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Friday, July 29 2011
If you are in sales, at some point you will run across a prospect that will tell you to "just send me some information about your payroll service."  

 

In the majority of cases, this phrase is used to gently tell you they are not interested in your products or services at the moment. Although you have to respect their wishes, it is in your best interest to probe a little further.

 

Most Salespeople Will Send Information To Such A Prospect -- But Not You.

 

I was reading an article by Mike Brooks, author of The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts, about ways to handle this. And what was interesting is that he said, "Believe it or not, about 80% of sales teams I speak with actually shoot off an email, schedule a follow up call, put the company in their pipeline and then begin the frustrating process of chasing unqualified leads."

 

I could not agree more with Mike Brooks as I have seen far too many sales people fall victim to this approach. Why? There are a few reasons as to why:

 

  1. They have not been taught any other approach by their sales leader.
  2. They are just going through the motions in hopes of finding an "immediate buyer" in their database of prospects.

Here's How To Get Past This Objection.

 

Mike Brooks went on to explain some great techniques for dealing with a prospect who tells you to send them information. Here is what he recommends to say:

 

"I'd be happy to email you our information.  (Prospect's name) I have a 64 page PDF file that I can email you, but do you mind if I ask you just a couple of quick questions so I can only send you that part that you'd be most interested in?"

 

He went on to further say: "Brilliant response, huh?  Now I can already hear some of you - "But I don't have a 64-page PDF."  Well, how about adjusting this response to what you DO have?  How about:  "I'd be happy to email you our information.  (Prospect's name) I have a variety of brochures/price lists/product catalogues/programs I can email you, but do you mind if I ask you just a couple of quick questions so I can only send you that part/the specific information/the right price list that you'd be most interested in?"

 

You Now Have The Chance To Ask A Few Questions.

 

To complement Mike's advice, I would suggest having THREE to FIVE business questions taped somewhere close to where you make your calls. Why? Because even though you might have these questions memorized, they will keep you on track when talking with a prospect. That said, listed below are two questions you might find valuable:

 

  1. If you have a magic wand, and could wave it over a company like us, what would you want us to do for you and why?
  2. One a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate your current _____? If they say anything less than a 10, ask them, "How can that _____ become a 10?"

Executive Summary: Once you get in the groove of cold-calling, you will invariably find a prospect that will tell you to send some type of information about your company's product or service line to them. The key to your cold-calling success is directly related to how you handle this type of calls as most salespeople send the information and schedule a follow-up call -- and when they make their follow-up call, they wonder why they got dropped into the black hole of voicemail.  

Posted by: Glenn Fallavollita AT 06:04 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, July 21 2011

With today's technology of e-mailing and social media, the most powerful tool in a salesperson's arsenal is their ability to call a prospective buyer with a powerful "Oh By The Way" call. And because cold calling is such a vital part of a salesperson skill set, we have created a number of tips to help anyone in sales to become better at making them. 

7 Secrets For Strengthening Your Cold-Calling Skills:

Tip #1. Do Some Research First: Before you pick up the phone and call a prospect cold, you should take a minute or two and visit the prospect's website. That way, you can familiarize yourself with their company, what they do and possibly what role they have at their company, etc. In fact, this process can go a long way during the actual phone call itself. For starters, it adds a more personalized touch to the call and (more importantly) shows the prospect that you are genuinely interested in them. 

Tip #2. Cultivate A Unique Greeting: Bland introductions are typical by many salespeople. Because of this, it tends to be a one-way ticket to getting hung up on in the first 15 seconds. The trick is to strike a balance between formality and casual charm - and we often suggest asking the prospect an open-ended business question.  

Tip #3. Include Your Name And Company: Continuing from Tip #2, your greeting should also contain your name and your company name, as well as a little about your company (what kind of business you are, service or product you provide, etc.). This is in an effort to pique your prospect's interest as you don't want to come off as being vague and elusive to just get an appointment. 

Tip #4. Be Upfront About Your Purpose: When talking with someone, don't skirt around the issue of why you are calling - just cut to the chase. Think of this as a declaration of your reason for calling. One of the more effective ways to state your purpose while engaging a prospect is to phrase it in the form of a question. Opening with a question sparks the potential for conversation, which is what most prospects would rather have than fielding an overly rehearsed sales call.  

Tip #5. Learn To Accept Rejection: A common concern among salespeople is being too persistent. Unfortunately, many salespeople give up calling a prospect after their unsuccessful attempt at moving the sales process forward. The truth is, the majority (80%) of your calls will go to voicemail (which makes it crucial to have a voicemail script prepared), and those that don't, well, rejection is part of the game. One "yes" is easily worth ten "no's." If you are rejected, accept rejection gracefully. Respect the prospect's wishes and don't press on, or you will be a pest. 

Tip #6. Close With Gratitude: After you have spoken with someone, the first thing you should do is express gratitude by thanking them for giving you a moment of their time. This tells a prospect you understand and appreciate the value of their time. After hanging up with a prospect, send them an e-mail thanking them again as well as attaching a simple, one page summary of your services.  

Tip #7. Always, Always Follow Up: Perhaps the biggest area salespeople drop the ball in is their follow-up. Every phone call requires some kind of follow-up, especially if you left a voicemail. A quick e-mail after leaving a voicemail is one of the best ways to follow-up on a phone call, especially if you provide useful information. After that, put some time between your next phone touch. A minimum of 3 days should go by before you reach out to a prospect again. Anything less may leave them feeling pressured or hounded. 

Executive Summary: Despite the ease and convenience of mass e-mail marketing, the sales game is still all about a salesperson telephone skills. People want to buy from people they like and trust. That is why it is so important for salespeople to put a sincere effort into making cold-calls. By doing so, you will be well on your way to more successful cold-calling.

Posted by: Glenn Fallavollita AT 11:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, July 08 2011
All too often, business owners get wrapped up in the sales game -- trying every trick and tactic to close new business.  And while this is perfectly natural and normal, it can sometimes cause a business to overlook a huge asset to growing their business: Existing customers.

 

Your Customer Database Is An Excellent Source Of New Business And Referrals.

 

Your customer database is an excellent way to increase your sales -- both from cross-selling other products and services to them and by getting them to recommend your business to someone they know.  To help strengthen your sales starting Monday morning, here are four quick tips to benefit your business:

 

Tip#1. Communicate Consistently Via Drip Marketing:In essence, consistent communication is the very definition of drip marketing -- something done through a series of educational e-mail tips, bi-monthly letters, e-postcards, e-press releases, sales tools and direct mail newsletters.  The best part about having a drip marketing strategy is that it uses a variety of venues that helps build trust, credibility and brand recognition for your business.  Besides, you cannot sell all of the time or your audience will stop reading your marketing campaigns. 

 

Tip #2. Customer Service Is More Important Than You Think: Great customer service means going the distance for your customers.  By putting them first, you will find them to be far more likely to recommend you to someone they know.  For instance, we treat every business that calls us as a business partner, not just a customer or client.  Once you reach this level of customer service, you will find your database of customers happy to recommend your business to someone they know. 

 

Tip #3. Survey Your Customers' Wants And Needs: You can increase your sales by putting time and energy into learning your customers' wants, needs and desires when it comes to buying what you sell.  Once you complete your research, you can tailor your marketing campaigns around the products and/or services that meet their needs.     

 

Tip #4. Ask Your Customers To Refer You To Someone They Know: Smart business owners realize this: Ask, and you shall receive.  That means if you ask a customer to refer you to someone they know, they will do it.  Tactically, this can be done by sending a letter via snail mail or e-mail (quarterly or semi-annually). 

 

Executive Summary: When it comes to sales and marketing, it is easy to focus solely on your database of prospects.  And while the value of a new customer coming on board is immeasurable, your existing customer base should never be overlooked.  I have personally witnessed many businesses that data-mined their customer database to create a new stream of revenue for their business - revenue they never realized they had.  And so can you. 
Posted by: Glenn Fallavollita AT 06:07 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email