I have to laugh when salespeople try to convince me that selling today is harder than ever. They wax poetic about the good old days when they could visit customers, buy them a beer and a burger and book the order.
Listen, I was around in the so-called good old days, and they weren’t that good, and the selling wasn’t any easier. In fact it was quite a bit harder.
I was around when most of the time we rode around looking for a phone booth and a bathroom.
I was around in those dark pre-Fed Ex days when I drove the 60 or so miles from Bedford, New Hampshire to Logan Airport every morning to pick up and hand deliver yesterday’s boards from General Circuits in Rochester and then back again later in the day to drop off artwork to be shipped overnight to Rochester putting a 1000 miles a week on the quintessential salesperson sedan, an Olds Cutlass.
I was around when you were trying to drive in Boston traffic all the time trying to read directions to your new customer’s facility written on the back of a napkin. That was especially fun when it got dark early.
Yeah, those were the good old days all right! Oh sure, it was just so much easier to sell then.
When marketing was typing and hand addressing sales letters and sending them out on snail mail.
And I was around when sending a promotional postcard to a customer was the most innovative marketing tactic we had come up with in the past twenty years. And yes some of my competitors thought I was cheating by doing that!
And now, well come on guys, there are so many wonderful sales tools at our disposal that our job as professional salespeople has gotten so much better and easier. There are so many ways to get known, to be in front of our potential customers that there are really almost no excuses not to make those sales.
Oh wait, I forgot, there is one…according to those salespeople of let me say, a certain vintage, there is one serious drawback to making sales today and it is younger customers. We have all heard the excuses: “They don’t answer the phone.” “They don’t want to see salespeople.” “All they do is text and go online and have Zoom meetings…we can’t see that way!”
Yes we have heard all of those excuses, all leading to that same age-old problem of inferior, non-creative, non-passionate salespeople. We could really sell successfully if it wasn’t for those darn customers!”
Well, guess what, that excuse didn’t work in the past and it doesn’t work today. We have at our finger- tips all of the tools that we need to not only reach customers but actually connect with them as well
We have LinkedIn, for example, where we can identify and connect with potential prospects by searching for specific job titles or industries. Using advanced search filters, we can narrow down our search to find decision-makers within target companies.
Hunter is an email verification and lead generation tool that aids sales professionals in finding and verifying email addresses. Here’s how it can assist your sales efforts. Hunter even helps you find the email addresses associated with a specific domain. This is valuable for reaching out to key decision-makers within target companies.
And there is Chrome Extension: Hunter’s Chrome extension makes it easy to find and verify email addresses directly from your browser.
And of course, we have Constant Contact to help us manage their email campaigns where we can create and send personalized email campaigns to your leads and prospects. You can segment your email list to target specific groups with tailored messages. And the best part is you can see who opens your emails which then leads to direct follow-up and setting up Zoom or Teams meetings where you can actually look at and meet new customers from the comfort of your office.
And these are just a few of the modern tools that salespeople can use today making our job so much easier.
But wait there is one more, the Smart Phone! Literally a computer in your pocket. You can text, you can send emails, you can locate companies and learn about them, you can have SIRI find and dial your customers. Whatever you need is right there in your pocket.
Just think back to those “Good Old Days” and wonder what you could have done with all of these sales tools back then. Well guess what, these are the good old new days and yes salespeople, you have the world at your fingertips, you are out of excuses. The only excuse you have today is looking at you in the mirror. Get out there and sell and have a great and successful 2024. It’s only common sense.