This blew me away!
A few weeks ago I kept meticulous track of every sales email or phone call I sent or made. Nothing of a personal nature was included. These were totally focused on prospects – they ranged from a few I’d characterize as “almost clients” to those that would very generously be called “long shots”!
During that Monday through Friday the distinct (unique emails – NOT including any multi-recipient BCC generic communications) count was 119 emails and 33 left voice messages.
Here’s what happened:
- Of those 119 emails, 7 generated automated “out-of-office” replies, so the possible “connection” count was 112.
- None of those 112 were first time recipients (we know there are times an “initial” email goes to spam or is routinely discarded).
- Of those 112 presumably, read emails I got exactly 3 replies. That translates to 2.7%. Pretty pathetic I’d say, don’t you agree?
My phone effort?
- Two actually picked up (what were those silly prospects thinking?)
- Which leaves 31 voice messages left.
- And, I’ve received a reply from exactly one!
With that background, let me make two points:
1. It’s MY job to sell. No one else’s! That, shall we say, “disappointing” performance, was my failure. Totally on me! There’s no question the newspapermediaworld is coping with challenges that make partnership decisions harder than ever. When in doubt the easy and most likely path is to do nothing, even when “nothing” is no longer working. “Nothing” is a catastrophically bad decision! However, IF I’ve effectively presented this culture-changing-revenue-busting solution – Pulse Sales Tools – then I'm 100% confident that as prospects become clients several good outcomes will occur:
- They’ll immediately experience more sales
- More accountability
- “Find” time
- Will enjoy faster feet-to-the-street for any new rep
- Most importantly, customers will be genuinely appreciative!
My communications must make it easier for sales leadership to ACT as they struggle to manage declining revenue, perpetual time crunches, suspect sales resources, and perhaps ultimately the most damaging, a continued reliance on selling products and price, rather than solutions and/or audience.
That last item is really important, so let me say it again and slightly differently: We MUST sell a comprehensive, responsive suite of solutions that drive customer revenue and CEASE offering an ad or a single special section or one digital solution. With so many prospects thinking that “newspapers are dying”, there’s pretty close to zero chance a price and product offer will succeed!
(Note to self: I better craft a better message!)
Suggestions? I’d certainly welcome yours! PLEASE chime in!!
2. On the other hand, I’d be remiss if I don’t point out the responsibility humans have to humans - display the barest modicum of courtesy and reply.
You know it’s the right thing to do!
I recall long ago my Dad using this “rule of thumb”: If you get a letter, reply with one; a phone call, then call back; or, if it was a fax, that’s how you reply. That even applied if you received a Western Union Telegram for anyone who can recall that channel. Respond in kind. This is a challenging, but very worthy goal!
By no means am I longing for the “good ole days”, but I sincerely yearn for good old-fashioned common courtesy and a world where communication is a two-way street. Everyone knows that’s preferable!
There’s no data I'm aware of supporting this statement, yet I strongly believe that IF all of us responded with a “yes”, “no”, or, “…contact me again in two months”, we’d collectively save
This is certain - each of the SVP of Sales, CRO’s, AD’s or Publisher’s I attempted to reach have expressed a very similar frustration when a local automotive dealer (or hospital or realtor) stopped advertising and refused to answer calls or emails. It drives them friggin’ crazy! I hope that each of the 119 email recipients and 31 voice mail contacts are reading this right now!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Here’s hoping the season is replete with family, friends, the most nutritious of foods, and, of course, a Cowboy victory on Thanksgiving Day.