Not long ago, I had two productive days on universities several hours apart.
It was late on the second day and my train was departing in 35 minutes. I thought about talking a lazy walk to the train but then said to myself, “why not make one final call?”
I picked a random door and knocked. The woman I met was affable and glad to see me despite the time. I quickly uncovered her main need – an entrepreneurial textbook for hundreds of students. An added bonus was that this meeting was the most enjoyable one of the day.
She wasn’t happy with her current textbook (my main competition) so I presented her with a few options. After further investigation back in my office, I later found the perfect book for her needs and sent a copy immediately.
She has a few weeks to make her decision and wants to consider all of her options, yet if I didn’t make that final call, I would have missed a golden opportunity. As a salesperson, one never wants to miss any chances to gain business, especially new business.
While sharing my story with a colleague, he described his ultimate “last call” via email:
Great news on that last call!!! I am a big believer in making that last extra call. I will never forget waiting outside of a guy's office in Stockholm (economics dept). There were lots of students outside his office all day, so I knew he must teach a big course but he wasn't in the database. Finally at just before 5 I stopped by again and the students were gone. He was still there and I knocked on the door. After a brief intro he said "you are either psychic or very lucky because I was just given a new course today for 350 to 500 students and we need to use 2 books." It was a microeconomics course for law students so they picked two of our books; I DHL'd him the books and that was that. So sometimes that last call can be the best of the day! Great job giving that extra effort! I hope you get this one!
We (salespeople) should try to make that last call as often as we can. One never knows what great success may be waiting behind an unexplored door.
I made my train that day with only a few minutes to spare. Even if I missed it, the opportunity I gained would have still been worth it!
Although I didn’t close the business on the spot like the aforementioned colleague, my chances are high to gain this NEW business – business that would make a strong impact for me in 2012.
In my experience, last calls are rarely the best calls of the day although like in basketball, “if you don’t take the shot, you have no chance of scoring”!
Take that last shot.
Happy Gswede Sunday!