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An Interesting Look at "Modern Sales"

November 11, 2016

 

How a Coaching Session turned into an Interesting Look at "Modern" Sales

 

An interesting thing happened when assigning homework to a group in one of the coaching classes I teach monthly.

The assignment was for the class to come up with ten new prospects to be contacted 5 x before our next coaching session.

They were given different ways to reach out: phone, email, face to face, mail, and the rule was they could not be just checking in. Each sales encounter had to provide value for the prospect. The group was given suggestions for providing value and different types of examples of scripting as a guideline to help them for each encounter.

 

When the class was given the assignment, I heard the usual types of resistance: I don't have time, they won't respond, and the best one: This is the "old fashion" way to sell. I ask what the person meant by this? I was informed that cold calls are ineffective and that social media, networking, and email is the type of contact that works in today's sales.

I decided I would not fight this and told the student if he thought he could get results using these methods only, he was free to stick to these types of contact for his prospecting campaign. Now we come to the interesting part of this true story.

 

This client is on monthly coaching sessions, one month later I was with the group and asked for a debriefing of the experience and stories of what worked, what didn't, and any "aha" moments that came from this prospecting campaign. I listened to each student describe their experience and found the interactions were mostly positive and reaped a fair amount of new sales.

 

I have to admit I was interested in hearing from the student who decided to use only email and social media to see what results he had attained. The time came. This student shared a revealing truth with the class regarding his experience. He stated he had started his prospecting campaign with the modern way of selling and saw compared to his co-workers he was falling behind. ( They had a contest going to see who could produce the highest volume of new sales.) He then changed his course to adding phone and face to face interactions in the method they were taught. Surprise! He began to get sales. He started his prospecting campaign with ten new prospects and closed 4 out of 10! Not a bad ROI for his prospecting efforts.

 

When asked if there was an "aha" moment he would like to share from this exercise, he stated: "The strongest and fastest way to sell is face to face cold calling!" I am very proud of the students, and their achievements and fairly sure the business had a pretty good ROI for the coaching as well.

 

One could argue it was the type of prospects they called on or the demographics of the customer. However, these students had prospects that were both B2B and B2C type of sales and were located in different areas of the country.

This does make me question, though -

How effective is the modern way of selling?