Well, only if you’re really interested in buying our stuff...

Last week I received a forwarded call from our office to my cell from a large Web analytics company looking to see if we’d be interested in their services for either our own firm and/or our clients.

I usually don’t give telemarketers half a second to explain why they’re calling, but I wasn’t in a hurry and so I let him talk. I told the caller our HRmarketer services group does website development work and that we use other analytic tools and resources, but that I was interested in hearing more.

I asked the caller, we’ll call him Ted, a series of general questions and discovered Ted was an account rep who was responsible for setting demos for the company’s regional sales reps.

I then asked Ted some more specific questions. He was nice enough. Not very knowledgeable and he stammered through his spiel, but he was nice. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because maybe he was new, although he didn’t say anything specific to substantiate that assumption.

Ted told me how they worked with companies of all sizes, but preferred the enterprise level, Fortune 500 lot. I told him we worked with companies of all sizes with some that fell into the category.

I arrived at our office, parked my car and proceeded to request a demo so I could see more of what his company had to offer. I was legitimately interested but wasn’t sure if Ted’s company was a good fit for our client Web development.

Ted’s response: “Oh, I’m sorry, but...um...our sales reps are spread pretty thin, and...um...we don’t schedule demos unless there’s a real interest in...um...purchasing our services.”

Conversation over. I told him thanks but no thanks. And if their reps are really spread that thin, then that to me is indicative of larger structural and process-management problems in Ted’s company.

No prospect should be a waste of a salesperson’s time, especially a warm one, which I was.

Listen, if you’re in the business of lead generation – which you are if you’re a marketer, PR professional or salesperson at an HR supplier or any firm in any vertical charged with helping your company grow – then make sure everyone in your company who “touches” prospects understands that you never tell them:

“Well, only if you’re really interested in buying our stuff...”

No, Ted, I’m only really interested in getting off the phone with you now.

Posted by Kevin Grossman

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