B2bsales's Blog
"We help people stop selling."

Don’t Show Up and Throw Up

Sherry was just hired as an account executive for “Glossy Magazine, Inc.” She was in the sales area waiting for her manager to begin her training when the phone rang at the desk where she was sitting.

“Glossy Magazine…can I help you?”
“Yes I would like to speak to you about advertising…”

Sherry asked the woman’s name and then politely asks if she would hold a moment. She looked around the sales “bullpen,” but there was no one to be found. Her manager was on the phone behind closed doors, and Sherry didn’t know what to do. She got back on the phone to let the woman know someone would call her back, to which the woman replied that “she only had a few questions.”

Before Sherry could respond, out the questions came. Sherry, in fear, asked a few questions as well, but really had no idea about anything she was talking about. “What is your product?”, “What are you looking to achieve?”, “Is this a new product?”, “What have you been doing to advertise?”, and “How did that work?”. She kept the woman on the phone as long as possible with this series of questions.

Sherry finally said, “I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for, let me put together some thoughts and I will call you later this afternoon. Will you be available around 4:00? We can take 30 minutes or so to discuss the budget and some ideas I and my manager might have for you once I give her this information. How does that sound?” The woman agreed and Sherry was off the phone, and off the hook!

When Sherry’s manager got off the phone, Sherry told her what happened. She mentioned that the prospect was a residential decorator, but before Sherry could tell her manager the rest of the information she discovered from the questions that she asked, the manager told Sherry to call back immediately. The prospect needed to be informed, per the managers’ request, that Glossy Magazine has been in business for 17 years, and that they’re the #1 decorating and design magazine in town, specializing in residential and upscale homes. Her manager wanted to make sure the prospect knew that they’re more than qualified to help with any of her needs. “Here is our media kit we market with. Tell her you will send it right out.” “Better yet,” said the manager, “tell her you and I will go out there and present it to her.”

Gee, if I were the prospect, I would just be jumping up and down waiting for that visit! Wouldn’t you? Of course not. Sherry was good enough to ask the right questions, even if she didn’t know what she was doing. But her manager was about to ruin it by doing the old “show up and throw up” routine.

No one wants to be sold to. Now don’t misunderstand that for meaning no one wants to buy. Oh no, we LOVE to buy! We just hate someone selling to us. We want it to feel like it was our decision.
Remember, when in doubt, ask a question. It will allow them to talk, give you additional information and give you some time to think. Telling isn’t selling, asking is.

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