The One Who Went Too Far
Several years ago my wife and I were having a weekday lunch together. It was a period of endless responsibilities in our lives, so weekday lunches for us were rare. On this occasion we made the mistake of taking a table next to a chamber of commerce rep. I’ll call her Charlene. For what seemed like an hour, Charlene hectored us ceaselessly about joining her chamber – something I had absolutely no interest in at the time. Charlene eventually gave up and left. My wife looked at me in abject frustration and said, “You know, I was nearly ready to give her money if she would just GO AWAY!”
That is NOT the way to go.
Luckily for Charlene, I was a lot more tolerant and forgiving back then. I don’t think she would last 5 minutes with me now. My wife likes the new, not quite as nice, Michael a lot more, by the way.
Despite this wretched example of abominable salesmanship, I actually believe that most people don’t go far enough.
It is true…
The Chamber Charlenes are the exception, not the rule.
My experience is that most people don’t go far enough and are just too dadgum timid. Occasionally people will cross the line out of sheer clumsiness, but the Chamber Charlenes with their storm-trooper approach are, thankfully, rare. They are the exception.
The problem is that almost everyone I meet has no system either for follow up or for selling. They just make things up as they go, acting on impulse, and hope their luck will hold out. Well, the Sales Fairies are fickle suckers, and you cannot rely on them to sprinkle magic dust for you.
You gotta have a system.
You gotta use it.
And it needs to be simple.
Today I’m going to focus on just the follow up because that was the bell that the universe kept ringing in my ear last week. [So don’t blame me for these posts. I’m just delivering the message that the universe gives me.]
Let me start out by putting things into perspective for you: You are not that important.
The first thing you need to remember is that the people in your network, or pipeline, or whatever you want to call it, are not thinking about you. They have lives. Thinking of you or your company or what you have to offer them is generally NOT on their list of important things to do today. For the most part you are, at best, an after-thought.
So get over it.
Your job is to fix that without becoming another problem in their lives. The way you do that is with the soft touches.
So just pull out your phone, look at your calendar or CRM, and see who needs to be touched. Then touch them. Make a quick phone call. Send a text if it is appropriate. Send them a physical note or card. Touch base on Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
I wrote an entire post just on using social media and soft touches to build a raving fan base. It is far easier and less time consuming than you probably imagine – IF you do it with clear intention and a little discipline. That means stop watching the kitten videos and the political rants and do some real touches with real people.
Here’s an example….
Just Far Enough and Just In Time
Thursday I was at a scheduled lunch. My friend Nicole was not there. Nicole is pretty much always there. I missed her so I sent her this text:
“No Nicole today. 🙁 ”
Turns out she had important stuff to do. She texted me back to tell me. She added that I was the only one who reached out to see how she was. I could tell she was touched.
Let’s look at what I actually did.
I took out my phone. I found her contact. I selected “message.” I typed 16 characters, 3 spaces. I tapped send.
That is all I did.
Because I did that, she felt valued and our relationship is even more solid.
The reason I sent that text is because I have trained, and continue to train, myself to keep looking for the soft touch opportunity.
Not the mass mailing or email blast. Not the blog post or weekly newsletter. That stuff IS IMPORTANT or I wouldn’t be spending a Saturday afternoon cranking this out. I do this to capture attention, build an audience, create content, build programs, etc. This is mainly marketing.
But it doesn’t bring in business… not directly anyway. That happens when someone responds, raises their hand and starts the CONVERSATION. It happens when I reach out to someone and invite them into a CONVERSATION. Then, we need to STAY IN TOUCH.
Learn more about one of my favorite “soft touch” strategies here. It will introduce you to a fantastic tool, and you can try it out for free.
Do you want to know the critical elements of a reliable and effective selling system?
Use the handy form below to subscribe to this blog and be the first to know when
our eBook on Selling Solutions is available.
Michael Stammer is a Sales | Life | Performance coach available for individual and group coaching and speaking to organizations. For more visit www.coachmichael.com
Header photo by Steve Buissinne used under Creative Commons License.