Tip #5 – A real and present opportunity

Large numbers of sales people make the error of trying to sell to everyone who seems interested rather than someone who has a real and present need. Think about this scenario, a sales rep picks up an incoming call and starts dealing with an inquiry from a fact-finding shopper. Thinking he has a ‘hot’ prospect he tries every which way and eventually persuades the caller to agree to an appointment where he can present his full range.

The rep is keen to do this because he has a quota of field sales calls to make and although this is a bit out of his way, every call counts. Ask yourself; is this a good use of sales time, energy and resources?

Almost certainly not. Worse still, the prospect may stay on the ‘maybe’ list for months, with lots of follow up calls and sales activity reports, but NO real sale.

The real sales champions detect and qualify who the REAL buyers are and manage / prioritize their time accordingly. Their technique and ability to engage etc can be exactly the same as ordinary performers, yet because they qualify EARLY they enjoy substantially larger sales success. Take a look at your next ‘opportunity’ is it real or is it just an opportunity for you to lose money?

 

http://www.strikeforcesales.com.au/images/A%20real%20and%20present%20opportunity.pdf

Tip #4 – Voice mail

For most of us in sales, leaving messages on voice mail is a way of life. If you are trying to reach decision makers, (their time is valuable) you need to leave a message which gives them a REASON to call you back. A lot of the work that you put into creating a great opening statement (see page 1) can really help here. Here are a few tips for leaving an effective voicemail.

Make sure that you leave your phone number at the beginning and end of the message, you cannot be sure that your prospect will go back to the start to listen again to your pitch. Also, think of what you can say that will make them want to call you back as soon as they hear the message.

You have to make sure your tone is confident, well paced and has authority. The easiest way to do this is to start recording yourself. I have not met many executives who liked the way they sound, but that’s the reality of how you sound to prospects. Having done that, you can begin to start changing and controlling your tone for the better.

One more thing, try this; if you are leaving a voice mail message, flip the phone over and speak into the mouthpiece as if it were a microphone in your hand, you will be surprised at how much better you will sound.

Tip #3 – Trial closes

What is the difference between a trial close and an actual close? There is a lot of literature available on the ‘Net’ and in the local bookshop. The easiest and most useful definition I know is this; a trial close asks for an opinion, whereas an actual close asks for a decision.

Now, in my opinion, a lot of sales people make a fundamental mistake and believe that in order to be successful in sales they need to be hard closers. They equate this with asking for decisions and then push too early in the sales process. For the prospect the easiest answer is NO. Some of the best sales people I have ever worked with almost NEVER make the close themselves, they let the CLIENT close the deal.

They achieve this by using trial closes in the same way a chef uses seasoning, a lot sprinkled around. One of the best and most successful trial closing scripts is the following:

“…makes sense to me, what do you think?”

You can use this after running through the benefits of your product or service. Based on the answer from the prospect, you can move forward or go back and address their concern. Of course, after you deliver your trial close you need to use one of the best techniques of all:  SHUT UP and wait for their response.

Ciaran’s book can be bought from our website at http://www.strikeforcesales.com.au.

Don’t forget Ciaran is running a Sales Seminar on Thursday the 29th of September entitled “Fix Your Sales & Profit”.  Call us on +612 8080 3621 to reserve your seat.

Tip #2 – Explode Your Opportunities

When I use the term ‘Explode Your Opportunities’ I want you to do just that, not go out and use a couple of sticks of dynamite, but create a map to show your existing relationships with your existing customers and THEIR customers. Here’s how to do it:

Identify a client who is delighted with your product or service. Now get hold of a whiteboard or a clean sheet of paper and put your client’s name in the center of one page in a circle. Spend a couple of minutes and identify six businesses / individuals who also sell products and services to your client. I like to draw each one of them in a ‘circle’ centred around, and connected to, the key relationship. In this way you can ‘drill down’ into each subset to explore the relationships.

Make sure you ask your current client for permission to contact this network and that you have some illustration, demonstration or proof of how your service helped them through a challenge.

The key to using this is twofold. Even if you only have a small client base of six, by using this system, you immediately have at least 36 new businesses to contact AND you will be in a position to leverage your existing relationship! As each new relationship develops you can continually expand this model and in a very short period of time ‘Explode’ your potential for business growth.

Ciaran’s book can be bought from our website at http://www.strikeforcesales.com.au.

Don’t forget Ciaran is running a Sales Seminar on Thursday the 29th of September entitled “Fix Your Sales & Profit”.  Call us on +612 8080 3621 to reserve your seat.

Tip #1 – Have an opening statement which creates interest

Let’s look at the prospective phone call from the client’s point of view. It is Monday morning about 10.00 a.m. They are getting stuck into their to-do list, schedule of appointments and various projects. They have a busy schedule and like a lot of other decision makers in their company, their time is important. In fact it is their most critical finite resource, so they guard it jealously.

Now their PA is good at balancing their diary and keeping unsolicited calls from getting through although, occasionally, the odd one does make it. However, they can recognize a pitch in a nanosecond and can politely (sometimes not so) get rid of them. This is a typical environment that your prospecting call is going into. What do you say to make your chances of securing a sale or an appointment as high as possible?

Let’s look at what the ‘average’ sales rep says:

“Good morning, my name is John Doe from Superior Services, the reason I am calling you today is I just wanted to let you know…touch base…was wondering…was in the area…”

There is a science to creating great opening statements and this is THE most critical stage of the prospecting process. Fundamentally, you must sound pleasant and confident and quickly offer proof of how you helped someone just like them by reducing their PAIN (what they want less of) and increase their GAIN (what they want more of) all in less than 20 seconds! As a first step, write yourself a script and review it, do you sound interesting? If not, dump it and try again.

Tape yourself and keep going until you get it right. What are the critical issues for their industry, market and business? Make sure you identify and offer proof of two things; how you can reduce what they want less of and how you can help them get more of what they want.

Below, is an opening statement that I have highlighted and broken down the five elements which make it work. I encourage you to take your own statements and break them down in this way:

“Is that David DeCision?

Hi David, my name is Peter Sells of World’s Best Widgets.

David, the reason I wanted to speak with you today is that my company and I have recently been working with several other major businesses in your industry; ABC and XYZ industries.

We’ve been helping them not only cut (slash / halve / shrink etc) the amount of labour, administrative time and management required for most widget installations, but at the same time doubling the effective life and profitability of each component used in the process. I would love to come by some time and show you how we did that.”

 

Element ONE: The Greeting / Introduction

This confirms you are speaking to the right person and also tells them who you are and where you are calling from:

“Is that David DeCision? (YES) Hi David, my name is Peter Sells of World’s Best Widgets.”

Element TWO: Proof you have helped others like them

This builds a genuine reason for your call based on the good work you have done for others:

“David, the reason I wanted to speak with you today is that my company and I have recently been working with several other major businesses in your industry (use people and company names if possible) helping them not only”

Element THREE: Reduce their PAIN

This focuses on what drives most decisions; what is it your prospects want less of and where are the areas of their business giving them most pain:

“cut (slash / halve / shrink etc) the amount of labour, administrative time and management required for most widget installations, but at the same time”

Element FOUR: Increase their GAIN

This focuses on the other major driver in decision making: what is it they want more of:

“doubling the effective life and profitability of each component used in the process.”

Element FIVE: TRIAL CLOSE Appointment

This phrase invites them to agree to an appointment, or more likely respond to you with a question / objection:

“I would love to come by some time and show you how we did that.”

What next?

An objection or a question is the most likely initial response from your prospect. Stay focused on the reason why they should meet with you and keep the results you have achieved for others the key topic.

Ciaran’s book can be bought from our website at http://www.strikeforcesales.com.au.

Don’t forget Ciaran is running a Sales Seminar on Thursday the 29th of September entitled “Fix Your Sales & Profit”.  Call us on +612 8080 3621 to reserve your seat.

The World’s Best Sales Tips – Ciaran McGuigan

How many times have you bought a book on selling, sifted through hundreds of pages only to find just one or two ideas that you can use straight away?

In Ciaran McGuigan’s book, “The World’s Best Sales Tips” you can’t turn one page without finding a new idea or practical selling tip. It has been written for those sales people hungry for ideas, tips and techniques that they can use instantly. Open at any page and read any tip in five minutes or less. Use it like a ’drop in’ resource, available any time day or night when you need it.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be providing tips from Ciaran McGuigan’s Best Selling book, “The Worlds Best Sales Tips”.  The best comment over the course of September will receive a free copy of the book.