Mar 23, 2007

Fishing expedition

I've basically been a sales guy my whole career. It started in the property casualty insurance business, grew to financial planning and then made an about face into technology. Now I'm in franchising and real estate (and still a little tech).

One thing I've learned that says a lot about a person is whether they keep the meetings they set. I'm not talking phone calls -- I read a business article this week locally about how you should return every phone call. I get hundreds of sales solicitation calls a month in the franchising business and if I returned each call, I'd never get any real work done. No, I'm talking about a business meeting time one sets up and then either doesn't show up or calls to cancel shortly prior. Nothing says, "You're not my priority right now..." greater than that. I instruct my sales staff to make a single effort to reschedule and then move on. If a prospect isn't interested enough to show up to an appointment they've agreed to, then I'm not interested enough in wasting time on them.

One of the hardest things to do in sales in to know when fish and when to cut bait, no matter what the rapport.

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