Someone once said, “If you are wearing out the seat of your pants before you do your shoe soles, you are making too many contacts in the wrong places.”
That tenet rings more true today than ever before. In a world where digital communications have surpassed traditional methods, the reality is that if you’re not using these tools to help your company’s sales efforts, you’re probably getting your clock cleaned by your competitors.
Don’t get me wrong. Using the Internet for research, sending out e-mails to prospects and clients, having your own blog to keep connected or utilizing other electronic marketing methods will still put you in front of new business opportunities for your organization. You can also use mailers or telephone calls to accomplish the same. But nothing beats getting off your you-know-what to meet and greet new prospects. Too many companies’ sales teams have forgotten this basic rule.
Take a quick moment to assess your own organization’s sales team. Does your vice president of sales or your chief development officer buy in to the hype that cold-calling or even networking is old-fashioned? Does he or she believe that selling the digital way has completely replaced face-to-face sales?
In fact, unless your company’s sales are purely inbound, you can’t achieve your company’s complete goals solely by relying on electronic communications alone.
So go back to the basics in order to move into the future. Believe it or not, it’s that straightforward.
Make it mandatory for your sales team members to schedule time to hit the field with a prepared hit list, make the necessary introduction and probe prospects by asking the right questions. By doing so, you’ll quickly find out if there’s a need for your product or service. Better yet, you will be pleasantly surprised of how receptive receptionists and prospects will be to your visit.
Bottom line: Stop letting your salespeople’s fingers do all the walking and have them put their feet back to work. Your company’s sales will thank you for it.
Marvin Montgomery is an author, speaker and sales training consultant at ERC, where he has assisted hundreds of organizations in improving their productivity. You can ask the Sales Doctor a question at SalesDoctor@ercnet.org.