One of the joys of being in a sales leadership role is all the cold calls you get. Slap VP on the end of your name and BAM! cold call central. Cold calls are a fascinating (perhaps sick) interest of mine. Truth is I think most salespeople are horrible at them no matter by phone, letters or email. The worst cold call is the "slimy close."
Before I get to that, if you want five tips for better cold calls, check out my blog post, here. Okay...back to the story.
My experience with the slimy close comes like clockwork each quarter. The call is from some firm selling an overpriced sales training newsletter. It goes something like this: "Hi, since you are in charge of the sales team, we would like to send you and every memeber of your team a copy of our great sales training newsletter FREE for two months. Then we will simply send you a letter asking if you want to continue."
Sounds pretty good until you get into the details of the offer. Yes, boys and girls, this is one of those deals where accepting the "free copies" signs you up for a year...unless you cancel (even though you never subscribed) If you don't check off cancel on that follow up letter, the newsletter company automatically signs you and every member of your team up for a year at several hundred a pop. The "salesperson" grudgingly shared that information after some questioning.
To say the people hawking this crap are sales professionals is an affront to the sales profession. The fact that it comes from a newsletter company selling "sales training" makes it even worse. And if you direct your sales team to do the same or if you personally sell like that, then news flash, you aren't in sales. Better yet, do us all a favor and get the hell out, slimy closes give us all a bad name.
Think about what kind of message the slimy close sends? Does it send the message that a company believes in its products? How about that the training will really pay off? Heck no! What it does say is: our product is so awful that we con you into buying it.
If companies like that had any guts, and the salespeople employed by them had any skill, they would send samples as a true gift. It all goes back to being a servant seller. You serve. People buy. Not only do they buy, they really want to buy from you, because you have set yourself apart by not resorting to the slimy close. Serve your prospects, and you will prosper!