What makes a business owner or manager take a sales call with a vendor?
I’ve been in those shoes as a manager for a large cataloger and ecommerce company.
The most important thing about that first email and call was a reason to have the conversation and it can’t just be about what the vendor is selling.
There are a few things that get you in the door.
Blogging is one of them.
Blog Posts Give People A Reason To Talk
That first discussion is usually the most difficult for salespeople. The rate of having a successful call and moving the sales relationship to the next step is low if you start immediately talking about the product or service.
When people would call me when I worked as an Internet program manager I usually felt like it was a hassle. There were occasions though when I had been reading industry blogs and sometimes the blogs I was reading were those of the salespeople.
By reading those posts I felt a few things in relation to the company.
First, I felt I knew the company personality a little bit. Every company has a personality or tone and it comes through in blog posts. You can tell if the company cares about the industry and customers.
The personality comes through in the topics selected by the authors. It comes through in the language in the post. You can really pick up on the tone of the company and if it’s a company you’ve come to respect and trust by reading the blog you are much more likely to take a sales call.
Second, a specific post can sometimes make a huge difference. Salespeople at companies knew when a sales post would do really well and they would bring it up with their prospects. It might have been a post on a hot topic in the industry or maybe it was a study or case study that was really helpful for companies in the industry.
I remember when Google Analytics started coming out with multiple pathway or touch point attribution. It was a big topic and while they’re still trying to figure it out it was really important for me and others to figure out how to understand the paths customers used when purchasing products.
A company called me and I had read a study they had done on multi-point attribution. I found myself mentioning the study to the salesman and the conversation started from there. I was much more ready to take his call because of the study, which was a blog post.
Third, a blog or blog post can be the first step in the conversation. Salespeople are always trying to further along the conversation. Depending on the product or service the conversation can take a little while and when it was expected to take a little while the salesperson will often share a case study or even blog post with the new prospect.
I would often download the .pdf or read the post on the site if the topic was interesting. It was a way for the salesperson to get me interested in the company before getting down to talking about the details of the product.
As you can see, blogging does have the ability to get your prospect to take your call. In a game that is so difficult you can really improve your chances of adding new business by blogging.