Wednesday, April 20, 2016

First Face to Face Sales Call Not What I Expected At All

Joe Kelly
Fluid Connector Specialist
Parker Hannifin

Well, I have now conducted my first face to face sales call and it wasn’t really all that exciting. When my boss first presented me with a list of accounts he wanted me to contact, I was nervous and I didn’t know what to do at first. After talking to my mentor at Parker and some of the sales professionals here at The Hope group it became clear what I had to do and how I could start to dig into my 50 accounts.
I started making phone call after phone call asking for the opportunity to visit with the accounts and after a while I realized I hadn’t gotten very far. But, just then I had a stroke of luck. I made two more phone calls and the next thing I knew I had two appointments made.
Now that I had my day planned I organized all of my Marketing materials for Parker and The Hope Group. I reviewed the information and thought about the types of questions I’d be confronted with. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth in & get started.
My first call was nothing like what I had prepared myself for. The person I had scheduled to meet, met me at the front door and gave me only the time he had agreed to give. I tried my best to keep his attention, but he tapped away at his keyboard while I tried to explain the features and benefits of ToughShield 1000, the incredible new plating that Tube Fittings Divisions had developed. He looked up as I uttered the phrase, “1000 hours until red rust in the ASTM B117 Neutral Salt Spray test.” No response. Just a blank stare and a nod.
I began to realize that this wasn’t getting his attention so I began to ask him more questions. The short polite answer he offered didn’t give me much of anywhere to go and finally he gave me an answer that allowed me to understand the situation. He had a contract with his dealership network that stipulated that he had to buy from them in most situations, so the likelihood of becoming a big customer for The Hope Group and Parker was slim, but he did say that when a situation arises where he needed something that he couldn’t get, he would give me a call. He thanked me for the information.

No, my first call wasn’t exactly exciting, but I did learn a lot from it. I learned that it never hurts to inform the customer and get your name out there and that it’s always important to get all of the information you can about the customer before you get too far into talking about products. Now, it’s on to the next face to face.