|"Hello, is (pause) puh-TREE-shuh home?"
So started my weekend lesson in marketing. It was Saturday afternoon, and started like a typical telemarketing call. Heavy accent, reading a script. I told him Patty wasn't home, I'm her husband, he could talk to me.
At this point, one of two things happens. Either they hang up and try again later, or they read me their script. This guy launched into his script...
As part of a new promotion, he wanted to give me $500 in free merchandise certificates. All I had to do was cover $4.95 in shipping, and I didn't need to give him a credit card number to pay it.
Radar on, full scam alert!
I told him I wasn't interested in participating, and that I wanted off of his calling list.
Legitimate telemarketers know that the magic words in the USA are 'take me off your calling list'; they usually rattle off a toll-free number and move on.
Not this guy.
He badgered me for another five minutes about why I didn't want the free certs. I told him I didn't trust him. He said if I didn't trust him to just hang up. So I did...
The phone rang with the speed of electronic redial. "Why you hang up on me?" he demanded. "Don't you want the five hundred dollars worth of certificates?" I told him no. "You don't deserve them anyway..." he snapped before hanging up.
Did a little research...
--- Sidebar ---
If you want to learn what I learned about this outfit, do a Google search for "Consumer Rewards Network" in quotes. Very interesting angle they're working.
--- Sidebar ---
Fast forward to Monday morning. The phone rings. Heavy accent on the other line...
"Hello, is (pause) puh-TREE-shuh home?"
After going through the usual routine, he launched into his pitch. I cut him off, told him we weren't interested. When he asked why, I described some of my research and explicitly told him "don't call this number anymore".
Why am I telling you this long-winded tale?
Here's the lesson...
Don't work so hard trying to convert lookers into customers after they say no.
There's a well-known axiom in sales training that says most sales are closed after the fifth time the prospect says no. That's true. It's also true that, outside of organized crime, beating a prospect over the head is not a legitimate sales tactic.
Court your customers like you would a new boyfriend or girlfriend. "Date" them for awhile, offering smaller products and occasional surprises. Go for the long term relationship.
Don't cross the line from suitor to stalker.
What do you think would happen if you walked up to a stranger and said "marry me"? Odds are, they'd say no and run the other way. What if you did the same thing with this person again and again?
Do the words "restraining order" ring a bell?
And yet many home business people try to do the same thing.
Especially guilty are network marketers fresh off a big training event. These events are meant to fire up the troops, and they work big time. Distributors hit the ground running with evangelical zeal. Everyone needs their deal, and they just won't take no for an answer.
Wake up, people!
Sometimes 'no' is the right answer!
Some people are just not cut out to be in business for themselves, and that's a good thing.
I need someone to cut my grass. And fix my car. And ring up my groceries. And draw up my contracts. And heal me when I get sick... And on it goes.
Take the easy way. Look for the ones that express interest, whether that's by buying a trial order or signing up for your mailing list. Cultivate the relationship. Long-term business success is a lot more like farming than hunting.
Come on too strong, too fast and be too persistent, and you'll end up sounding like that phone scammer I started this article with. And like his outfit, you may also learn the legal meaning of cease and desist. If you stay in business that long...
About the author:
In addition to writing about business topics for home based business, John McCabe sorts through other authors' material and posts the best of it in his Success Letter blog at http://www.SuccessLetter.com/.
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