by S.A. Prince
“There’s no substitute for burning up the phone.” – Billy Moran
It feels like an eternity ago, but at this time last year I was an account executive (a glorified way to say salesman/broker) for G&C Foods. It’s one of the best companies you could work for in Central New York. I appreciate them for taking me in as a wet-behind-the-ear, know-nothing brat. They gave me four of the best years of my life.
While there, I met some legends in sales, one of whom was on his way out as I was on my way in. His name was Billy Moran. A natural salesman, he could “blow smoke” and small-talk with anyone. People who talk a lot often put people off. Human nature makes one wary of those that talk too much, and of those that talk too little.
But, if you listen “between the lines,” there are some gems you can pick up along the way. Mr. Moran’s gem was “There’s no substitute for burning up the phone.”
His point (in regards to sales) was that you can send all the e-mails and text messages you want, but there is nothing like picking up the phone and calling the client, and eventually getting on the road to go see them.
He may not have fully realized the magnitude of his statement, but it gave me a light bulb epiphany.
Picking up the phone or meeting in person puts both of you in the moment. And, being in the moment matters when negotiating, and if we’re honest, we’re negotiating on a multiplicity of levels throughout the day. Being a salesman is a part of life.
Critically thinking in the moment is what separates the good salesmen and the bad. How do you hold up under pressure? Can you reverse, neg, and strip-line in the heat of the moment, and do it fluently so the other person doesn’t recognize?
These are valuable skills being lost in the new era of business where device dominant communication is king. We can do business in seconds, and it most certainly looks like much business is being done in seconds, often lacking quality and follow through.
Doing business quicker doesn’t necessarily equate to doing it better. In trying to do business or even discuss it with my Millennial peers, it is often a drag. It’s hard to get anyone on the phone (they’d rather text), let alone do a face to face meetings, as many of them are device dependent. BUT, they’ll manage to be on social media all day. Will developing relationships ever become a priority? (I sound like I’m not a Millennial, but I AM!)
There are so many of my peers that have game-changing ideas, but they lack the ability to move it forward, not because they aren’t talented, but because they don’t know how to connect. Let’s put down the devices and really get to know one another.
So, who’s up for lunch?!
I learned many lessons and techniques of persuasion and relationship building, many of which I still put to good use today.
Emotional Intelligence- See Dr. Jim Kestenbaum. CLICK HERE
“Everyday and in every way I will make myself better and better.”
“Always keep going, never let it rest, until my good is better and my better is best.”
Sandler Training Systems- See link HERE