I have just been called by a new magazine being launched soon and to quote the caller, “having spotted your ‘profile’ we think you would be ideal to write a column!” Ah, how nice I thought for a few moments before the penny dropped!

I’d heard this one before and having spotted the ‘ruse’ I asked some questions to discover this was not a call from the editorial department it was from the sales office. The column I was being asked to write would need to be supported by my PAID advertisement!

In my experience sales ‘tricks’ like this one are only used by organisations with little imagination and certainly NO modern selling skills. As you know, I talk a lot about TRUST in my tweets and blogs, how can it ever be a good idea build trust by lying?

The sad thing is it may well have been something of interest to me (the subject area was right up my street). Had the salesperson introduced themselves and the new magazine effectively and taken time to learn more about me and my organisation, they could have then built the potential value of it in my mind.

From my perspective getting poor sales calls are great to get for two reasons; I’m a sales trainer so this is a sales lead for me! It’s free research on what sales ‘practices’ are being used out there.

But they also frustrate me as; this type of poor selling drags down the professional image of the profession I am passionate about and proud of. The sales person has been told to use these outdated selling ‘tricks’ by their sales managers, who should know better!

“OK, clever clogs”, I hear some of you say, “you’re the expert what would you have said to the prospect under the same circumstances?” Well here goes…

After the usual pleasantries; “I’m calling today as I want to talk to you about entrepreneurship, having read your web site and blogs I am sure this is a subject very close to your heart. Is that correct?”

I answer “Yes it is!”

“We are launching a new magazine that I’m sure will be of interest to you but before I tell you more about that can I please take a few minutes to understand your own business in a bit more detail? That way I can focus on the features of the new magazine that will be most appropriate for you.”

Compare this with the ‘real’ example I was faced with and see what you think. Of course there is another key difference. The sales person could only have used these lines if they had done some research on me FIRST. This need not have taken long, a quick scan of my web site and my Twitter feed would have told them what they needed to know!

Hope that was useful and do let me know if you would like more formal help in training your sales force. Call me, Stuart Allen on 07557 919039 for a no obligation and confidential discussion.