Then why would you hope to convey your potential message by sending out an email?
In these times, while sending an email may be the easier thing to do. There is something to be said about meeting with your customers face to face. It brings me back to the reason of why I got into the sales industry to begin with… I like helping people identify their problem, and love getting paid to help them find the solution. So do yourself a favor and ask why you got into sales in the first place. I’ll bet you a dollar that the answer won’t be, “I chose the sales industry because I love sending hundreds of emails out, with the hopes of generating a sale.”
“The way you position yourself at the beginning of a relationship has a profound impact on where you’ll end up.” -Ron Karr
Make an appointment this week to meet a potential client face to face and genuinely listen to them tell you what they feel their business needs, and help them come up with a solution. This type of interaction is the key to generating lasting business relationships.