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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Develop better filters and your sales efforts will improve


Go away! We do not care what you want, we are busy playing.
Cold calls can range from going well to horribly.  At my office, they tend to go horribly, especially when the call is to ME!  Take for example the auto dealership that called my cell phone 8 times over two weeks to see if I wanted to buy a car.  Politeness went out the window on the last call when I informed the caller I only do business over my cell phone.  The caller said “it is business.”  My response, “not for me it isn’t, all you are doing is driving me away!”

Some sales calls must be cold calls and there is little way to change that.  The ability to filter the call list to those most likely to be interested improves your success rate.  Developing a relationship with the potential customer further improves the chances.  Eventually, it is possible to go beyond the relationship development and become annoying.  That happened in the above case.

Sales drives earnings and earnings allow businesses grow.  It is important that you feel strongly about what you are selling.  This is especially true when building a startup business and raising capital.  Entrepreneurs are excited about their technology and often feel everyone will become excited if they just hear the story.  The real issue is that people see different things when reviewing your business.  Some will be excited about the technology, others may be interested because of family history (example, a relative died of cancer), while others may be attracted to earning prospects. 

Your ability to identify the factors that may influence the intended customer, investor, or prospective partner may help you tailor the pitch to that individual or group.  The mechanisms you use to filter and identify those willing to buy what you are selling can save you lots of time and trouble.  Seeking ways to obtain a personal introduction may help break the ice as well. 

Regardless of what you are promoting, there will be uninterested people!  The reasons for lack of interest are very diverse.  Rapidly filtering and elimination of the people that do not care saves time and effort.  There is little need in pursuing an investor or customer that has zero interest in you or what you sell.  Likewise, a partially interested party could turn away if you badger them; the number of times you connect before they become annoyed varies from person to person. 

Keep your positive attitude and be polite in your contacts.  Try to develop filters that help you focus on those most likely to buy what you sell.  Watch and listen for signals the party is becoming annoyed.  Your ability to develop the correct filtering mechanisms will help you achieve your goals more efficiently.
Taffy Williams is on Twitter by @twilli2861.  Email questions to twilli2861@aol.com. More is available via his company  website ,  photo  website, or “LIKE” ColonialTDC on Facebook.  You can also find him in the group Startup  Group on Linkedin. Other articles are in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com.