Selling to Anyone Over the Phone
Authors: Renee P. Walkup, Sandra McKee
Pub Date: September 2010
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814414835
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
Edition: Second Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814414842
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Introduction: Selling “Double Green”
Years ago, our entrepreneurial ancestors pushed a cart through the
city square to peddle their wares. And the profession of “sales” was
born. The interactions were in person. Face to face. And although many
a peddler burned untold calories pushing his cart around, he left no
effect on the environment in his wake. Since then, many sales evolutions
have taken place. John Deere and his wagon loaded with plows
led to the more modern day with hundreds of thousands of salespeople
on the road driving millions of miles each year to visit customers.
These numbers have steadily risen over time.
With the advent of better train and air travel, we’ve added driving
to stations and airports, hopping on trains as well as planes—just so
we could meet with our customers in person, hoping to close the sale.
And we have been very successful with this method in the past. But
consider this: It costs a company between $100 and $600 dollars for
a salesperson to visit a single customer in person (depending, of
course, on how close together customers are clustered).
A new day has dawned in sales, and with it has come rising travel
costs, increased wait times, and a lower return on investment for individual
sales staff because of the time/money trade-off. Time spent
on planes is not generating revenue. Time spent waiting to see customers
can also eat into return on sales investment because it’s not
direct customer contact time. Not only does selling on the phone virtually
eliminate these concerns, it adds the bonus of being a more
green method of selling.
Or, looking at this another way, the ROI of using the telephone
to sell is far more profitable for companies. More salespeople can be
employed, less waste takes place, and business gets back on track for
One of our clients began an inside sales organization employing
six telephone salespeople in 1994. Her group’s sales grew to around
$500,000 the first year they were in operation. Today, she employs
over eighty inside salespeople and their sales have grown to over $100
million! Her departmental costs are a fraction of the outside sales organization’s.
Every salesperson has a desk and a telephone. Her salespeople
can make dozens of sales calls per day, as compared to outside
reps, who can make a maximum of only ten sales calls daily.
Senior management at this company is thrilled with their results.
Our client’s employees consistently win the sales awards at national
meetings, outselling and outproducing the salespeople who are also
using more of our earth’s resources to accomplish sales. In short, the
company achieves a dramatically better ROI for their inside sales
team than for their outside sales force.
Hence the “double” in “double green”—greener to the planet, and
more green in your pocket.
While you’re taking a more responsible stance toward the future
of the planet by utilizing the telephone more effectively and minimizing
travel costs, you may be wondering why customers prefer to conduct
business over the telephone as well. The answer is simple. Time.
All customers have a limited amount of time to work with salespeople.
If you’ve ever heard “I’m just too busy” from a customer, and you believe
there is sincerity behind those words, then you understand.
Meeting with a sales rep in person means that the customer has
to carve out valuable time away from daily job demands. A phone
call is less time-consuming for him or her, and just as effective for
you (if not more so), than that one-hour face-to-face appointment.
With a focused call, most trained salespeople can accomplish their
call goal in a quarter of the time it would normally take to meet with
the customer in person.
In this Second Edition of Selling to Anyone Over the Phone we
explore how you can maximize your sales, save operating expenses,
and operate “in the green” by using the telephone. Instead of just
telling you to “call, call, and call,” we explain how you can effectively
use the phone to generate business.
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