Two-thirds of businesses are unwittingly guilty of ‘hidden sales trolling’ warns a leading international sales organisation, resulting in poor sales performance and severely decreased revenues.
In a recent survey carried out by Sales Commando, which works with major multinationals worldwide, 68% of businesses admitted to unnecessarily pestering existing customers with no good reason and with little or nothing to sell – the definition of hidden sales trolling.
Sales Commando Managing Director, Doug Tucker, says “We all know what trolling is in social media terms but in the business world, things are very different, not least because trolling is less well defined. And yet on a daily basis, it’s happening and often by salespeople who do not realise they’re doing it.”
Sales Commando has identified two types of business trolls as Doug explains, “The first type is the one who knows what they’re doing. For example, PPI recorded telephone messages, water cooler and franking machine emails, invites to advertise on spurious print projects – the list goes on. This isn’t spamming, it’s trolling and, however uncomfortable, we’ve come to recognise it and live with it.”
“The second type of troll are salespeople who, no matter how innocently, contact their clients at least weekly to “see how things are going” and this hidden sales trolling has to stop. The fact is, the more you pester an existing customer for repeat business without anything to say or legitimately sell, the more that customer will form a negative opinion of you and – in social media terms – will eventually block you. This is absolutely destructive for long-term business.”
In response, Sales Commando recommends a simple five-point plan to rise above the trolling trap and gain proper long-term sales success. The five points are:
- Research your customer and understand their needs.
- Learn to respect your customer and their daily working demands.
- Do not, under any circumstances, ask your customer “What’s going on?”.
- Find a problem your customer has and answer it with a solution.
- Give your customer an experience that will get them coming back to you.
There’s no doubt that hidden trolling damages business and it’s happening at an alarming rate, as Sales Commando research has proven. However, Doug Tucker sees the upside.
“In business terms, hidden trolling breaks confidence between the salesperson and customer. It’s equivalent to door-to-door sales – harassment that ultimately ends in zero sales. By following the Sales Commando five-point plan, salespeople can rise above and succeed where they once may have failed. And that has to be good for business.”