Advice from your customer: Want My Business? Let Me Tell You How Not to Get It

Over the years I’ve had several companies attempt to sell me their products or services. In most of those instances, they failed. It wasn’t the quality of their products that cost them my business (well maybe once or twice). Does Cold Calling leave you cold?The problem was their sales approach. Let me give you some tips if you are really interested in getting my business:

  1. What’s in a name? It is very important that if you want my business, you know whose business you seek. If you are contacting me via telephone, make sure you know how to pronounce my name. If you are soliciting via mailers or email, spell my name correctly. For me there is nothing that gets a hang up as soon, a mailer shredded as quickly, or an email deleted as promptly as getting my name wrong.
  2. Cold calls will get you the cold shoulder. While I understand that sales is a tough business, I’m still not a fan of the cold call. I’m fortunate enough to have someone to screen my calls so I can pick and choose my conversations but others don’t have this luxury. Those poor souls end up trying to quickly and politely say no in hopes that they don’t have to rudely hang up on an overzealous sales person. If cold calls are working for you, kudos, but I know they aren’t working on me.
  3. Unannounced is unacceptable. This is taking the cold call to another level. The sales person dropping by the office without an appointment who wants to see me. While I admire the courage of someone who does this, I can guarantee that you will not get into my office.
  4. Do your homework or you will fail. Do not make a sales pitch to me without knowing my business. I mean REALLY knowing my business. We are in an age where information is abundant and readily available. Before you talk to me, do the research. I’ll be much more open to talking with you if you truly understand what I need.

Now I’m not heartless and I do need goods and services, but like you I am ‘too busy’ too often and I don’t have time to waste.

Let me give you a one final tip on how to get my business. Remember that you are being interviewed. Getting my business is really a job interview. When you come looking for my business, have references and make them good. A list of references is good. Letters of reference from your other clients are better. A personal reference from someone I already know professionally works best.
If you take my advice, I think you’ll find better success not only with me but with other potential clients.

Today’s post is by guest blogger John Errico, an all the time Sports Love & Game Day Stringer for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. His day job is VP of Finance. Follow John on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn ; as of this date he has still resisted Facebook.

  • Hi John, just have to say you did a great job! This is exactly how I feel whenever anyone approaches me, trying to sell me their stuff that I did not even ask for. Relationship comes first and second, and then I might be inclined to hear what anyone has to offer. Or better, check it out myself. Cause, as you say, there’s so much information out there, that pitching alone want do you any good. Thanks again for sharing this 🙂 ~ Juan

    • John

      You’re welcome, Juan. I think we’re in a time when the sellers need to re-evaluate their strategies. I believe the soft cell works better. As you say, relationships first then work on selling your products. I want to build a trust with you before I’m going to buy anything from you.