Getting on a roll

Getting on a roll

Amate in an IT company tells me he's got his team on a new-business roll . . . and he did it using the "old Amway technique". He did two things: first, he simply asked everybody in the sales team to give him the names of anybody they knew who owned a company or worked for one. Then he rang them and dropped the name of the employee.

Then he asked each customer service employee to tell their clients that the company was starting a new business drive, and "could they recommend anyone who might like to try their services?" And then he rang that list, too. A week later he had a hit list of 25companies.

"We're in full pitch mode," he said. "We've got sales presentations lined up and we're bringing prospects into the office every couple of days."

It makes me wonder if one of the glaring gaps in IT company skill sets is basic selling. I find a large degree of call reluctance among IT personnel.

One area of need is how to handle a cold call. Ask yourself, "How comfortable are you picking up the telephone and ringing a stranger?" If you are, it will help.

Don't use the phone to sell your products or services. Just use it to get a meeting. Sell your products and services when you get to the meeting.

Too many people crash and burn trying to explain complicated services and products over the telephone. The prospect who answers the phone has to first decide if it's worth investing the minute or two you might take of their time.

Then they have to decide if it's worth investing again in a meeting. That's all.

If that's your objective, then all your call has to do is to 1) Grab attention, 2) Show you can probably add value, and 3) Ask for the meeting.

You grab attention by finding in advance a need the prospect has that you can address.

You show value by perhaps mentioning a similar issue that you worked on for another client, or dropping the name of a referee.

Then when you sense interest, you suggest getting together. Suddenly you've become a salesperson!

Jeff Sheard is sales director for

Asia-Pacific of Rogen International. Reach him at:

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