ALthough I have always had individual responsibility, I have had management responsibility much of the past 5 years, which means I am not only making sales calls but receiving them from other sales people, too. It is wonderfully helpful – I can see what I like, what I don’t like and what trends are and adapt my own approach accordingly.
For example, several years ago I would tell people up front in an email that they didn’t know me, and coincidentally many of the emails I receive lately from sales people start out with “we’ve never met” or “I hope you are having a good day.” That tells me to tweak that approach, since everyone else is doing it.
The other thing is, I don’t like when sales people ask for a call or a meeting yet give no information about their solution other than a few words. I don’t have time for a 15 minute “chat,” and even if I did I don’t want to talk to a sales person for 15 minutes, so in my mind better is to be clear up front about what is being offered/proposed.
Finally, I don’t take calls from other area codes, since 99% of the time it is a sales person. Instead, I let it go to voice mail. They have just a few seconds before I delete them, so those few seconds better be good, and I will never ever listen to an automated call or a call that sounds like it comes from a call center.
Anyway, sometimes the best teacher — at least for me — is watching other people in action 🙂