“Motivating Your Mind, Inspiring Your Spirit” is a very special e-book that has been compiled from the generosity of nearly 80 Australian, New Zealand, European, South African, Canadian, American, Asian and United Arab Emirates based authors, industry experts, Company Directors and business owners – including me!
I am on page 20.
The 2017 e-book contributors have over 1800 years of business experience and 3000 years of people experience. Some younger, others more experienced, yet all are exceptionally talented, intelligent and gifted in their areas of expertise. This is the third year I have been invited to contribute and you will find my chapter on page
Contributors are invited based on their immeasurable value as topic experts and character attributes that have been on display over many years.
I know you will deeply appreciate their knowledge, their spirit of collegiality and time they have invested in this excellent e-book.
This e-book was created for the authors’ combined global readers to enjoy. We trust the stories, tips, insights and case studies can benefit you in your business, professional or personal education level.
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Cold Calling Is Dead?
Cold calling – “Is it really dead?” I am frequently asked this question, and my answer is a resounding “NO”. However, processes have changed and cold calling is simply practiced in a slightly different way than it used to be.
My trainings have always advocated techniques to make a cold call a warm call by starting with :
- A referral
- Something you know about them, e.g. I understand you have ……. is that correct?
- Commenting on an action they made that you saw
- Noticing a comment they made on social media
- Having a connection with them on linked in
- Commenting on an article they wrote in Google News
There is so much information about companies now online, that there is no excuse not to find out something of interest about your prospect before you call.
What Is The Most Popular Way To Get Leads Nowadays?
Why Ask Questions?
It is important to ask great questions on a telephone sales call to build rapport early. That way you find out people’s needs before you start telling them what you have to offer. Ideally they should begin with What, Why, Where, When, How, Which and Who so that the customer has to expand on what they want and they cannot answer “no”. They should create pain with the customer or give them pleasure because those are the two reasons people want your services.
Inactive customers are people who may have bought only once from you or placed a small order. Never think they are not worth calling. It is a vital sales strategy to stay in touch with these customers as well as with your existing customers because you will be able to make more sales from them. Here’s how …
Maybe at the moment inactive customers might not justify a face to face call but you can certainly pick up a phone to stay in touch. You might be afraid to call them because they might tell you that they have gone to another supplier or they had a bad experience with you.
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
Last week I went to a new dentist. I had never met him before so I told him very clearly what I wanted to achieve from the visit. I needed to replace a filling which had dropped out and I would like a clean and polish too, nothing more.
At this point he promptly tried to sell me on the idea of having x rays (He said that it was advisable to have x rays every 2 years) and he wanted to do a check-up too. There was a possibility (he said) I might have an infection in the gum above my crown. (I knew I had not got an infection as I had recently checked this). He would not stop talking for 12 minutes and then said he would not have time at this appointment to do anything more than the filling so I would have to come back for the clean and polish and pay for a second appointment.
The point of the story is, if he had just listened to what I wanted, he would have achieved the 2 tasks in the half hour appointment. I would then have trusted him, seen he could do a good job, and then I would have been happy to order more services that he suggested. Because he started selling at me the minute I arrived, he built zero rapport and trust with me.
Make sure you build trust and rapport on the phone and face to face before you ever start your sales pitch. Use open-ended questions and establish the customer’s needs, demonstrate listening skills and then you can customise your sales presentation to the customer.
Perhaps dentists should incorporate sales training in their apprenticeships do you think?
As the leader in telesales training in Australia I am constantly looking for more effective ways to do cold calling and telephone sales generally. I was blown away by the information I learnt from a speaker called Sam Richter at the National Speakers Association conference in San Diego which I attended a couple of weeks ago. I can’t wait to share this with you as it can relate so well to sales.
1. You know, if you have read any of my newsletters, that I advocate finding out something about the prospect before calling so you can make a cold call a warm call. Well, now it’s easy to find out about a company or a person by using google filters.
For example search in google for a company name like “Trend Micro”. If you write it in inverted commas it will come up top and save you time going through all the irrelevant searches that come up. Then click on “News” at the top, then click on “Search Tools” at the top for most recent news and all the latest articles written about the company or by the company will appear. You can then start your call with “I just did a google search on your company and saw your latest article about _____. That’s really interesting. I’m curious, how did that affect you?” or “What happened exactly?” Often the prospect has not even seen the article himself and will be asking you more about the content. You are then engaged in a conversation about them which is just what you want to build rapport.
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.
Happy New Year! I hope you made some good New Year’s resolutions.
One of my major messages to people I train is “Never delete people off your database”. You see, you never know when people are going to be ready to buy from you in the future. Their situations change and they are going to do business with the salesperson who keeps in touch with them, the salesperson who shows they care about them, the salesperson who demonstrates consistency so they know they can rely up them.
Let’s look at the idea of a telesales person selling new cars calling 10 people. Probably only one person is interested in looking for a new car right now and the other 9 are not. However if this person were to call the same people in 6 months time, they might get another person interested out of the remaining 9. If they were to call again in 12 months time, yet another person might be interested. It is worth keeping all these people on the database then isn’t it? That’s how telemarketing works. My favourite saying is “No” means “No, not now, not forever”.
When I was working in the seminar industry promoting Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins and Jim Rohn I worked in a team of 10. Everyone except me used to delete people off the database if they said “No, not interested” on the first call. I was aware that they might not want to see the speaker I was calling about but I realised that there would be other speakers to offer them in the future that might interest them. I was in business for the long term so why delete people with whom you have already started to build rapport? You can put your initial “Nos” into a separate folder in your database to be brought out for the next time you have something to offer.
Do you ever find yourself struggling when someone throws up an objection and you find yourself saying “Oh, Okay then goodbye”, instead of trying to overcome their objection? The best sales people are masters of objection handling. Here’s how.
PART 8 QUICK VIDEO TIPS – HOW TO HANDLE OBJECTIONS
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