Dear Aunty B,
I just had the phone slammed down in my ear from an irate prospective client who said I was bothering him. I sent a proposal and have only rung him once to follow up.
I have always prided myself on my emotional intelligence. Have I lost my radar? Should I be adjusting my sales techniques to the downturn?
Oh, get over it. We are all in the skids, hurtling towards Christmas at a hundred miles an hour, knowing we are going to be catapulted out the other end into an Unhappy New Year. So we’re all a bit tense, a bit sensitive and in a bit of a hurry.
Just pop inside your poor prospective client’s head for a bit. He has just been yelled at by his boss, who is being yelled at by his shareholders, who are being yelled at by their spouses who are yelling at their children, who are kicking the dog… you get the drift. Then you ring him up. I bet your prospective client feels slightly embarrassed at losing it.
What I would do is wait a week and then drop him an email. Point out that you obviously had contacted him at a bad moment and ask for a time when you can catch up. Keep following up – even in a downturn. Many salespeople send out proposals and never return to see if the proposal fits and how they could change the proposal to solve their client’s problems.
You haven’t lost your radar, and your emotional intelligence will win you business in the downturn. The big talking salespeople – who did well in a boom taking clients to lunch, instead of coming up with creative, clever solutions – will fall by the wayside.
Your Aunty B