When I first started working at Air I found myself in a whole other world. I had landed a job in a fun, dynamic and rewarding start-up where we worked hard and reaped the returns. Air has a culture that we all want to be a part of and is a company that you truly want to contribute to. But when I started one thing did have me stumped – the method of permission based selling.
I won’t lie, I was dubious at first. It was different to anything I had ever known and the sales person inside of me was so well versed in the hard sale and simply working to turn a “no” into a “yes”. This new tactic of asking the prospect for permission at various points to progress the call simply seemed alien to me, I just wanted to get my information across, follow up on a lead and close the sale. However, I quickly came to see the method in its madness.
Many telemarketing companies conform to the stereotype of cold callers – they’re more interested in their numbers, not the people on the end of the line. At Air, we’re different. Permission based selling is a non-traditional selling technique in which sales people reach out to prospects after they have received permission from them to do so via opt in forms, email or calls etc. This method allows us the opportunity to be professional and polite but also assertive when building rapport and developing a 2-way relationship with potential clients. In turn, this often ends up saving us and our clients more time and money. This is for two reasons:
- People love to buy, but hate being sold to. Today, prospects prefer a personal approach, they want you to be consultative and guide them through the sale with clear expertise.
- Instead of pushing a hard sell that fails to close, by taking the time to read a prospects response and ending the conversation when you don’t strike a chord you will spend less time chasing unlikely leads.
So, how does permission based selling fit into our sales process?
At Air, we understand that no one thing will make a sales call great, as different prospects will respond to different tactics. Cold calling is about the combination of many small things that increase your chances of achieving the right outcome – and in my opinion, permission based selling is one to be practised.
Opinion piece by Shaun Weston, Operations Director