I've often heard that no leads to yes, and in the sales business, that can happen. But, does it always happen. Of course not, but it does happen. No leads to yes was the philosophy of the young salesman who called me last week. He wants me to sign up with his company to build a new website.
He had called me last year and tried to coax me into a new site then, but I had a new site that was unproven, and I didn't need two. I declined his offer and moved on. He called last week acting like we were old buddies. He asked how things were going and made it sound like we had worked together on a real estate deal. When I posed the question, "Did we do a real estate deal together," he came clean, gave me his name and his reason for calling.
I wasn't in the middle of anything, so I took a look at his product. While we were on the phone, I searched the Internet for reviews of his company. I found multiple sites that hosted reviews and his company came in at about 50% bad and 50% good. That didn't seem a like a good margin to me. I mentioned that to him and he excused it away as disgruntled employees flaming the company.
He spent the majority of the time explaining why my site looked nice, but was a terrible site compared to his company's product. I made him an offer of three months free service including setting the site up and if I had one good sale in those three months, I promised to sign up for a year.
Of course, unless things have changed a lot, it takes about 3 months, or maybe a little more, for Google to think you have something worth sharing before it starts recognizing your site anywhere near page one. We left the call at the point because he couldn't take my challenge. I did ask, "If you don't believe in your product, why should I?" Nobody ever takes my offer. I may have given him a trial run if he had been honest from the beginning and if he hadn't trashed my site provider.
Monday, he called to tell me he would take the offer. He stated that he had talked to his boss, and they would accept my offer with a few changes. I had told him last week that he would need to send me a list of all the charges that would ultimately be associated with the site and the details of my offer. He said he emailed it to me. I quizzed him a little further and he asked, "Would you confirm you email address?" Not trying to be a jerk, I said, "Wait, you sent me the email with the details. What address do you have?" I could hear the panic in his voice as he formulated an email.
I was kind of pulling for him. I was really hoping he wasn't lying to me and that he really did send me the email, and sadly, I was disappointed. He came up with a crazy email that was nothing like any of mine. I can't even imagine how he thought he could slip that one by me, but if your philosophy is no leads to yes, the goal is to keep the client engaged. But, there is a difference between engaged and annoyed.
Unfortunately, most sales techniques don't work on me, but it taught me a good lesson. Stay in touch with past prospects. Have a great product that is highly praised in online reviews (his wasn't), and don't ever assume your potential client is stupid and susceptible selling techniques. Don't trash your prospects current . . . . (whatever), and, above all, be honest. No leads to yes sometimes, but not today.