I wonder if the sales call has a lot of life left in it.
Before you faint, let me get my terms straight: I think a sales call is a meeting (in person or on the phone) when a salesperson endeavors to sell something to a prospect, and where the prospect is doing the salesperson some sort of service by being there.
Today, though, with streamlined organizations, there are plenty of people who no longer have the time to politely listen to a sales call in order to not offend a b2b salesperson.
And with so many shopping options available, I'm not sure many consumers have the time or desire either.
Instead, I think we're seeing the rise of the buying call.
I have a problem. I'm willing to talk to a buyperson (okay, bad neologism) to help me solve it.
My factory needs to be more efficient. I want to buy a solution. I call a salesperson.
My publishing company needs to grow. I'm eager to have a meeting with an author who will show me a new book that will help me do that.
What changes more than the words is the posture. If you ever find yourself in a meeting, arms folded, barely paying attention, waiting for the salesperson to leave, the right question to ask yourself is, "Why did you bother wasting your time by going?" If you're going to go to a meeting with a salesperson, the new expectation is that you'll come armed with questions, eager to learn what you need, ready to buy the moment you find the right solution.
An unprepared salesperson should be shown the door. What about an unprepared or unmotivated buyer?
When a salesperson gets asked, "Hey, are you trying to sell me something," the best answer may be, "I sure am, and if you're not here to buy something, we should both be somewhere else..."