Don’t ask

by Josef Katz on July 22, 2007

in Direct Marketing,sales

I get a lot of sales calls.  It always amazes me when the sales person forgets all their manners and just talks over you, ignores your time constraints and then drops the ball on the follow-up.  Just the other day a media sales rep had me on the phone (I couldn’t get a word in so I could end the call…) finally he asked when he could follow up to get my decision.  I said 10 days.  Would you believe he then asked if he could call sooner?  To make matters worse he then called twice the next day to ‘check in’.

Few things annoy me more then being asked a question just to have the answer ignored.  Think about how annoying those calls to your credit card company are when you type in your account number and then when you finally get someone on the phone, the first thing you are asked for is your account number.

If you are selling to someone (online, in person, over the phone) and ask them a question make sure you use that information. If you are not going to use information don’t ask for it.  If you are able to use the information to customize your communication or create a relevant offer then ask away. If not, keep it simple.

When you are thinking about what data to collect keep in mind testing variations.  Do you get better results with less info or more? Can you ask the same question in two different ways and get different results?

Here are some questions to ask yourself before asking your customers alot of questions:

  • Do you need that extra question or want it for the future?
  • How will I use this info to make my customer’s experience better?
  • Can I get this information from another source?
  • Do we ask the same question in another way somewhere else in the sales cycle?
  • Is the question clear?  Does it solve the problem we need to answer?
  • Are your questions leading to the answers you want or do they get you the info you need?

What works for your business?  Let me know and please enter your account number so we can pull up your account…

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