No More Follow-Up Calls
In the movie Boiler Room, Ben Affleck plays the sales trainer for the fictional brokerage firm J.T. Marlin. In one of the training scenes, he makes a very astute statement. 'And there is no such thing as a no-sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock, or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made...'
That quote is a part of my sales training, and I was drawn back to it when a topic had been submitted to the website. The question was, 'How do I get more people to respond to my emails and phone calls when they've gone ghost?' I've seen lots of trainers and authors give a lot of answers to this question (and I did, too)...but in talking with a friend in the #sportsbiz industry about the best approach, something hit me...the problem was that reps are not closing enough. That probably doesn't make sense...let me explain.
Every call we need to close on something. Closing can be one of four things...you can:
Close an actual sale
Close a next step in the sales process (stadium visit, be your guest at a game, etc.)
Close that they won't be buying
Close a next conversation ('We will speak at 3:15 pm on Monday to close the deal.')
In all of those positive or negative progress is made...but progress is made. Too often reps go into a follow-up with the entirety of their intent being, '...just to see where you are.' That is precisely the root of the 'ghost account' problem...because here's the problem with that: The more you call someone with no intention, the less likely they are to do something, the more likely they are to not pick up the phone when you call again, and the less likely they are to pick up the phone, the less sales you make. Because we all know two big things:
It's hard to get people on the phone or to meet in person.
The vast majority of sales are made over the phone or in-person.
So that means a rep needs to have a closer's mentality every time they have the privilege of speaking with someone. It doesn't need to be a sale...but it has to be SOMETHING. A sales is made. A sales is directly shot down. A step is closed that moves the sale in one of those two directions. Ultimately it comes down to this. The check-in call is the origin point for the ghost account. The check-in call devalues the client's time, and, just as importantly, it devalues your time, too. People like to be pursued wit purposed...they don't like to be chased.