In the last two weeks, I seem to have had a series of bad sales experiences and, honestly, if you have people in your team doing this, they will be losing you business big time. They need to be trained (or fired), whichever way you think best. But if you are a Manager, maybe you are not aware of what your staff are doing (or not doing) on their sales calls. Do some phone calls and face to face calls with them and check out what is happening.
In the space of 2 weeks, here is what happened and what you can do about it:
I emailed 5 floor tilers to get quotes for a kitchen floor. Three did not reply, one replied asking me to call him. I called him, he asked no specific questions to clarify my needs and gave me a random figure over the phone. Another one rang to say he could not quote without coming round to see the job first. Obviously I went for the last person because, if he could be bothered to come round and see the job first, he was going to be bothered to do a good job for me. He was the only one out of five who went the extra mile.
I was in a shopping mall and was asked to sample a new skin cleanser. The sales assistant said I should keep it on for 5 minutes so I said I would go to the ladies and come back. My skin felt great so I decided I would buy it. When I got back to the shop, the girl was nowhere to be seen. A guy was busy with another client and told me my sales assistant had gone to lunch! That was one lost sale for sure forever.
I tried to book a holiday house down south. The real estate person said she would email me the details. I never got the details so I rang back. She said she would send them again. Once more I did not get the details. I rang back and was told it was her day off, I would have to ring tomorrow. Needless to say, I went to another agent to find a house,
I got a leaflet from a chiropractor offering his services at half price for the first visit. I rang for an appointment and he said he was busy with a patient, and asked if he could ring me back. I gave him my number but he did not ring back. Another lost sale because I certainly did not ring him back.
I see people like this abusing the profession of sales all the time these days. To be the best you can be, I recommend you stand by my 3 principles, as they have been the making of my own sales success over the years
1. “People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care” (show them you care by staying in touch, addressing their problems until they are resolved, following up quotes and information you send out to them.)
2. Never say, “I don’t have time to do that” . Ask yourself a better question “How can I make some time to ensure I do that?”
3. Follow up every enquiry by phone that comes in via email and web. You can end up selling more than was originally requested and more importantly you can build a relationship with the customer.
Follow up inactive customers, you will be surprised that you will be able to revive 25% of them back to doing business with you.
Sorry if this is a bit of rant but truly, let’s raise the bar and make sure we are always performing like professional salespeople so we can proud of our profession.
So how many of the sales emails that you write get deleted before they are read? If the subject line doesn’t grab your prospects immediately, it will certainly get deleted.
A recent survey resulted in the 2013 Adestra Subject line Analysis Report . It reviewed over 2 billion corporate emails and discovered the words in the subject line that are most likely and least likely to have your emails opened. Here they are below :-
Words that increase the open rate of corporate emails
Free Delivery Forecasts
News 10% (i.e. specific figure) discount
Words that decrease the open rate
On my recent holiday to Chile and Argentina I will never forget the incredible service we received from everyone at the Hotel in Portillo ski resort. On day 5 out of our 7 day stay, my husband got really sick. The hotel doctor assumed he had altitude sickness and gave him an injection to appease the raging headache and a pill for altitude sickness. At 10.30 that night the hotel manager and the doctor came to see us in the dining room to ensure my husband’s headache had gone. It had not gone, so they insisted we pack our bags immediately and get down to Santiago emergency hospital. They helped us pack in a hurry, organised a taxi free of charge to take us the 2.5 hour trip to Santiago, arranged the hospital and here was the shock – they gave us a refund for 2 nights accommodation and food in US$ cash. I was amazed. I thought I would have to get that back from insurance.
It was the right decision to leave as the hospital discovered my husband was dangerously low on salt and put him on a drip for 2 days after which he was fine and we could resume our trip. This hotel really put our needs before their own gain. That kind of service never gets forgotten and people like me tell the world about it.
We were sitting at the Port in Buenos Aires last week having a coffee and a street seller came up to me to show me his wallets for sale. I interrupted my conversation with my husband to say “No thank you”. He then proceeded to bring out some bracelets and again I said “No thank you”. He then took my arm and put one of these bracelets on my wrist. I said to my husband, “Oh, wow, that is nice” and had to ask how much it was. It was so cheap I ended up buying 2! You see, when selling, if you don’t take rejection personally and try again with a different approach, you can often win a sale.
When on holiday in Argentina last week, my husband and I bought tickets for a dinner and tango show in the market for
$67 each – a must when you go to Buenos Aires. Only when we got there did we discover we had to choose between 3 menus. Needless to say, the ticket we had bought was only for the basic menu (Menu 1) – one starter, one main course and one dessert plus a cheap bottle of wine.
Menu 2 was $10 extra but it had a choice of starters, main courses and desserts and a bottle of Malbec, a much superior wine.
Menu 3 was $20 extra, had even better choices, an even more superior wine and champagne to end.
Needless to say, when faced with the choices, the basic menu definitely appeared inferior and we both up-sold ourselves to option 2 pretty quickly. Moral of the story is the restaurant made the buy- in price low to get us there and cleverly added value that was irresistible when we got there.
Another thing I noticed was that 80% of people opted for the middle choice and 20% took menu 3. That confirms my view that when faced with 3 choices, most people choose the middle one.
QUESTIONS TO USE ON A TELEPHONE SALES CALL TO BUILD RAPPORT
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Here is the 3 pronged sales strategy -When you call a prospect and they immediately say they do not want what you are offering, have another couple of products or services up your sleeve that you can offer as an alternative.
This achieves two things:, It lets customers know what else you do (often they do not know) and it offers them an alternative way to do business with you.
You sell public seminars and if that is of no interest, then you can offer inhouse training and training products like cds and dvds.
You sell trucks and if they do not want trucks, you can offer leasing and repairs.
You sell websites but they are not interested, so you offer website reviews and search engine optimisation.
Focus on selling your main product or service first and if they say they are are not interested, say “That’s okay, you may prefer to look at our …………….. .” Remember sales is about getting into a conversation. When you have more to talk about than one product or service that could assist the customer, you have more chance of continuing the conversation and building the rapport.
If you are saying this won’t work for you because you really only have one product, then brainstorm with your management what else you could create to offer as an alternative to the first product. This sales strategy really works well
You can find 200 more tips in my book Don’t Get Hung Up! athttp:// www.telesalestraining.com.au/telesales-books.html or http://www.telesalestraining.com.au/telesales-ebooks.html
As you can imagine I receive a fair number of telemarketing calls myself and if I am in the middle of focusing on something hard, I am not always receptive when I get interrupted to be sold to out of the blue. The other day a telemarketer was trying to sell me on the idea of using their accountancy practice and quite frankly, if I had not been so absorbed in what I was doing, I might have been interested. I just quickly said, “Not interested , thanks, good-bye” and gave him the brush off. Now I thought that would be the end of it but the telemarketer had another go. He obviously knew what I teach and that is that “no,” means “no, not now” and “not forever”. He also knew that sometimes when you ring someone, they are in a completely unreceptive mood and the next time you ring them they are perfectly charming. It just depends on what is going on for the customer at the time you call.
Well, here’s the thing. I believe it is becoming more and more important to mix your telemarketing lead generation strategies with a bit of email, sms or mail.
Here is how the telemarketer got his appointment with me in the end which I thought was really clever. Here is a letter I received 3 days after the call.
“Dear Ms Cartwright
Sorry that I called you at a busy time on Tuesday. I do apologise. I was hoping to set up a short meeting for you with our CEO at your place so it won’t take more than 15 minutes of your time.