Disappearing Act

What do you do when you have a qualified prospect that gives every indication that they want your solution but they suddenly disappear?  It seems like they’ve fallen off the face of the earth. They don’t respond to calls, texts, or emails. I’m sure many of us salespeople have experienced this at some point.

This is where sales training comes into play because it gives you a set of tools to use in different circumstances. In this situation, you need to clarify whether in fact the sale is still alive.

One approach you could use is to express some vulnerability and offer to “close the file” on the sale.  For example, “I thought we were ready to move forward, but it seems like something might have changed that I’m unaware of, and I should probably close the file.”

The Takeaway

You could call this approach the “Takeaway.” Using this technique, you share what you thought, communicate your sense that there is a change in strategy or situation, and demonstrate your willingness and comfort to walk away. You give the prospect an “out” without putting them on the defensive. The goal here is to elicit a response while preserving the relationship you’ve built. Your ultimate objective is to ascertain whether the sales process will move forward.

If The Answer is No

If the client indicates that things have changed and they are unable to move forward, you know you can move on to the next opportunity.  You may get insight into why things changed, and then you can determine the type of follow up that should happen. The Takeaway sets you up so that you’ll be able to shake hands and walk away on good terms.

If the Answer is Yes

If the discussion resumes, then the client should be willing to make progress towards closing the deal.  This could be one of those situations where factors you have no control over have impacted progress: a change in leadership, a family illness, an urgent project, a financial issue.  But it also could be that they have questions that they have been able to verbalize.  You’ll take your cue on how to proceed based on their response to the Takeaway.

Equal Footing

I think what’s most important when using the Takeaway is remembering that you are on an equal footing with your prospect. You’ve committed your valuable time to them because you had a solution that fit the prospect’s needs. They have given you their valuable time for the same reason. When something fundamentally changes, it’s better to address it to understand what might need to happen so that the sale goes forward, or the file can be closed.

At One of a Kind Sales, we believe training is fundamental to sales success. If you or your team need help in using sales techniques to close more business, contact us at 908-879-2911.

3 Proven Techniques to Advance the Sale

My team and I make sales calls every day.  We focus on building a relationship of trust with a prospect while moving towards the close. To accomplish this, we use customized scripts that we’ve internalized, as well as a variety of proven sales techniques.

There are three useful techniques that we don’t use as readily as we might when we move deeper into the sales process. I have seen them be very effective in moving discussions forward when used strategically.

“My Biggest Fear”

Express a specific concern you have about how the prospect might perceive your solution.  An example of this is: “My biggest fear is that you see this solution as an instant fix.  In fact, it may take several months for you to see its impact.” This technique calls attention to a potential stumbling block and positions you as an honest presenter of the facts.  You’re calling out an issue that the prospect may not have paid attention to that could emerge later and derail the sale. If this is an issue for the prospect, it’s better to find out now and address it.

Justification

Get the prospect to justify why they need your solution.  During the discussion, you could comment: “It looks like this might not be one of your priorities now.”  This will either lead to confirmation that it isn’t important to them, or it will cause the prospect to explain to you why it’s a priority. The outcome is that your prospect develops a better understanding of how your solution is relevant to them.

Staying Negative

This is a variation on the Justification sales technique in which you suggest that the prospect doesn’t really need your solution.  You could say, “Perhaps you don’t need any help in addressing this.”  Once again, the prospect has a couple of obvious responses, the first being “you are right,” and the second being, “No, we need help.”  You’ve gotten the prospect to validate the need for your solution.

Using these techniques may reveal that there is no opportunity at this time. But experience has taught me that it’s better to know this as soon as possible so that you can move them into follow up mode and transition to the next opportunity.

You can see how these techniques might move the relationship forward and reinforce the value of your solution. Keep them in your sales tool chest and use them appropriately.

At One of a Kind Sales, we love sales, and we particularly love cold calling. We believe being well-prepared to sell is critical to success. If you or your team would benefit from learning more about these and other sales techniques, call us at 908-879-2911.

Be Prepared For Success When Cold Calling!

Are you prepared for success?

Sales is a hard job – you hear a lot of ‘No’s’ before you get to a ‘Yes’ and actually make a sale. You need, as they say, to kiss a lot of frogs before you find that prince or princess. 

But what if I told you that you are probably WASTING half your time?  

Marc Wayshak, a well-known Sales Strategist shared this important stat last year: “At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell” 

Yikes! 

Many of you are probably spending way too much time on the phone with prospects who just aren’t going to convert to customers.  

At One of a Kind Sales, we train our people to QUICKLY identify whether a prospect is a good fit or not and, if they are not, to efficiently end the call and move on. Let me show YOU how to do this yourself and  how to be prepared for success. 

It starts with your Call List 

Make sure you are calling from a clean list with RELEVANT contacts. Click here to read more about this process.

Your script is your road map 

Make sure your script includes questions that will elicit the information you need to QUICKLY determine if the prospect is a good fit or not. Ask pointed questions and then LISTEN carefully for the answers. 

Have an escape plan 

Your script must also include verbiage to EXIT the call QUICKLY once you have determined that they are not worth pursuing.   

For example, “gee, based on what we discussed, I feel we would not be a good fit and I certainly don’t want to waste your time”. This allows you to acknowledge that you have been listening and that you respect their time. 

Practice, practice, practice! 

Being comfortable and CONVERSATIONAL is key to making an effective connection with the prospect. If you feel awkward about re-directing and leaving the conversation once you determine they are not a good fit, you WILL end up wasting your time – and theirs!

Be professional 

We are NOT advocating that you rudely ask questions and then abruptly leave once you have your answers. That certainly won’t help you close more sales.   

Be professional, prepared and succinct – they will appreciate it and you will save time.  

Ask for leads 

Once you have determined that a prospect is not a good fit, you should always ask them if they know of anyone who might need your product or services. This is a great way to make the most of your time and to turn a current ‘no’ into a possible, future ‘yes’.

How can you be prepared for success?

So, how much time do you calculate YOU have been wasting on calls with prospects that just aren’t a good fit?   

Implementing these sales tips will help YOU stop wasting your time when making Cold Calls and help you to be prepared for success! 

Contact us for help with your scripting and click here to learn more about how we can train YOUR staff to use our proprietary, One of a Kind Sales skills.  And give us a call at 908-879-2911 to see how WE can make Cold Calls for YOU!

Are YOU prepared for success? Here are some more tips:

How to Leave  Voicemail When Cold Calling

Addressing Cold Calling Objections

Successful Cold Calling Starts with Asking Permission

What to do when your Sales Associates are Struggling – Call Center in a Box Case Study 2

This, our second Call Center in a Box Case Study, outlines the ways in which we have helped our clients. This post discusses the ways that our Call Center in a Box services helped a Sales Franchise client empower a struggling sales associate. 

The Problems: 

The Sales Franchise had an associate who, after ten months, still had no business connections in the community. She had been out networking but was struggling to set appointments. 

Rather than ask us to set appointments for them (which IS a service we provide, click here to learn more about that) they opted to have us train and monitor her. 

The Plan: 

Using our Call Center in a Box Services, we: 

  • Helped her develop her skills 
  • Worked on her messaging 
  • Helped her regain her confidence which had been bruised by ten months of low and poor performance 
  • Monitored her progress 
  • Met with her weekly to discuss and resolve any issues or challenges she faced 

The Results: 

We started in December, a month notorious for its’ difficulties in setting appointments due to the holidays. Despite this, she set TEN appointments which was more than she had set in the past ten months she had been working with them! 

To date in 2019 (Q1), she has set TWENTY FIVE QUALIFIED first time appointments which has exceeded even the owner’s expectation! 

Take-Aways: 

Here was someone who clearly had some sales talent but needed training and structure to take her to the next level. The Call Center in a Box Program provided her with the instruction, support and the sounding board she needed to succeed! 

One of the number one reasons that people leave sales is a lack of training and/or feeling unprepared. Sales is a “NO” job – you hear ‘NO’ and deal with rejection over and over on a daily basis. Call Center in a Box provides not only training but also the support and encouragement your salespeople need to deliver results and THRIVE! 

Are YOU having a hard time monitoring or managing YOUR sales team? Know they need training but just don’t have the time, energy or patience to train them yourself? Are your producers delivering poor quality leads that just won’t close?  

GIVE US A CALL AT 908.879.2911 to see how our Call Center in a Box services can help YOU! 

Click HERE to learn more and HERE to see another Call Center in a Box Case Study

Cold Calling is Scarier Than Halloween!

Cold calling can be scary. Sales people making the call are afraid of rejection. Call recipients are fearful of picking up the phone, afraid of having their time wasted. Scariest of all is the bottom line, when dozens of man hours and thousands of dollars produce no, or poor quality, leads.

If this fright fest is familiar, you need to try our winning approach to cold calling which drives qualified leads and bottom line results!

At One of a Kind Sales, I’ve carefully trained my team to deliver exceptional sales results, using our proprietary process. If your company is struggling with your sales process, here are some of our winning strategies that you can incorporate to BOO’st your frightful cold calling results:

Define your sales process. I have found that the more structure you can put into your qualified lead generation process, the easier it will be to educate and train your team. An efficient and clearly defined sales process increases production and gets new sales reps up and running quickly.

Be results oriented. In order to deliver results, a team must know what is expected of them and when. Establish high but achievable goals. Make sure everything in your process is working toward achieving those goals.

Train and train again. Don’t rest on your laurels. Strive to constantly make your team better. Even after years of success, One of A Kind Sales continues to train on consultative selling skills and how to draw out information from prospects. We have found that giving your team opportunities to share

Coach constantly. Make no mistake, I have found that coaching drives production better and faster than any other single practice. The highly effective sales managers I work with place a high priority on coaching to build confidence and optimize results. I suggest you take advantage of every opportunity to provide feedback that will make sales reps perform better.

Provide the right technology and tools. Don’t let your team wing it. I encourage you to provide your inside sales team with scripts that can be personalized and used to progress the conversation. The right CRM will ensure higher productivity.

When your sales people are properly trained on our proprietary call process, they are more engaged and effective. Business people who receive calls from these well trained sales people are more receptive and interested in learning more about your products and services. Your investment pays off in warm leads that convert to sales.

Give us a call and take the fear out of YOUR cold calling process. Click here to contact us and to learn more about our winning approach to Cold Calling!

Internalizing Cold Calling Scripts

Cold calling is an opportunity to probe, build rapport and set the foundation for a long-term relationship. This involves improvising, asking probing questions and reacting to what the prospect is saying. That said, you still need to start with a script. While you don’t want to read it, you do want to use your script to prepare for the call.

 

A well written script will:

  • Remind you of what preparation needs to take place before the call begins
  • Break down the call into steps so you know exactly where you are in the process at any time
  • Provide ways to encourage conversation and get the prospect talking
  • Help you avoid leaving out any questions or areas of information that you need to cover
  • Give ways for probing the prospect to get to their pain points and other critical information and keep the process moving forward
  • Provide reminders for critical pauses in the conversation
  • Provide different call to action scenarios to maximize the outcome of the call

 

When cold calling, you absolutely want to be sure that you have a natural sounding conversation with your prospects. The only way to do this is by internalizing the script. Internalizing means incorporating within oneself as conscious or subconscious, the steps, questions and cues that you need to cover. This can be accomplished by knowing the script inside and out and making it part of you. The way to do this is by practicing.

 

What you don’t want to do is read a list of questions. Approaching the call in this way lacks the impression of genuine interest in what the prospect has to say, and your prospect will quickly lose interest in continuing the process. Reading the script will result in hang-ups, getting less information than you need, or the prospect will blow you off, either in a nice way or not.

 

Customize your scripts to address your particular circumstances and goals, and to address the information known about the prospect. This process of customizing and internalizing scripts is proven to be an effective approach in fulfilling your ultimate goal: setting sales appointments.