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This was a waste of my time.

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 2/16/23 12:59 PM

Waste of time

Most buyers prefer to do their research online before talking with a salesperson, and digital transparency is becoming increasingly important. When Kenneth Burke was looking for a product, he did his own research and asked for referrals, then had a conversation with a salesperson who answered his questions.

However, Kenneth found that the website lacked product information, and the discovery call was unhelpful and a waste of time.

We've talked about what the good buying experience has and what was beneficial in that, and the fact that they were asking you questions about things that you cared about, not just the things that they cared about in their process, sounds like that was a significant deciding factor for you. 

And it sounds like it has helped you develop a great relationship with Dylan and the company from now on because you're still talking with them.  So let's switch gears and talk about the bad one. And we all had those bad experiences.  

What was the type of thing or problem you were trying to solve? And what was it in the process that you found a waste of time? 

What comes to mind is that this time last year or eighteen months ago, we were looking for a new platform to rebuild our website. So we got to a certain level. We needed to start from the ground up, so we searched. 

And did the same thing I mentioned before where, you know, Google Search Forward, whatever keywords went to a couple of review sites, grabbed top five or ten off of that, and then started going through the website. And there was one that had a ton of five-star reviews that, at first glance on our website, it looked very well put together. 

They had some nice logos shown from our customer logos, but then it got confusing. So the messaging on their website needed to be clarified. There are many buzzwords that wouldn't tell me; here's exactly what we do and who we do it for. 

I gave them the benefit of the doubt because I'm in marketing. I see this every day. I'm guilty of it myself. I got to see the products, which was helpful, but I needed more.

And so, I needed to schedule a call to see the demo or the product. They also didn't have pricing on their website, so I needed to know if they were even in the ballpark. 

And I honestly surprised myself by reaching out and going through that step with them. But I reached out and said, hey, I need to know the pricing and what we get with it. 

They sent a few emails back and forth to schedule a discovery call. The discovery call could have been more helpful. And he kept asking for a demo, scheduled another call, said they would give us a demo, gave us, like, a five-minute overview, you know, with the slide deck, and then had some other questions for us that were still trying to qualify us which was somewhat off-putting.  

Eventually, a week or two later, they sent me an Excel sheet with a pricing breakdown based on our conversation. And the lowest tier was two or two and a half times what we had internally set we'd be able to pay to start on something.

And then it was just a non-starter. So there's a lot of time spent there. They had three employees on each call we had with them. So a waste of time on their end.  Anyway, we could have skipped all of that. 

So the most frustrating things were, number one, they didn't have enough product information or could see the product on the website for you to feel comfortable, which means you had to schedule the call. And then, from scheduling the call, you said the discovery could have been more helpful. Can we dig into that a little bit more? 

What about the discovery could have been more effective or helpful? 

In general, my semi-controversial take is that any inbound flow discovery call is a waste of time

Because before I reach out, I've already qualified myself. If I'm not interested or I'm not a good fit, I'm not going to talk to you. 

The questions are very basic, and they're often things already addressed in the contact form I shared with them. So it's repeating or making me repeat efforts or things that. If they have any experience, they should be able to decipher from there. 

So clarifying whatever clarifying questions I had, I don't remember the specifics, but they didn't add value to the conversation.


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Topics: inbound sales, sales tips, sales training, sales leadership, Buyer First