Hot Tip: Sales Calls
Don't expect to lower your sales costs just because you're on the Web. Robert Ross, CEO of Lowestrate.com Inc. -- a $3.5 million Inc. 500 discount mortgage service -- estimates he spends 50% of his time making old-fashioned sales calls (even though he has an in-house sales team and a sales vice president). The reason? Four years ago he had few online rivals; today there are 18,000 mortgage sites, he says. Ross visits builders, realtors, and personnel directors at large corporations who can direct lots of potential customers to his site. He averages two to three sales calls a day. "I'm always selling the company on a higher level so that the lower-level sales can happen," he says. "The salespeople see that. As soon as the CEO stops selling, it's over from the top down."