You’re the ultimate sales technology—and this is the ultimate sales conversations book.
If there ever was a time for real, authentic sales conversations, it’s now. The phone works. It doesn’t crash, and we know how to use it. So, pick up the damn phone and have conversations with your clients and prospects—not just business conversations, but conversations with inquiry, empathy, and understanding. Conversations without pitching—just full-on caring about the other person.
Do you know how to have those kind of sales conversations? Do your salespeople?
I wrote my second book—Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal—in 2013, because I was alarmed by the unleashed dependence on technology by sales teams. Reps told me they didn’t need to have sales conversations. In fact, they didn’t even need to talk to prospects, because they had great tech tools. Imagine that…
Seven years later, as we approach a seemingly inevitable recession, it’s more important than ever for reps to understand the art of conversation, to know when to use sales technology and when to put away the toys and have grown-up sales conversations.
That’s why I’m offering the Kindle version of my book, Pick Up the Damn Phone!, for 99 cents through April 30, 2020. It’s the sales conversations book that will teach you everything you need to know.
Read the introduction below to learn why sales conversations (and the resulting human connections) are still far more valuable than any sales technology.
PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE! INTRODUCTION
“You Are the Ultimate Sales Technology”
It’s Not 140 Characters; It’s You …
This was the title of a blog post I wrote several years ago about how to attract sales prospects in a technology-focused world. Since then, social media has continued to grow in popularity, usage, and complexity, but my point—that people, not tweets, seal the deal—is just as true today.
Whether you read this book in 2013, 2023, or 3013, you will witness much change throughout your lifetime. But one thing never changes: People do business with people, not with technology.
At least I hope that doesn’t change. Maybe I’m wrong, and a day will come when people stop talking to each other and instead communicate solely through technology. I won’t be around then, but I want my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren to know what it’s like to be human—to use words, to make connections, to enjoy seeing someone smile, and to smile back.
The digital world—as great as it is—threatens personal connections. Humans need face-to-face contact with others. Even with whisper-light computing power and immediate, 140-character Twitter posts, we are a face-to-face species, one that thrives on interpersonal communication and being in the presence of like-minded individuals working together for a common goal. Email, texting, social networking—these certainly have a place in business today, but none of them replaces the power of an in-person connection.
Old Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Irrelevant
You’ve heard it: Television will kill radio. Video killed the radio star. And social media and the Internet will eliminate the time-consuming, face-to-face aspect of sales. Um, no.
I am not, I assure you, a technology neophyte or a Luddite. Like many of you, I happily, eagerly, and creatively embrace the new solutions that technology and the Web provide—when it makes sense to do so. Marketing automation, CRM, social media, and other technological tools enable us to sell more efficiently and cost effectively. But the most powerful tool in your sales toolbox is still you!
What’s the best way to reach, communicate with, develop, and sell to your key audience? Pick up the damn phone and have sales conversations.
If you think back over your most successful business deals, I bet face-to-face, person-to-person, high-touch communication—a phone call, a video conference, or (best of all) an in-person meeting—has accelerated your sales process time and time again.
If you want that extra edge, then come out from behind the cloak of technology. The personal connection seals the deal every time!
Now, About This Book
After years of colleagues asking if I had written a book, I decided it was time to write about my passion—referral selling. In April 2006, Warner Business Books published No More Cold Calling™. Soon after, people started asking when I would write my next book, and I vehemently answered, “Never. No More Cold Calling is my legacy.”
I still believe my first book is my legacy. Every word in it is just as true today as it was then. Yet, there have been fundamental shifts in the business world in the intervening years. So I’m back—with new perspectives and content about what these changes mean for salespeople.
The biggest changes in the sales world have been the rapid growth of social media, the emergence of the cloud, increased mobility, and a myriad of innovative technologies. Do I use technology? Yes. Do I write about it? Yes. Do I have a point of view about it? Yes. But technology is not my passion, so this is not a how-to book about using technology to sell.
Instead, Pick Up the Damn Phone! focuses on the intersection of sales, technology, and referrals—the marriage of the old (relationships) with the new (technology). Each of these has its place in sales. In fact, they are interwoven, interdependent, and inextricably connected. We will explore these connections and discuss how to leverage the invaluable sales intelligence that technology provides—and how to know when it’s time to put away the toys and have grown-up, face-to-face sales conversations.
We’ll examine how technology has and hasn’t changed the sales landscape. It’s certainly changed the way we gather information about prospects. It’s also changed how they gather information about us and what they expect of us. And let’s face it, if you’re not active on social media, you’re about five steps behind. But when it comes to how we sell (you know, one person to another) not much has changed.
I interviewed dozens of sales and marketing executives for this book, asking for their points of view on selling in the digital world—how they use technology, what is and isn’t working, and which traps to avoid. I also asked what they wished their salespeople would do more of, less of, or differently. As you might expect, whenever we ask sales professionals for opinions, we get a variety of perspectives. I’ll share these differences with you and let you know if I agree … or not.
My point of view (and I was surprised that most of these experts agree) remains that referral selling is the most productive, effective, and efficient prospecting strategy. In fact, I’m now even more convinced that salespeople leave money on the table every day, because they don’t adopt a disciplined referral-selling strategy. Referral selling is not a “nice to have,” but a “must have,” sales initiative.
Many people consider my views contrarian and—in the established school of traditional sales—heretical thinking. I ask you to keep an open mind, just as I did when interviewing these thought leaders. The sales landscape changes hourly. If we follow the same path everyone else follows, we won’t stand out, and we’ll lose our competitive edge. Have the guts to carve your own path—whether you’re the CEO of a global corporation, an entrepreneur, head of a sales team, or a seasoned s Have the guts to carve your own path—whether you’re the CEO of a global corporation, an entrepreneur, head of a sales team, or a seasoned salesperson.”
Especially in a volatile economy the most powerful tool in your sales toolbox is still you! You are the ultimate sales technology.
Executives are busy people. They don’t have “meet with salesperson” at the top of their to-do list. What will give you an edge is having a personal connection to prospects, understanding what our buyers want from us, delivering results, and having a well-nurtured network of people who are ready and willing to refer you. That’s right—it’s still who you know that counts. Now, pick up the damn phone and have those sales conversations!
I invite you to read the Kindle version of Pick Up the Damn Phone! for 99 cents through April 30, 2020.
Wondering how your team will keep selling in an economic downturn? Invite Joanne to lead a discussion about “How to Boost Your Sales in a Volatile Economy” at your next virtual or in-person sales meeting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.461.8763.