In a previous post, we talked about a powerful tool salespeople can use to open their sales calls. That was the Impact Statement. Today, we’re going to look at another tool you can use to take control of your sales calls. This is the Why Speak Statement.Continue reading
In a previous post, we introduced the concept of the Impact Statement and using that tool to focus the opening of your sales call. Remember, as stated before, no one is sitting by the phone waiting for your unsolicited call, and sometimes, not even your scheduled phone call. People are busy. They have things that they need to get done, especially if they are in any kind of decision making capacity. So once you break their preoccupation and get their attention, you have to build their interest. And for that you need an effective Impact Statement to tell your story.Continue reading
This post on the sales process was originally published on Aug 28, 2017 and updated on Aug 7, 2019.
Here’s a question you need to ask yourself about your sales process: If I could get in front of more qualified prospects, how much more could I sell?
In all of my training sessions and sales activity over the years, here’s something I’ve noticed:
Most companies are product and service heavy, but sales process poor. If you look at the typical training programs a company puts its people through, you’ll see a lot of attention given to product and service education, product positioning, etc. A lot less attention will be given to the actual sales process, which involves organization skills, communication skills, and prospecting techniques, to name a few.Continue reading
Salespeople pursuing a single point of contact when prospecting is like an engineer designing a system with a single point of failure. One mishap and your whole project crashes!
When Prospecting, Don’t Create a Single Point of Failure
My director of technology once told me about an experience he had in the early creation days of our call center. He said he had called into a local manufacturing company and was hooked up with the director of sales. He had done everything right, moving the relationship towards selling a set of training programs for the company’s sales team.Continue reading
This post on cold calling was originally published on Oct 6, 2015 and updated on June 26, 2019.
When making cold calls and opening sales calls on the phone, you need guideposts, touch points of some kind to help guide your interaction. Now, some sales trainers would say you need a script when cold calling. However, I think a cold calling script is too rigid. A sales rep must be flexible and address people where they find them mentally and attitudinally, not where the script says your prospect should be.
One of the main points we make in our training and coaching is that throughout your sales process, from prospecting to close and beyond, you have to be able to get out of your head and see things from your prospect or client’s perspective.
In a previous post, we discussed 10 quick sales prospecting ideas to boost your sales. All those ideas dealt with using social media and online properties to make yourself known to potential prospects who are searching online for what you do.
We know that most of your potential customers do their research online. And by the time they begin calling on salespeople, they’ve already decided on what they want to do. Continue reading
Contrary to popular belief, sales prospecting is not dead, and cold calling is not the boogeyman everyone has made it out to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I think picking up the phone and calling people you don’t know so you can sell them something that they don’t want is a colossal waste of time. And it generates a lot of bad blood to boot. But that doesn’t mean you should simply forego picking up the phone and communicating with people. Continue reading
In an earlier post, I cited an example where Jessica had unsuccessfully tried a few times to engage a prospect during her sales opening. Yet when she asked a question that cut to the heart of her contact’s problem, Jessica’s sales starter got her contact’s attention. And it earned her a meeting!
Here’s a tip: the more generic your sales starter, the less engaged your contact will be and the less effective your sales opening will be.
Instead, make your sales opening specific to the contact and to their business or industry. Jessica was successful when she created her opening to address her contact’s challenges down to a personal and career impacting level.To make that happen, Jessica had to do some research on her contact. She had to know something about her contact’s business, and the challenges her contact faced on a regular basis.
Mind you, these aren’t cold contacts. These are people in companies where you think you have a decent shot at driving some business. These are people who have already raised their hand and have in some way indicated that they are in the market for what you are selling. So take a little time to do some discovery work on these people.
Sales Training Exercise – Sales Starter Assignment
Here’s your assignment for the week. During your lunch break today, write down the top five industries that you serve. Then, for each industry, write down five companies that you are looking to break into or are looking to upsell.
Then, when you are back in the office, write down three contacts that are in a position to make a decision for each of the companies you have listed. Now, for each of those three contacts, write down:
- Their name
- A compliment on one of their accomplishments
- A startling statement or statistic about their industry that ties into the solution you provide
The information here is easy enough to find on Linkedin, your CRM, and their social media streams and blog posts. You don’t have to go overboard and discover every detail about their lives. But you do have to show them that you are seriously interested in their business.
Now, you have some options in creating your sales starter before you perform that follow-up call. And your sales starter will be more effective at grabbing your prospect’s attention because it leverages an issue, concern, or idea that already has their attention.
Remember, no one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care. So, do like Jessica. Use a sales starter that shows your prospect immediately that you have their best interest at heart. Your sales opening will seize your prospect’s attention every time.
Are you ready to take the quiz?
Want to know if your sales process puts you in the field of play and not on the sidelines?
Take our online sales evaluation here and quickly assess how your knowledge and skills stack up in the industry.
In the next couple of posts, I’ll be addressing how today’s information age has dramatically impacted the sales process. We all have more data at the tips of our fingers than we know what to do with. This most certainly plays a major role in any decision we make, from medical self-diagnosis to major IT investments for our company. Buyers have more information than they used to, which dramatically changes the dynamic between the consumer and sales professional. The identity, purpose, and involvement of a salesperson in the buying process is different than it’s been traditionally; they are no longer the primary information provider.
The challenge for sales professionals is the information available isn’t always good or accurate. It is estimated that 62-percent of organizations rely on marketing/prospect data that’s 20-40 percent inaccurate and 94-percent of businesses suspect that their customer and prospect data is inaccurate.” Data is the new major challenge for any sales individual.
Case in Point
People tend to believe just about anything they read on the internet, especially when it’s shared on a reputable site. Let me give you an example. My Inside Sales Manager once showed me a former Tyson Group employee’s LinkedIn profile, in which he claimed he won Rookie of the Year at my company. Trouble is, we don’t have a Rookie of the Year award. I sent him a note apologizing for missing the ceremony with a P.S. explaining that he might want to represent himself accurately.
It’s easy to accept what’s said just because someone said it in an opinion blog, an online resume, or a biased product/service/experience review. Inaccuracies, including the faulty information salespeople glean when they rely on the same online sources, ramp up the pressure on salespeople. They mean a salesperson has to be asking the right questions at the right time in live conversation or through thorough research. It’s critical throughout the sales process to take the temperature of prospects.
Buyers Are Requiring More
Not only has the role of sales professionals changed after meeting with a prospect, but the time and effort it takes to get to that meeting has also increased. Identifying an opportunity, pre-approach, and initial communication, are the most time-consuming parts of the sale process these days.
In B2B sales it takes six to eight touches to get someone interested enough to even talk with you and another six to eight touches get time on someone’s calendar. Those touches can come through LinkedIn, Twitter, even snail mail.
Making these critical milestones with potential buyers not only requires a steady, strategic sales process, but it also requires transparency. In a recent Inc. article, they cite a 2016 Label Insight Transparency ROI Study which confirms the need for more transparency from companies and their representatives because of the following reasons: consumers want to know everything about a product; consumers want to know about more than just your product; and if your company isn’t providing the transparent information, consumers will look elsewhere to get it.
Help your prospects make the best-informed decision they can make: be a source of accurate and transparent facts in an environment where they’re inundated with questionable information. Learn how to better integrate this into your sales process with the Tyson Group self-evaluation: https://tysongroup.com/evaluation/