So you may have seen the article about office humor in the Wall Street Journal that features me in the lede. A lot of other people sure did, including several sales people. How do I know? Because they called me. The exchanges went something like this:
Sales Tool: This is So-and-So calling from Thus-and-Such. Saw the Wall Street Journal article. Congratulations.
Me: Oh, thanks. Nice of you to call.
Sales Tool: So, Margot, I'd like to talk to you about investments/insurance/credit card processing. Is this a good time?
Really? You can't just send me a note to start the relationship and then hit me with your sales pitch? You can't ask me anything about myself or my business then start marketing?
Needless to say, none of the people who called me yesterday will get my business.
Is your sales team making this same mistake?
It's perfectly fine to scan the media for prospects, of course, but how you engage with them is what moves them along the sales continuum. Help your sales group develop an effective process for reaching out to new prospects. Coach them on how to navigate first contact effectively so the door remains open for a sales pitch.