Firms Still Have Them, But Do We Still Need Telesales Reps?


Someone in media sales just sent me an E-mail asking for help. Her radio station is only a blip on the landscape. Unclear market positioning. Few listeners. Advertisers not showing much interest. She speaks with about 50 prospects on the phone each day but has a very low closing ratio.

We all know that story.

Well, it just so happens that I’m reading “Presenting to Win” by Jerry Weissman, a book that I received from The Book Merchant on trial earlier today. This book is about the art of story telling. Not sales training. In it Weissman reminds, “In business, when the point is not crystal clear, and when the benefit to the audience is not vividly evident, the investment is declined, the sale is not made, the approval is not granted, the presentation fails.”

OK so even a baby knows that. So what then is my problem? Just speak along those lines. Right?

Not so fast, because the two-sided coin of selling and buying has changed so much in recent years. Yesterday’s points of difference have become today’s points so parity. Customer loyalty has given way to transactional buying. And that fellow called Google has become the great book of everything, rendering so many old-style sales reps who speak endlessly of “features and benefits” ineffective.

But back to my correspondent. Before I craft response; may I ask you all one question? What do you think: has technology reduced the effectiveness of the telesales function, or does it still command a place in the new business environment?


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