:p I regret most of the content/jokes here. 40% of which are cringe-worthy. This is not a blog that I'd want my nephews/nieces ...or anyone to read, actually. but it's still up here because of sentimental reasons. The blog took a lot of time to build & I just don't have the heart to delete it. If you do find the jokes funny - I'm happy to know that they're entertaining. Otherwise, here's a more "proper" one http://coffee-choc.blogspot.com ...prob not as funny, mainly about chocolates and coffee and food & music

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Don't make this mistake when selling

A quick little article i saw this morning.  I actually think it's pretty good.

Don't make this mistake when selling

June 10, 2014 
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Yesterday I received a phone call that went like this...
Hi, This is Wes.
Long pause...
Long pause...
(I'm about to hang up but am FINALLY "rewarded" with...)
Hi, How are you?
I'm thinking "Oh, boy. Here comes fodder for a blog, a webinar and maybe even an entire sales training course."
More details on that in a minute. First...
I wish I could say this is rare, unique, uncommon, out of the ordinary, but alas, I would be fibbing.
If you ever answer your phone you know this happens all the time. But we can't solve the world's problems, and besides, before we remove the splinter from our brother's eye, we need to remove the big 2x4 in our own, right?
Admit it, you've called a prospect and said this on the phone. I know you have. I have, too. We all have. At least we were picking up the phone, right? If you have sales people you know many of them won't do that any longer.
(Hey, Boss, I'm on Twitter and just got three Retweets on our Happy Father's Day meme. It took me all morning to create the picture so I'm heading to lunch now.)
What's wrong with opening a phone call that way?
A few things:
First, be ready to engage with your prospect when they answer. Don't make them wait.
Second, you're calling someone about BUSINESS so get down to business. This idle chit chat greeting is insincere, lacking creativity and wasteful of the listener's time. Don't do it.
Third, it creates curiosity but BAD curiosity. While you want to engage the brain of your prospect and come at them in a way that makes you stand apart from your competition, you don't want their curiosity to be on who you are, where are you from and how did you get my name?
You want your prospects to be curious––create a little mystique––about how your offering can improve their lives, which makes them stop what they are doing––email, text, social media, eating, all of the above simultaneously––and listen to you.
If what you offer your marketplace is different and you are different then prove it by acting differently from the first moment they interact with you.
First impressions do matter.
We do size each other up in 3-5 seconds.
We do judge each other by the clothes we wear, the cars we drive and the manner in which we conduct ourselves, including our grammar, pronunciation, enunciation and our use of slang or jargon.
Be prepared with a solid opening that you have scripted and rehearsed before you call but pay attention to how the prospect answers the call.
Is he or she abrupt or friendly? Bold or soft-spoken? Are they in a quiet environment or is it loud, as though they are on a mobile phone, on a factory floor, at an airport, restaurant or even the restroom? (It happens A LOT!)
Mirror their tonality and rate of speech. Use Mr./Mrs. if that is the norm for your industry and/or area of the country and have a "hook" that gets their attention fast.
One such hook I used for years was simply,...
Hi, Joe, this is a sales call. May I take 20 seconds of your time to tell you why I called and you then decide if we ever speak again?
Or I'll use LinkedIn or other free tools to find out something about the person and open with what we have in common. Let's say Joe was in the Army, I'd open with,
Hi, Joe, would a former Army man such as yourself ever consider doing business with a lowly Air Force veteran such as me?
(I used that exact opening to contact a division President at Sprint in 2003 when I was in technology sales. He was a West Point grad and I'm a USAFA grad. He arranged meetings with the right people and I was one of only a hand full of sales people to make my quota that year because of all the business I earned from Sprint. True story, bud. True story.)
Or maybe you're doing business with their competitor and you can't get a warm introduction or referral into them from any of your normal sources.
Go ahead and open with,
Hi, Joe, for the last 4 months we've helped one of your main competitors, ACME Widgets, shorten their sales cycle by 41%, increase their average order size by 18%, and reduce returns by a staggering 72%. While those numbers are large and I can't guarantee we'll produce the exact results for you, would you be open to discussing how we helped ACME Widgets to see if we can't produce similar or even better results for you this quarter?
Notice a few key points with that last opening.
  1. Use real & specific results. Specifics sell.
  2. Mention a key competitor, which always gets their attention.
  3. "Would you be OPEN to discussing..." Nobody wants to be considered as closed or narrow-minded.
  4. "...this quarter." You want to speak with prospects that have a sense of urgency.
Once you break the ice by proving you are different by acting differently, you've earned the right to move on to the meat of your call, which is to set a firm appointment with a qualified prospect.
All prospects––and their minions––can tell you NO over the phone. So go for YES for a phone or in-person meeting with decision makers that can and want to buy from you and you'll never worry about paying the bills again.

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