sales

Prospecting: A Practice of Persistence and Perspective

In my previous post I emphatically stated, prospecting is not dead!  Many marketing automation companies may try to convince you otherwise, or you may have convinced yourself with all the information seemingly available at your fingertips, that you have all the data you need to make a sale.

The fact is, nothing can replace actual prospecting.  It’s challenging but worth it.

Ultimately, connecting with someone involves gaining a prospect’s attention by communicating briefly about things that interest that individual. It’s in making that connection where research can help – trying to learn snippets that can help your conversation including education connections, places they’ve lived, companies they’ve worked for, etc.  Just remember: don’t lose sight of the importance of back and forth communication in the connecting process.

The art of prospecting takes patience, persistence, and the understanding of prospect’s perspective.  The following are critical tips for practicing successful prospecting:

  • Takes ten to fifteen phone calls to get a contact.
  • Takes three to six contacts to get an appointment.
  • If you call to confirm an appointment, you risk losing it.
  • Crucial to send a calendar invite immediately upon setting the appointment.
  • Phone appointments are at least 50 percent more likely to cancel/no show as opposed to a face to face meeting.
  • Getting the first appointment is the hardest part of the sales process.
  • Data changes constantly—the most accurate list is one you’re actively calling into.
  • Waste of time to spend much time researching a company online—pick up the phone and call! Ask the gatekeeper questions.
  • You’re competing not just with other salespeople for the buyer’s attention—you’re competing with anything else they view as more important.
  • When you get a Decision Maker (DM) on the phone, you have seven seconds to get their attention
  • Don’t talk about the product, talk about how the product relates to the DM’s world
  • If you can see the world from your prospect’s perspective, you will be in a better position to respond to their reactions when you interrupt their day.

Prospecting is difficult, takes time, requires a thick skin and an ability to be persistent.  It’s no wonder there are companies looking to capitalize on this notion that with their product/service you won’t have to prospect anymore, because, who wants to experience all those things if you don’t have to?  And yet, there is no replacement for prospecting done well.  Your hard, persistent work will pay off.  Read more about how to be an expert at prospecting by checking out Lance Tyson’s new book, Selling Is an Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.

sales tips

Very Fake News: Prospecting is Not Dead

Lately, there’s been a surge of advertising saying that traditional selling is dead, that prospecting is dead.

I have two words for that: fake news.

But, I get it…there’s a multitude of reasons to believe prospecting is dead.  At least, that’s what customer relation management (CRM) companies, or marketing automation companies, will have you believe because they want you to think that you don’t have to prospect anymore.

Even though social media avenues like LinkedIn make connections with C-level executives and decision-makers much more possible, every salesperson in the universe is using it, thereby making it difficult to stand out. Also, office staff has little time on hand, meaning that you only have a window of about seven seconds to get past the gatekeepers. Many salespeople end up as just another name in a missed call log or forever lost in a collection of junk emails.

Prospecting isn’t dead, but it’s certainly not easy.

Despite the plethora of information with which we feel inundated each day. In chapter three of my book, we found that 82 percent of sales reps feel challenged by the amount of data and time it takes to research a prospect just to make the initial cold call. What’s more, did you know that poor quality data is costing your sales team at least 30 percent of revenues? Clean, accurate data is the difference for professionals seeking to streamline and clarify the front end of the sales cycle. Our studies show that sales reps are spending at least 32 percent of their time searching for missing data, then manually entering it into their CRM. Quality data is all about working smarter, reserving your resources, and accelerating your team’s sales cycle. According to Salesforce.com, about 70 percent of CRM data “goes bad,” or becomes obsolete, annually.

Bad data is bad for business. But no data, by not prospecting, is worse.

You can gather quite a bit of information through LinkedIn, Google, your company’s CRM…but ultimately success comes from actually engaging with a prospect and gathering “data” from attempting to speak with individuals of interest.

Nothing will replace, or provide greater success than actually connecting with a sales prospect.

Prospecting is definitely not dead.

Learn more about how to effectively start that conversation by checking out Lance Tyson’s new book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.

Meeting Management Tactics to Tame Your Meetings

meeting management tactics to tame your meetings

Here are a couple of meeting management tips I used in some of my past coaching sessions for leadership teams. Unusual… Unorthodox… Crazy… Call them what you will. They get the job done, especially when you use them as coaching opportunities

Meeting Management Tactic: Controlling Access

In this session with a client in the Ohio area, I was reviewing sales leadership practices with the organization’s management team. Continue reading

Strategy For Using Email In Opening A Sales Call

opening a sales call with email

In one of my training sessions, someone asked how to follow-up after sending an introductory email. If we group the email with the phone call, then we can create a solid strategy that works well in opening a sales call.  Incidentally, this strategy also works with direct mail campaigns or as a follow-up to a white paper download. Continue reading

Support Your Delegation Process With Effective Follow Up

delegation process effective follow up and support

Follow Up In Your Delegation Process Establishes Accountability

As a sales leader, you’ll want to spend some time reviewing how you delegate tasks. If you want to make your team as effective as possible and free yourself up to address the problems only you can address, then you want your delegation process to empower your sales people. Continue reading

The One Key Ability You Need For Building Rapport

key skill for building rapport in sales

In our programs, when we talk about building rapport, most people think of the NLP process that involves mimicking a person’s behaviors and speech. They think that somehow, doing this will magically give them the upper hand in talking with people.

Don’t get me wrong. That stuff enhances the communication process. However, when we talk about building rapport in the sales process, I want you to focus on one thing. Continue reading

10 Ideas You Need To Streamline Your Next Sales Meeting

holding an effective sales meeting

In a previous post, we reviewed some guidelines for conducting an effective meeting. Now, when you consider that most executives spend an average of 23 hours a week in meetings, you want these events to be as efficient as possible. You want to get the most out of your meeting while expending a minimum of resources.

Also, consider the cost of holding a meeting. In order to conduct your meeting, you need a room with presentation resources. So you have the cost of the room and the cost of your time to set it all up and break it down. Continue reading

A Framework For Opening Your Sales Call With Power

opening your sales call correctly opens doors

Open More Doors With A Framework for Opening Your Sales Call

When opening a sales call over the phone, using a script will give you direction, provide your call with structure, and ultimately open more doors for you.

However, most sales reps use the script as a crutch, reading it like a nervous speaker reading their PowerPoint slides while delivering a presentation.

A script gives you an outline of your opening process when making a sales call . But to make it your own, you need to maintain flexibility and awareness so you can respond appropriately to your prospects and earn their trust. Continue reading

Understanding The 6 Types of Sales Objections Will Help You Move the Sale Forward

 

classifying sales objections

As a sales rep, you encounter sales objections throughout your process. In fact, some days it seems like that’s all you get from your client base. Naturally, sales reps must be fast on their feet and think creatively when their prospects are reticent to move forward. However, they must also be professional and knowledgeable when responding to their prospect’s reactions.

When your prospect expresses an objection, having a method to categorize them will help you immensely. That way, you can have a better understanding how to respond to the objection, or even if you should respond. Continue reading

Use The Impact Statement To Show You Mean Business

 

Using the Impact Statement to open a sales meeting.

Getting Your Buyer’s Attention With The Impact Statement

Here is a tool that we recommend our clients use early in the sales process to get a prospect’s attention and to establish credibility.

While we recommend that you establish credibility by talking with your prospect or customer about things that of interest to them, you won’t establish credibility with your prospect by talking about items you find in their office. While commenting on pictures or artifacts found in a prospect’s office was a popular tactic back in the 50’s and 60’s, they won’t give you much traction in today’s business environment. Continue reading