Nearly 20 years ago, I worked for Dell selling computers for their small business division. The team I worked on did a lot of testing for the sales department.
We worked on improving sales for their direct marketing strategies.
At the time, Dell was paying more than $100 in advertising just to make their phone ring, and if the caller didn’t make a purchase that ad money went up in flames. So making a sale on that first inbound call was a top priority.
Most every day I hit my goals while others on the team struggled. My boss asked the team why they were struggling. And their answer…
These Leads Suck.
But they were getting the same, random inbound calls as I did. So, my boss asked my opinion of why I was successful and they were struggling.
We were all supposed to have the same approach to sales.
I was doing things differently. My boss never noticed because he was spending time on the folks who were not making sales.
Dell taught us a features based approach to use with potential clients. And it didn’t work because most people didn’t relate to the type of hard drive or processor. Instead, I focused on solving problems and giving people a good deal.
So I made a bet with my boss.
Making outbound calls was a huge SIN for a direct marketing company like Dell. It was strictly verboten.
I asked my boss to give me the numbers of 10 people who said “No” to one of my colleagues and that I would call and sell at least one computer.
Thirty minutes later, I sold FIVE to people who had just rejected an offer a few hours earlier.
No pressure. No lies.
Just a different approach based on helping people. My boss let me continue our secret experiment for the next week.
I never knew if it was a jealous co-worker or someone noticing the increase in sales, but Operation Outbound got shut down quickly. And we were in hot water.
At least I thought so.
Fortunately, the Big Boss was more interested in my new approach than in dolling out punishment to one of his top producers. So we explained what we were doing and it changed the way Dell trained their sales force.
This same approach to sales worked just as well in real estate and has paid me handsomely over the last 14 years in the business. Much of what I learned at Dell was included in my book on real estate marketing called Kill Cold Calls.
Here’s the only place you can get it.
And if you have any questions, just hit reply.