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Yet Another Example of Bad Sales Training

Key in the words “sales training” into Google, and you will get ~31.1 million results. Let’s just face the facts, with 31.1 million results, you are going to get a lot of bad information. It is a lot like fake news.

A perfect example is the meme shown above. There is no such organization as the footnoted source: National Sales Executive Association and the tip off should be that they cannot spell ‘fourth.” How many times have you seen this on LinkedIn - liked and shared?!

Therein lies the problem with most sales training. It is fake.

It makes claims on getting a promising a result. And sales managers, desperate for results see things like the following, and jump all over it.

“Get more of your sales reps’ voicemails returned.”

That seems like a good thing, doesn’t it? On the surface, maybe it is. If your sales reps are leaving voicemails that aren’t getting call backs, you have to do something, right?

If you said to me, “Mike, I want to get more of my sales reps voicemails returned.” That is significantly different than saying, “Mike, I want you to help me help our sales reps grow our business.”

Here is how one firm uses a script and says you can improve you call back rates to an astonishing 90-95%. Who wouldn’t want that, right?

Here is the script:

“Hi it’s Mike, I have a question for you. Give me a call. 555-1212."

Can you imagine receiving this type of voicemail? It is usually targeted towards executives. The executive might be thinking, “Do I know this person?”

  1. It could be a sales call and want to immediately dismiss it. But…

  2. What if it is an existing customer with a question? Or…

  3. What if it is a prospect looking to clarify something?

  4. What if it is a fellow associate who needs help with something?

If they decide to return the call (I believe most executives would), you will add to the sales training company’s call back rate and help them sell more training “gigs".

Unfortunately, when they discover it is a sales call, they are going to be irritated. No sales rep who is sincerely interested in advancing their customer relationships should want their first personal interaction with a potential customer to start with a highly-irritated prospect.

What is the point of getting 90% call backs if you are losing the trust of your prospects 100% of the time? With the sales profession, there is no silver bullet to success.

If you want get positive responses to your voicemails and emails, you have to work at it. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Here are a couple of hints to help you get your voicemail returned:

  • Less than 20 seconds

  • Repeat your phone number and slowly

  • Use their name twice

  • Practice tone (confidence and excitement with a smile)

  • Best time to leave voicemails

  • 6:45 AM to 8:00 AM and from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

  • Not Friday afternoon or Monday morning

  • Have a specific purpose that address their needs (their operating reality)

  • Script them - remove ahs and ums and avoid rambling and weak closes

  • Better if you can reference a mutual friend… do your research on LinkedIn

  • Don’t mention that it’s you “again”; It is better to say: “I am sorry we haven’t connected yet”.

  • Try to leave the voicemail from the number you want to be called back

  • Don’t sell, you are just looking for engagement

  • Always be prepared for the prospect to pick up the phone

At Butler Street, “We help companies and their people grow.” We do this by helping our customers help their customers through a very professional approach to consultative selling. To learn more, CONTACT US and let’s talk.

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