The ‘No-Po’ you don’t want to know
Q&A | Josiane Chriqui Feigon
Ah, time again for the NFL playoffs. As you saddle up to watch Wildcard Weekend, you might you want to get out your sales playbook and develop some alterations for a year that is expected to see significant changes in lead generation.
Josiane Chriqui Feigon, president of sales consultancy TeleSmart and author of “Smart Selling on the Phone and Online: Inside Sales That Gets Results,” provided a few diagrams on how sales reps can get around some nasty, yet effective defenses. Feigon, who writes the popular Cubicle Culture blog, also had some recommendations about how sales execs can sharpen their offensive schemes.
ZoomInfo: Is voice-mail dead or alive?
Feigon: The old way is dead but the new way, using targeted information and research, is very much alive. It’s alive when it’s backed up with e-mail and is not independent of itself. It’s got to have strong sales intelligence in the voice message; voice-mail can’t stand on its own.
ZoomInfo: You have several sales scenarios in your book that a lot of sales executives can probably appreciate. How do sales execs handle the following scenario: “I give up! I’ve been trying to get in touch with this CTO for months. I’ve tried everything – calling his assistant, his managers, and even the department secretary. They all tell me he is extremely busy. They take my message and tell me he will get back to me, but I just don’t buy it.”
Feigon: It’s more strategic messaging and an ability to go deeper and wider…The seller could be dealing with a ‘No-Po,’ who has no power and will never see a purchase order. However, they are disguised as sophisticated gatekeepers because they have prestigious titles. They keep the seller going and then the seller gets stuck and doesn’t know how to get around them. You can’t wait too long for the No-Po. You have to reach out to other people and get more co-centric than just having one contact.
ZoomInfo: How about: “My ‘power buyer’ answered the phone once and gave me a few minutes of their time. He asked me to get in touch with his team, and I haven’t been able to get him back. What am I doing wrong?”
Feigon: It’s a common situation. A lot of [sales execs] freeze up when they get the power buyer on the telephone and may not be comfortable talking to power. If the person is quick to end the call, it means the seller didn’t present enough value in the opening pitch to earn [the power buyer’s] time. Sellers can be so intimidated talking to power that they literally reject themselves in their ability to deal with a higher level. It’s not about a lack of ego, but a feeling that they may not belong. In order to hold their weight with the power-buyer salespeople have to do their homework. But it’s not just doing homework on the company and what its issues are, but learning a new language and new messaging. Someone at [a higher level] usually cares about a completely different set of things than a ‘No-Po.’
ZoomInfo: Do you think ‘Inside Sales’ is the future of selling?
Feigon: Inside Sales is finally getting the recognition it deserves. There used to be a time when a sale didn’t even count unless you got in the car and met the buyer personally. Travel budgets have dried up and even more field people are trading in their frequent-flier mileage to sell inside. The customer doesn’t require belly-belly sales anymore. Customers want to do everything on their own [attend the webinar, get information about products and services via the Web] and then they want someone super-knowledgeable to walk them through the sales cycle.