The web provides endless amusement in understanding new approaches to selling. I recently found the following post in a sales training discussion blog I participate in. It was posted as “Huge Favor:”
Hi! My name is Melanie and I need a huge favor. I just started a new sales job providing (Some product from a big company). As part of my requirements for graduating from training I need 10 referrals to let me call them to present the offer. You do not have to buy anything at all. (Of course, you can if you want to and I can get you a system for free). If you would be willing to let me call you, send me your name and number to (Melanie’s email address) with the best time to call you. After I call you I will put you on the “do not call list” so you won’t get any further calls. I know this is asking a lot since you don’t know me. But if you wouldn’t mind, I would be so grateful!!
I’m fascinated by this new approach to selling:
- “I want to pitch my product, but you don’t have to buy anything.” Stated otherwise, please help me go through the motions of making a sales call. Please invest your valuable time in a meaningless exercise.
- “If you do want to buy, I’ll get you the product for free.” This is really a cool offer, if you convince me to buy your product, you’re already talking to me about not paying for it. Cool idea, tell me, how do you and your company make money? If I want to buy stock in your company, do you pay me the purchase price and guarantee me a growth rate?
- “After I call you, I promise I will never call you again.” Well, if I give you my name, I am probably giving you permission to call me. I might ask you not to, but why make that decision for me. Would you consider letting me make the decision myself?
- “I need to call 10 referrals to present the offer.” I get it, we’re after making the calls, not producing result. Neat, I can do that. What’ s the commission plan?
I’ve been curious about innovation in sales training. Melanie’s approach, based on her sales training is very different than anything I have ever encountered. I had always thought a sales person’s job was to create revenue for their companies. I thought we wanted to establish ongoing relationships with customers. Apparently, I have been under a misconception that sales training is to help us prepare for this, and the best practice is to go out and do it. The best test of how well we do it is if the customer pulls out their checkbook to pay, or if the customer says, please keep me informed of your offerings.
I guess I don’t understand the new workl of selling? Can someone help me, I’d really like to understand where I am going off base.