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October 15, 2003  

Sales & Sales Management Newsletter
For Better Results, Goals & Success


This issue deals with overcoming common prospect stall tactics.

The Dreaded "Send Me Some Information" Dead End
by Ted Gulas
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Billy Bob was tasked with increasing his number of daily attempts to talk to qualified future clients. He was getting much better at getting past administrative types and screeners. His suspects keep asking him to send them some information. So many requests for information were coming in that the company had to reprint several marketing pieces. During sales manager debriefs with Mary Sue, it was noticed that less than 5% of the people being sent information actually talked to Billy Bob a second time.

Salespeople like Billy Bob have a hard time buying into the concept that over 95% of the literature that is requested becomes litter. Even more insidious is the illusion that the suspect is really interested in the information dump that is sent. Billy Bob mistakenly assumed that once they received the information packet his opportunity for a meaningful conversation would go up. Poor Billy Bob he just could not understand the "send me some information" dead end.

Billy Bob must become aware of his neediness. If he thinks he needs the sales as opposed to wanting a sale he starts looking at a "no" as a failure. He must realize getting the old "send me some information" dead end will not keep him in the game. In fact his tracking bears that out. No sales over the last 90 days came as a result of sending information. (Have you tracked these same numbers?)

Billy Bob's mindset must be reinforced to believe his first goal on the call is to maintain control of the selling game. He needs to understand that he is in total control of whether or not to agree to send literature. The only time he can agree to send information is when Billy Bob has a clear understanding of what the prospect wants to know and exactly what is going to happen after the prospect has the literature. Billy Bob has to ask tough questions like:

  • "How Long will you need to review and get a clear picture of what comes next from the information request?"
  • "How long do you anticipate it will take you to read the information? What date should I circle on my calendar and at what time should I call to determine if it makes sense to have a meaningful conversation or close the file?"
  • "What type of specific information do you need me to send regarding issue A, Issue B , and issue C? ( If you get no issues seriously reconsider if you send anything at all.)?"

In today's world one can always defer to their web site provided you go through it together or meet the ground rules above and get a warm fuzzy on the answers to the questions. (Want to know if your web site is hitting on all cylinders - click on this link to take the free assessment)

In conclusion, unless you have a good understanding of your prospects' pain or future gain and a commitment from the suspect or prospect to do something once they receive the information, do not waste your time or the company's money.

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