A friend of mine told me about the time he was a national sales manager for a pharmaceutical company and had the challenge of getting his sales people to make more calls.
While thinking about how to approach his sales team with the challenge of making more calls he phoned one of his friends, an up and coming physician who worked for a new service that makes house calls on patients, to ask his opinion about one of the products he was selling. When the doctor came to the phone he said “I just can’t talk to you now, call me at nine-thirty tonight.”
When the sales manager telephoned that night the doctor apologized. “I’m sorry I couldn’t talk to you today, it’s just one of my regular days – I made house calls on thirty-four patients, had an hour and a half of consultation at my office and delivered two babies.”
My friend said he was not at a loss for an interesting opening statement when he began his speech at their national sales meeting.
Are you familiar with The Rule of Seven? It started back in Hollywood during the Great Depression, when people had limited money and shouldn't have been spending it on movies when they had so many other, more pressing needs. The marketing folks discovered that to motivate a person to attend a show, they had to hit those people at least 7 times in a short period of time. Then they showed up at the box office. We've got to do the same thing with our personal selling. When you target a new account, try making seven calls with short intervals in between.
"Familiarity breeds contempt," is commonly accepted, but it is not true. A study conducted in 1982 published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, by R. L. Moreland and R. B. Zajonc, said that repeated exposure to any stimulus leads to a greater appreciation and liking. This is great news for us in sales and marketing. Exposure and repetition can only increase sales.
As a sales person there are several things you can do on the personal level that will make you unique. The first thing you can do is show up either in person, on the phone, in the mail or in their email inbox.
Bottom line: to increase sales make more calls.