Are Your Salespeople Ready to Sell Integrated Proposals?
Timing and Follow-up
We used to say, "Sell them the way they want to be sold." Now, it is just as important to contact them the way they want to be contacted. One buyer prefers phone calls and considers mass promos to be spam. Another prefers email and wants to be informed of everything we are doing. The salesperson must be able to use all available methods and tools to stay top of mind (email, email blasts, events, programs) and be organized enough to keep track of who wants which kind of touch. Follow-up is essential because opportunities are so scarce so we use a CRM.
Challenges in the new environment continue to increase, and we must be willing to recognize that what worked before may not be effective tomorrow. It is harder now to do consultative selling when time and contact with buyers is often very limited. Salespeople must be multi-faceted, because creativity is more important than ever just to keep the buyers' attention.
James Elliott is president of the James G. Elliott Co. Inc., a national magazine advertising sales outsourcing firm for publishers. He is past president of the Magazine Representatives Association of Southern California.