Playing the Inside Sales Game of ThronesI am a huge fan of the HBO series, “Game of Thrones.” Admittedly, I have not read the books, but I do plan on doing so in the near future. The third season left a lot of fans heartbroken and displeased with George Martin, the author of the book series, but I have learned to love the unexpectedness of our favorite characters falling and the evil ones making their way into the fourth season. It is not how television usually works, where the main characters survive all perils.
So, why am I rambling about a television series when this is a blog about sales? Because working as a business development representative can be a little like a Game of Thrones. You have goals to hit, numbers to produce, subjects to please, and pride to uphold. Each month is a new battle with one end goal: pass over as many qualified leads as possible.
The daily activity of cold-calling is a little like preparing for war. You are armed with information about your product and services, and have a list of fresh names to call upon for your clients, much like the soldiers of fictional Westeros are heading to battle for their beloved houses. You wake up each day with a blank slate and have the next few hours to find qualified opportunities.
But some day, the battles cannot be won. Clients can get antsy and expect more out of you. This is not the time to lay down your sword and quit, but a time to try out a new game plan and go back to the drawing boards. Are you asking the right questions? Could you have asked the administrator to transfer you to a different department? How does your introduction sound?
Once you have regrouped, you can take on the day again to conquer that campaign. In order to do so, you need to have a few key resources: your weapons (fast facts and information handy to explain the reason for your call), fellow soldiers (team members and management), and knowledge of the battlefield (objection handling for prospects who would like to push you away).
At the pinnacle of the battle, you are one-on-one with an opposing soldier, about to engage in combat. You swing first with an introduction, and he retaliates with an objection. You charge again with key benefits that can help their organization, and they respond with a shield once more. Finally, you find a way in, and they agree to come to your side.
Victory! You have passed a qualified lead and therefore have come one step closer to taking your rightful seat on the Throne. Now it’s on to the next soldier coming at you!
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