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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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Inside Sales Reps: First Impressions are the Most Important


First ImpressionsIn sales, it is crucial to not only sell but to leave a good first impression, sale or no sale. I've had interactions with sales professionals ranging from ignoring their insistent calls when I've already told them I'm not interested, to becoming best friends with someone who prospected me over six years ago.  For many people, their first interaction with your company may very well be with a sales member, and as the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

I recently attended a marketing event in which my company sponsored a booth.  While checking out all of the other booths at the event, I began chatting with a few representatives from other sponsoring companies.  I swapped business cards with a couple of people, hoping we might be able to discuss co-marketing efforts in the future.  Little did I know, one company shuffled my contact information into a pile with the rest of their "interested prospects."

A few days later I noticed that I had a couple missed calls and a voicemail. The voicemail was from one of the companies that I had hoped to work with in building a sales and marketing relationship.  I called the gentleman right back and this is what was said...

"Good morning, this is Megan Toohey returning your call. You had left me a voicemail yesterday."

"Yes, hello Megan. I noticed you stopped by our booth last week and I want to tell you about our products."

Really... I know you have the interwebz and can search the plethora of sales best practices to come up with a better conversation than this.  I explained I was not interested in buying his product and I was interested in joint marketing efforts with his company so he said he'd refer my contact information to the correct person – which was very nice of him, one point for him!

The next day my phone rang. I picked it up, and this time a different representative from the same company.  I thought it might be someone from their marketing department. However, this is how the conversation proceeded:

"Hi Megan, I noticed you stopped by our booth the other week. I'd like to tell you about our products.  Also, what does your business do?  I'll try to pull it up right now."

Second sales call, product pitching, and wanted me to tell him about my company, how frustrating.  Once I was able to finally tell him why I had inquired in the first place, we parted ways.  All he could leave me with was a general email for the marketing department because he didn't have any connections to his company's own marketing department.

At this rate, I'm taking back the point that I gave to the first guy. He was not very helpful.  I had to go through the hassle of poor sales call after poor sales call, when I was just hoping to discuss co-marketing initiatives.  Now, let's take a step back and analyze this situation.  After an unorganized and unhelpful experience with this company, do you think I remained interested in wanting to partner with them?

It is imperative for sales professionals to have proper coaching, especially if they are the first point of contact for your company.  It is obvious that even in big companies today, organization and communication skills need to continuously be fine-tuned so that you can present your company in the best light possible.  Branding goes beyond your company letterhead and your business cards.  Your company's employees represent your brand as well, and they can make or break it.  Make sure your sales reps have proper training to ensure that they’ll leave a great first impression. 

What is your organization doing to ensure that your sales team leaves prospects, clients, and contacts with a great first impression?


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"It is imperative for sales professionals to have proper coaching, especially if they are the first point of contact for your company" 
With the amount of information available online, plenty of prospects are going to know all about you and your products long before they actually talk to your sales team. But when they do reach out to you your team needs to know how to guide that conversation so the prospect doesn't feel like they are at square one.
Posted @ Friday, January 31, 2024 9:07 AM by Dan Enthoven
I completely agree with you Dan. You don't want a frustrated prospect either!
Posted @ Monday, February 10, 2024 4:31 PM by Megan Toohey
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