Improve Your Closing Ratio

This is a trick post.  No, I don’t mean that you won’t learn how to improve your sales.  A good pitch with superior questions is the best way to improve sales. This is a fall back step for the time(s) that your pitch doesn’t go as planned and you receive an objection.

Reality is, is that most first (and second and third for that matter) objections are simply screens to the real reason the prospect isn’t buying.  The prospect doesn’t want to say no to your offer so they throw up a simple excuse to get you to go away.  A majority of salespeople simply accept that objection, try to handle it as best as they can through some methods they’ve learned, and then become frustrated that the prospect still won’t buy.

Now, most trainers teach objection resolutions that revolve around empathy and understanding, which I agree that you need those emotions and approach.  However, most salespeople will show empathy in the place of guts.

Beating the objection is a three (3) step process that will either lead to the true objection or a sale.

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Make Informed Calls, Not Cold Calls

You are sitting at your desk making sales calls.   But now the computer is missing. A pile of 8 x 5 cards is stacked in front of you. Each card contains only a name, address and phone number.  Sliding your hand into your pocket for your cell phone, you find only lint. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over….into the Twilight Zone.

I don’t think any of us want to go back to the times of index cards and no computers.  How successful would be today if all you had was a name and number on a piece of paper?  Luckily for you, those days are over.

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LinkedIn is the New Cold Call

Well…its not really, but let me tell you that it’s a nice way to compliment your current outbound efforts.  See, I believe that the cold call will never die.  However, I’m also a believer that you can take a cold call and effectively downsize the number of calls it takes to get to the decision maker.  LinkedIn is one of those techniques that you can use to complete this action.

To do so, you must first have an active account that is COMPLETED.  By completed I mean that you need to have a profile pic, past work experiences, list of organizations that you’re involved in, and give an overall picture of who you are.  If you can, get recommendations from past clients that you’ve helped.  You can complete a profile in only a couple of minutes, so there really aren’t any excuses on why you shouldn’t do this.

So, how exactly can LinkedIn shorten the process and help you sell?  Keep reading. (more…)

5 Tips on Speaking with a Gatekeeper

More times than note, the sales process begins with non decision makers AKA gatekeepers.  Keep in mind that a gatekeeper is not always a receptionists or secretary.

I wrote earlier about how to get around a gatekeeper by calling when at times when he/she won’t be at their desk, or at times when generally a decision maker is available. However, if you must talk to a gatekeeper, you better do it correctly or you have no shot at getting transferred.

Most salespeople simply try to bulldog through the gatekeeper. Does this approach sound like yours?

Gatekeeper: Hello ABC Company
You: Yes, may I speak to Jim
Gatekeeper: May I tell him this is regarding
You: Blah blah blah…you’re done at this point. 

As soon as the gatekeeper has to ask you why you’re calling, you’re pegged as a salesperson…a pushy one at that.  To get through a gatekeeper, you must first understand why you are being blocked. There are a few reasons.

  •  That you’re calling to offer something that won’t be beneficial to the company
  • That you’re hiding something or being a seedy salesperson
  • That you’re a pushy jerk, and if you’re a jerk to the gatekeeper, you are going to be a jerk to the DM as well
  • That you’re going to take a lot of the DMs time
  • You’re offering something that may make her look foolish for passing you through to his/her boss

Really, what it boils down to, is that there is a perception that you will make the gatekeeper look bad if they transfer you.

However, you want to do the opposite.  The gatekeeper should be worried about getting in trouble if he/she DOESN’T transfer you because their boss is going to miss out on a great opportunity.

You can do this by: (more…)

Work Hard AND Smart

Mike Dunlap, coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, had an interesting quote.  He said, “Back in the day, hard work used to be a given, now its a talent”.

In sales, if you don’t have hard work, you’re not going to be successful.  Therefore, if you’re not top of the charts in effort metrics, you shouldn’t read the rest of this post.  This post is to help hard workers maximize their efforts.

This is not to be confused for a short cut.  This is to be used to enhance your efforts to make them more effective. (more…)

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