In order not to miss out on sales, it is important to change our strategies from time to time, particularly strategies to retain existing customers
I remember in the recession, when the training side of my business slowed down, I realised how important it was to retain existing customers. I made the decision to call some of my past in-house training clients to give them ideas of what they could be doing to get more sales at that time.
As a result of asking them good strategic questions, (And not just “How are you going?”) they realized what they were not doing and should be doing. Recognizing the extent of my experience in sales and marketing many hired me to review their marketing material, write their sales systems and strategy, (something they had never documented before) create their inbound and outbound call scripts, document the tasks of each salesperson’s role and create a training manual so that anyone new starting the role could start training themselves. The number of consulting jobs that resulted from this exercise replaced the reduction in training jobs I was experiencing at the time.
People often ask me “What has made you so successful in business?”
I tell them my business was certainly not an overnight success. It has taken years of
- Focusing on one topic – Telesales – and not getting distracted by other topics
- Persistence when the going gets tough. I mean it would have been easy for me to give up after the GFC or when the Do Not Call register was introduced but I didn’t do that.
- Constantly learning and looking for new material on my topic. I devour every book, article and attend as many sales seminars as I can. After 25 years in my own business,I know a lot but if I only get one new idea from each seminar and implement it, it’s a bonus.
Making sales by phone requires skill. One of the main reasons some staff (particularly new staff) fail at prospecting is that they do not sound confident . Well, if you are new, understandably you may not feel confident so you might need to be trained in some simple techniques how to sound confident. You might have to fake it till you make it. This is so important as no-one is going to buy from someone who is not sounding confident in themselves or their product or service. Your job is to generate such confidence in your product or service and transfer your energy to the prospect on the other end of the phone.
When making sales by phone, here are 5 simple techniques to sound confident
People buy from people who are like them so we need to become as much like our customer as we can to build rapport. We have talked about ways to build rapport before in the telesales tips newsletters like copying a customer’s speed, talking the same auditory, visual or kinaesthetic language, asking open-ended questions and demonstrating listening skills. Now let’s look at another way to build rapport.
I was training a team in a large contact centre recently when one person said, “I really like this new script you have given us. It is much more concise and to the point and we have had a 33% increase in sales overall in our first week of using it. We have been taught to chat to the customer a lot more and ask them all about their pets before we start selling the idea of buying raffle tickets to raise money for the RSPCA.”. The light switch went on for me. Their trainer clearly did not have an awareness of the DISC profiling of the basic four different styles of people or customers. He was quite right to teach the chat style to his team to build rapport but only if the customer spoken to was an Influencer (I) on the DISC profiling system or a Steadiness (S) type of person on the Disc Profiling System. The S and the I are social people people who like to chat to you. However, if you are talking to the Dominance style of person (D) or the Conforming style of person (C) these people want you to get to the point, tell them why you rang and what the bottom line is, then get off the phone.
1. When you call someone with an offer and they say “NO,” you can call them again because the next time they might be in a different space. Persistence does work if you do it in a nice, non pushy way.
2. When negotiating, don’t drop the price too dramatically just to get the sale. It makes it look like you were trying to rip the client off in the first place and makes the client suspicious that the products have much less value.
3. Do not lie to get a sale. Offer the client the right option for them even if you lose a bit of commission.
4. Pay the client a compliment when you first meet them . Comments and criticism do not build rapport.
5. People like to know the name of the person they are dealing with so provide it.
6. Do not be too familiar with new clients. Not everyone likes hugs and kisses from a stranger.
7. Do not make the customer call you about an error on delivery. You call them as soon as you find out.
8. If a client complains, acknowledge the client straight away before they tell thousands of people .
Here’s the full story of what happened
A great Lead generation tool is LinkedIn but so often when people want to connect with new prospects on LinkedIn, they send the standard request “I’d like to connect with you on linkedIn.”
Prospecting Emails must create curiosity and interest
The prospect has not got the faintest idea “why”, so I recommend you make it more personal and give a reason to create curiosity and interest with the prospect. Just writing the above requires the prospect to look up who you are and take time out from their busy day. Make it easy for them and write an email like you write a script for a cold call.
1. (Flatter the prospect with something you noticed about them) e.g. “I read your article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday and noticed you are moving to Melbourne soon.”
2. (How you can help them personally) “We can offer you a reliable removal service between Sydney and Melbourne. (Get the word “you” in there)
What sets us apart is __________ (or)
What you get from us that no-one else offers is………
I would firstly suggest we connect on linkedin. Please feel free to accept and do let me know when and how I can best assist you when you are ready to move.”
It’s easy to find something out about prospects nowadays to accommodate Point 1
Every day I get calls asking me if I know of someone who could do their lead generation and appointment setting because they do not want to do telemarketing themselves. Well, now there is a solution at a very low cost from a company called More Leads Please in the Philippines.
The CEO of this company, David Warne, understands Australian business frustrations with doing cold calling. He has employed me to train his staff when leading Crowne Catering and Tall Ships. Then he moved his Tall Ships reservations and sales generation to a start up call centre in the Philippines. He confirmed to me the mindset and work ethic of the people in call centres is very different to here. They love their work and work very hard. I thought you would enjoy this video to see the fun they have there. Watch More Leads Please Call Centre Video
David understands telemarketing and the need for agents to have good English, telephone sales training and fun at work to get results. He has a a goal to build the most inspirational workplace in South East Asia. His agents have to be university educated and have a good command of English to get employed. The result is I am now training his people on an ongoing basis how to sell on on the phone and he is providing his agents with English speaking communication coaching and a unique Australianisation programme for one week before they start my sales training.
As a special offer to my clients who choose to use this service, I will write your script, personally train your own agents and monitor the results. Alternatively you can deal with More Leads Please yourself without any extra fee from me for $11.90 an hour per agent. You can have as few as one or two telemarketers or more, it’s your choice. The website with all the information for outsourcing your campaign is
More Leads Please Website
The only complaint I have had from my clients who have used them so far, is that they could not manage the number of appointments being created!
Closing techniques need to be learnt to be successful in sales. Last week I was coaching a client how to reply to internet enquiries and close an appointment on the phone. He called me in for help because his closing rate on appointment setting had dropped dramatically and he wanted me to listen to him to find out why. The problem was, he talked too much about himself and what he could do instead of asking the prospect questions about their situation to build rapport. When the customer asked him questions, he gave them all the answers so there was really no need for him to come for an appointment!
Yes, he talked himself out of the sale. Remember you can do all the talking at the appointment so the less you say and the more you listen, the more likely you will be able to make the appointment.
Closing Technique Correction
When making an appointment, all you need to do is ask 1-3 questions, repeat back what the customer says to show you are listening and say “It sounds like we can definitely help you. When would you like to come in for an appointment so we can resolve these issues for you, next week Monday or Tuesday? ) Give a choice of days so they cannot say “Yes” or “No.”
For Sales and Telesales Success, are sales mindset or selling skills more important?
Have you ever had to reach a Managing Director to sell him your services and played out this scenario?:-
1st Call: You speak to the gatekeeper and she won’t let you speak to the Director
2nd Call: You try again and you are allowed to leave a voicemail message but the Director does not reply.
3rd Call: You call again and leave another voicemail and still no reply.
4th Call: You email the Director but get no reply
5th Call: You call the PA of the Director and you make a phone appointment with him for the next day.
In this case it was your mindset that won over your skill. You did not give up after the first call. So often I am reminded how important it is to teach mindset on every course I conduct because, without the right mindset, telesales is just too hard these days. Having skills without mindset is just not going to work.
Here are my 5 tips for Sales Mindset:
I would like to invite you to download a free e-book “Motivating Your Mind, Inspiring Your Spirit” and check out page 25 for my tips on “How to Overcome Call Reluctance”.
The E-book is the brainchild of one of my long term colleagues, Rob Salisbury, who has invited a number of speakers and trainers in our community to contribute. There are some great articles for salespeople in here so don’t keep it to yourself, pass it on to your colleagues and enjoy your own read.
JENNY CARTWRIGHT – Motivating your Mind – Inspiring your Spirit for 2015-Jan2015 (2)