Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Wanna Go Fast

As in the famous words of Rick Bobby, the race car driver in Talladega Nights, "I wanna go fast" should be the mantra of sales professionals each and every day.

Admit it, we are the Blackberry generation... multi-tasking whenever we can... reading while exercising, talking while driving, texting while eating. There's no escaping it.

Our customers want things right away. I'm just as demanding... when I call a company to place an order or resolve an issue... I want answers fast. And god forbid I'm put on hold!

But there is a bright lining to the madness. If you are in sales and can be the first to respond to a prospect's request, there's a very good chance that you'll get the sale. To wit... I have a buddy in the construction business; if you know the industry or have ever had to call a painter, roofer, plumber or other tradesman you know what I mean. Many are "fly by nights" and rough around the edges (not all of them, mind you). My friend does extremely well year after year for one reason, and one reason only. He answers his phone. "I truly think my success is based on the fact that I answer the phone when it rings or when customers leave a message I call them back before the end of the day," he said. "It's that simple."

I can attest to his strategy. If I'm the first to respond to a sales lead I increase my success rate ten-fold. I've had customers say, "I guess you're getting the job because you're the only one who took the time to call me back." Sweet!

So the next time you think to return a call "after lunch," why not take a few minutes before you leave and dial that number. The other end may hold a wonderful and profitable opportunity.

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