This will be a continuing series on advancing your skills in the unique world of corporate sales.  My goal is to equip you with some of the basic concepts that you can focus on in order to grow your success in this complex environment.

The Golden Rule:  Treat Corporate Customers As You Want to Be Treated

I was on a conference call this morning that was hosted by a corporate partner of our company.  The call involved a group of our internal employees being led through a presentation by a partner company.  Sounds great right?  I was going nuts!  Why?  Our own employees were ignoring the basic rules of etiquette.  Here are a couple for starters.

  1. Hit the mute button!  Conference calls are just like group meetings at the home office.  Would you bring your dog to a meeting?  Would you let your cellphone go off right in the middle of someone’s speech?  Would you answer a call on your personal or business phone line in front of everyone else? I hope not.  Please hit your mute button, put the the dog outside and turn off the ringer on your cellphone.
  2. Focus!  It never ceases to amaze me how we let ourselves become distracted.  Conference calls and webinars seem to be a breeding ground for bad behavior.  We look at e-mail, text our friends, cruise the web and generally ignore what is going on with the call/meeting.  What always happens at the end?  Someone always asks questions about many of the items that were already clearly covered in the presentation!  Try setting everything else aside, cracking open your folio and taking some notes instead.

Is this an opportunity to shame all of us who ignore these basic rules?  Yes!  Here’s the bottom line about this kind of behavior.  “It irritates your customers, your client partners and your fellow employees!”  Worse yet it sends a message to everyone involved that you have something better to be doing and/or “I really don’t care.”

I know this isn’t what any of us intend to convey.  So consider the people on the other side of the phone, webinar or conference table.  What messages are we sending when we we ignore the basic rules of etiquette?  Is that really how we want others to view ourselves or our company?

Happy Selling!