Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Master The Basics - May 26, 2018

I was recently having a discussion with a sales rep and he was sharing frustration that his firm switched CRM applications at the time he was hired. He went on to explain that there was not much previous data for which he could rely on to make cold calls. And then he shared with me that it was time consuming to build his own lead lists, do a little research on who the right person would be to call, and then make the calls. He was hoping I would be sympathetic.


Well, if you’ve read any of my posts before, I was far from sympathetic. I asked him one question: how long has he been in sales. His answer: 20 years. He then asked me: why? This is where my no sympathy approach kicked in. I simply shared that I thought it was a shame that with his years of experience he clearly never mastered the basics of sales.


You see there is no need for CRM applications, purchased lead lists, or anything else to be successful in sales. You need a telephone, names to call (which you can Google quite easily), and the sheer will power to want to be successful. Those are the basics. Let me break these down for you.


Long before the Internet and cell phone there were land line telephones. And as long as there have been telephones there have been people to call. Businesses once listed their numbers in the Yellowpages. And yes, the Internet and Google came along, but the basic concept of seeking a company name and contact person has not changed. If you can look someone up then you can make a call.


Now the company names are not that hard to find, but what about the actual correct contact person. Again, Google it. Many companies post their directories or key contacts on their websites. There are also third-party directories, financial reporting news, or other websites where key personnel are referenced. And, while we’re on the topic of the Internet, there’s this little website called LinkedIn. If you cannot find a contact person through LinkedIn, you may want to consider another career besides sales.


And finally, you need the will power to be successful, because sales is not easy nor is it for the faint of heart. When I meet people who rely on CRM applications, bought lists, inbound leads versus cold calling, account management versus new business development, then I’ve simply met someone that is seeking the easiest way to make a sale and someone that has no concept of the basics of selling. These sales reps will never be anything more the a ‘B-‘ level sales person.

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