I recently read a good post on habits to develop if you want to be successful in sales. In the post, she listed the following habits:
#1: Worry about what you can control
#2: Only do things that make you money
#3: Focus on the pipeline, not sales
#4: Be willing to lose it all
#5: Get face to face constantly
#6: Understand them better
#7: Leverage relationships
#8: Constantly get feedback
#9: Follow a plan
I agree with her his list and would add the following:
KNOW and MONITOR YOUR KPIs
KEEP dialing – don’t be discouraged – it is a NO business, keep dialing for that YES. Knowing your KPI’s should give you an idea of how many dials you need to make before you get to that YES.
You need to engage in ACTIVE LISTENING to get to #6. Lean into the calls and actively listen to HEAR the insights that give you the edge!
Get HELP – we offer training and management programs that get you up to speed, keep you there and on track!
Would you like additional tips on which habits to develop if you want to be successful in sales? Are there any additional habits YOU would add to these lists? Please follow me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/ where I regularly share tips and advice and be sure to join the conversation about this post!
At One of a Kind Sales, we spend a LOT of time training our people to ACTIVELY LISTEN. Picking up the phone and dialing MAY get you to the right person but active listening is the real secret to setting qualified appointments and sales success!
Can you hear me?
A basic Cold Calling requirement is being able to HEAR the prospect. That means setting yourself up so there is no background noise or music to distract you and having a headset with adequate volume controls. Close all your extraneous browser windows and shut off your personal phone so you are not tempted to check email, texts or social media.
It’s not just hearing them…
ACTIVE listening involves more than just HEARING what your prospect is saying. It means UNDERSTANDING what is being said, and oftentimes, being able to hear and understand the UNSPOKEN context. Actively listening will enable you to ‘hear’ the prospect’s body language through the tone, volume and words they are using. It means noticing shifts in that tone or changes in the volume and then modulating your own tone and words in response.
Active listening involves paying attention to what is said and using the prospect’s responses to formulate your own statements.
Active listening tactics
We recommend a number of tactics to do this:
- Paraphrasing – which is where you restate some of the prospects replies but in your own words.
- Summarizing – where you provide a summary of the process or discussion to give an overview and context.
- Clarification – where you restate and/or explain things to make sure you are all on the same page. ASK for clarification on a point or statement to keep the prospect talking about their issues.
- Reflection – where you reflect the prospect’s words back to them to help them understand what you are hearing.
Note that ALL of the above require you to have HEARD not just the prospect’s words but the intentions behind those words. Pay attention, listen carefully and you will be rewarded with valuable insights and you will, more importantly, earn their trust! They can tell when you are listening and will appreciate that you have HEARD them.
Because we know that ACTIVE LISTENING is such an important skill, we have collected many useful resources on this topic. Here are a few articles and videos we think can help YOU improve YOUR active listening skills:
Cold calling success is largely based on the ability to differentiate yourself from others doing the same exact thing that you are doing. It makes sense that successful cold callers catch a prospect’s attention and build a relationship by being different in their cold calling approach. It starts with the first phone call and the cold calling script. Here are nine ways to differentiate yourself when cold calling:
- Craft a script that sounds genuine, and unique. Messaging must catch the attention of your audience. Interject something unexpected. Incorporate content to make your script your own.
- Catch the prospect’s attention. Successful cold callers make the first 30 seconds memorable by tailoring the message based on the prospect’s communication style.
- Be likeable. Incorporate a genial approach that builds trustworthiness. Trustworthiness leads to being influential.
- Inject humor. Connect with people over shared human experiences and tell stories that leave a positive effect.
- Be sincere. Differentiate yourself by being genuinely interested in the prospect and the prospect’s needs and wants. Generate trust by truly caring about your prospect.
- Ask the right questions. Incorporate high-value, thought-provoking questions. Pose enough deep, probing questions to really learn what the prospect needs are. Keep questions short following a response that the customer just shared to encourage them to talk more.
- Embrace active listening. Pay close attention to the prospect’s words, their tone of voice and their body language. Remember, it’s all about them. Distinguish yourself by being able to truly understand and respond to your prospect and their particular situation.
- Be prepared. Since prospects are inundated with sales calls, voicemails and emails, it is crucial to differentiate from all that noise. Come to the conversation with a knowledge of the prospect’s business and the kinds of challenges they face. Be ready with relevant open-ended questions. Sales is all about language that is pertinent to the prospect.
- Add value at every opportunity. Offer blogs, videos, white papers, etc., to be a thought-leader, not just a “seller”. When buyers see you as an expert, they will welcome your call.
Implementing these suggestions will help you cut through the noise and really stand-out when making your cold calls – and that is the first step to setting up qualified appointments and closing sales!
Need help crafting an effective script? Or does your team need coaching and management to be more productive? Click Here to learn more about our Call Center in a Box program where we train, manage and monitor YOUR inside sales team to improve YOUR bottom line. No inside sales team? With One of a Kind Search we find well trained sales people to work for you or call us at 908.879.2911 – we LOVE to Cold Call for you!
You are making cold calls. You have picked up the phone and have reached a decision maker – NOW WHAT? What do you say to set an appointment?
Here are four important things you need to say and do on a call with a prospect in order to actually set an appointment that will convert to a sale:
- Build trust
- Build credibility
- Clarify and re-state their needs
- ASK for their business
Let’s be honest, salespeople can get a bad rap. Past experiences with Snakeoil salesmen and people with less than virtuous intentions can make prospects reluctant to take calls from people they don’t know. Your first task, on any call, is to put them at ease and get them to TRUST you.
Using positive words like “Good”, “Great”, “Wow” and “YES!” helps set the tone of the call and encourages them to trust you. But you MUST be GENUINE when using these or you will come off as insincere and salesy.
Conversely, negative words can lead to mistrust. Always use the affirmative, stay upbeat and frame statements positively. Use “What would relieve some of the pressure you are under?” vs “What pressures are you under?”
Salesy talk and high pressure selling tactics usually turn people off. You are there to HELP – make sure they know it!
Include ‘Credibility Statements’ in your messaging. Establish your expertise and abilities in this area.
What to say to get an appointment? Use phrases like:
“Yes, we can definitely help you with that.”
And “Yes, we have helped others with this type of issue.”
“Yes, we have years of experience with this.”
Keep in mind that it is better to UNDER sell and OVER perform than to disappoint so be sure to set REALISTIC expectations. Over promising will set you up for failure.
Saying “Yes, we are experts in such and such.” when you are not, MAY lead to an appointment but it may NOT lead to a sale.
And needless to say, don’t use the words, ‘such and such’ – insert THEIR problem there! Which takes us to the next step…
Clarify and re-state their needs
Make sure you have been LISTENING so you understand their issue and their needs!
Make sure you are ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS so you get the info you need to clarify their needs, their pain points and their timelines.
Re-stating their issue and needs lets them know you are LISTENING to them – that you hear them and understand. Studies show conversion rates rise 80% when you restate needs!
What to say to set an appointment? Incorporate phrases such as:
“Please tell me more”
“What I hear you saying is…”
“You said XYZ, right?”
Don’t worry about getting it wrong. As long as you are listening, are basically on the right track and you are in a conversation – not giving a soliloquy – they will most likely correct you and give you the opportunity to rectify your statement. Take that chance and use that opportunity to build a relationship with the prospect!
And, most importantly,
Ask for the Appointment!
The next step is to ASK for the appointment! Ask the prospect to commit to the next step in the process. Only 13% of callers actually do this. Yes, it is scary – if they say no, the call could be over – but ASKING is the only way to move forward to get an appointment. Take the chance and make the ask!
And if they say no, remember, a ‘no’ is a ‘no for now’. Put them in your hold file for a set period of time and move on. New prospects await and this one may be ready next time to you reach out to them!
Are you frustrated by the quantity of appointments set by your Sales Team? Are they delivering poor quality leads that aren’t converting to sales? Are your Reps lacking the skills and management needed to effectively set qualified appointments?
You need Call Center in a Box, our proprietary Prospecting Sales Training and Management program that will provide your team with the skills and management they need to Drive real RESULTS!
Call Center in a Box is a Prospecting Sales Management and Training Program where we train, manage and monitor YOUR Sales Team to improve YOUR bottom line!
Too often, we see sales teams made up of people who may have a ‘knack’ for sales but no real training. They end up ‘winging it’ when it comes to prospecting, resulting in poor quality leads.
And even the strongest and most senior salespeople need to continuously train to stay at the top of their game. Harold Craxton, a professor at the Royal Academy of Music said, ‘Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong’. We agree and train YOUR salespeople to be PROFESSIONALS!
Our sales training covers the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what your inside sales team needs to do to prospect effectively, including role play and modeling the correct way to make cold calls to set qualified appointments that lead to closed sales.
We provide your team with the tools, support and training needed to hit production goals. Our scripting ensures that messaging is consistent and that sales reps will have meaningful conversations with decision makers to set qualified appointments.
We set you up so your team will work in a CRM that is user friendly, simplifies the prospecting process and provides the tools they need to engage, qualify and set the appointment all in one place. This speeds up the sales cycle, enabling them to contact more leads in less time.
The CRM enables your sales staff and managers to track and record calls and monitor productivity, resulting in more accountability and higher quality leads.
Frequently, we see companies that have installed powerful CRM tools but have no clue how to use all the bells and whistles that enhance productivity. We show your people how to use features like voicemail drop, including the scripting for the messages, to make the most of their call time.
The CRM allows management to access real time data, seeing what calls are made and when, enables them to listen in on actual calls and track the performance of their team.
We then meet weekly with your salespeople to review their progress, discuss their calls, coach, role play to teach appropriate and more effective responses and help them with any issues that arise.
This combination of training, monitoring, reviewing and repeating the process has been proven to drive improved sales and increases employee retention!
Our Sales Training program is industry agnostic, working for any team that uses cold calling and appointment setting as a strategy for driving new business.
Click here to learn more or Call us today at 908.879.2911 to set up a time to discuss how this sales training program can help YOU get the best results from YOUR Inside Sales Team or Producers!
Don’t have an inside sales team or producers? Click here to learn more about how we can do your cold calling for you!
Business owners often want to see quick sales results and instant ROI. That is like putting up the walls of a building without first building a sturdy foundation. Yes, you can throw up some walls but they will be flimsy and won’t stand up to the weather or the test of time!
The same is true in business. You need a strong foundation to build your business upon.
At One of a Kind Sales, we build you a STURDY sales foundation with daily, consistent outreach to your target audience. We work to develop long term relationships with the decision makers who will convert to real, CLOSED sales.
Building a strong foundation is the hard part – the part that takes time and patience, but the part that is most crucial to building a thriving business. And we can do this for you!
If your sales results are feeling a bit flimsy – or you know that your foundation is anything less than rock solid – give us a call. We can build you the foundation YOU need to build your business upon!