One Thing Makes Cold Calling Easier & More Successful

workplace-meeting-med-tnIf one of your employees is new at sales or looking for ways to feel more confident making outbound cold calls, this story is for you.

Even though it happened years ago, the memory is still vivid.

It was my first sales job.

Before day one on the job I began reading books about sales to learn as much as possible.

Dozens of well-written books by experienced authors were stacked up on my bookshelf with important sentences underlined and Post-it notes on the pages that seemed most helpful.

But the actual experience of making cold calls was a shock.

The rejection was real and hurtful.  (It’s hard not taking rejection personally.)

Not getting positive results from making outbound cold calls was disappointing, to say the least.

It was at that point that I asked myself: “What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I make this work?” 

The Thing That Made the Difference. 

One experience changed everything:

It started with an announcement from the manager:

“We will have role play this afternoon from 1:00 to 4:30!”

(Yikes!)

The Situation

At 1:00 that day, seven other sales reps, plus me, sat in a conference room, around a table – with “an observer.”

The observer was not a manager or a supervisor, but an objective and knowledgeable technician.

He took notes but said nothing until after everyone finished playing the part of sales rep and customer.

We all nervously waited for results.

Would he criticize our mistakes?

Would he comment on our badly worded questions?

Would he ask why someone playing the part of the sales rep did not ask for the sale?

Thankfully, no.

He focused on positive and insightful questions asked by reps playing the part of the sales person.

Whew.  What a relief.

What He Did

  • He offered suggestions on how sales reps could get better answers from prospects and
  • He talked about the importance of listening to the prospects and not interrupting and
  • Suggested “needs-based questions” to ask, to find out how the prospect could benefit from our products and services.

This experience and other role play situations made all the difference in understanding the need to not only ask the right questions, but listening carefully and gaining the prospect’s trust.  And the best ways to ask for the appointment or sale.

You Will Make a Difference

Do this with your employees or co-workers and you will make a positive difference.

If it is you, you will feel more confident and be more successful making outbound cold sales calls.

When I first began presenting on-site seminars for the BTA in 1994, role-plays were incredibly valuable to raise the comfort and confidence level for sales reps making sales calls.  One of the most successful role plays involved three different departments within one company.

How Did This Work and Why Were They So Successful?

I set the rules ahead of time.  No one could interrupt during role play, including me.

And they were successful because:

  • Sales reps learned from watching and listening to each other,
  • They were not critical of each other,
  • They discovered new and effective ways to create opening and introductory statements,
  • They learned how to ask open-ended questions
  • And seamlessly ask for the appointment or order.

Want more ideas about creating a successful role-play situation?

Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The Secret to Building Confidence

possible-text“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael Jordan

Think about this:

What would your life be like if you shaped your days with the true understanding of what you really bring to those you serve?

But you may be so busy with day-to-day activities that you don’t have time to stop and think about how you affect the lives of your clients.

Your products may be improving their office productivity, or

Your services might be saving them time.

When you think about and understand the value you provide, you can be more confident when you reach out to new prospects.

How to Build Confidence and Motivate Yourself

Begin creating your own Success File.

Three things to put into your Success File

1.) The prospect you left 4 voicemail messages for, who – much later – returned your call and

2.) The prospect who finally made the decision to buy from you and

3.) Positive comments you have received from your happy customers.

You deserve to give yourself credit and include these accomplishments in your Success File.

Keep the file up to date and look at it whenever you need positive motivation.

You will be surprised at how this can change your attitude and increase your confidence.

Paul Cleveland is someone who has recently experienced an improvement in confidence:

“Ann Barr’s e-Course was clear and easy to understand.  The course motivated me to focus on my goals and I’ve  had a tremendous improvement in technique and confidence.”  Thank you, Ann!

           Paul Cleveland, Business Development Manager,
Repro Products, Smyrna, GA

If you would like to be part of my next 4-week one-to-one e-Course, it begins on Wednesday and 4 spots are still available.

Click Here to see an outline and overview of the course.

If you would have questions or would like to enroll, send me a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive day!

Ann
PS:  Your BTA Educational Discount applies for this e-Course!

How to Win the Sale and Keep the Customer

questions-who-what-when-howThe prospect seems ready to buy.

The sale is just about complete.

Almost.

But it seems there is more than one decision maker involved :(

Where to go from here?

Qualify Prospect’s Decision-Making Process

  • “How many people would ultimately be involved in making a decision to proceed?” – or
  • “Who else besides you would be involved in the decision-making process?”

Find out the Time Frame

“When you are making a decision of this kind, what is the procedure you typically go through and how long does it take?”

These questions are on page 54 of my newly updated e-book “How to Win the Sale and Keep the Customer.”

Here’s what else you’ll get in “How to Win the Sale & Keep the Customer”

Step-by-step telephone sales scripts, copy-and-paste marketing letters, sales-building voice mail and email messages, examples of attention-getting opening statements, worksheets, action plans & much more.

Including –

  • The best way to pave the way for a cold call – page 3
  • Cold-call script examples – pages 22, 28 & 29
  • 16 Positive Power words to guarantee return calls after leaving a voice mail message – page 31
  • Turn-off words NOT to use – page 32
  • 9 ways to handle the most frequently-heard objections – pages 35 through 46
  • The 3-letter word never to use – page 48
  • 10 ways to ask for the sale – pages 51 & 52
  • 6 words + scripts to use in a follow-up call to move the sale forward – page 73, 74
  • 3 questions NOT to ask during a follow-up call – page 73winthesale
  • Follow-up call script examples & letters – pages 74, 75 & 76
  • Voice mail script examples & worksheets – pages 81 through 84
  • 6 tips to motivate yourself – page 90
  • 12 critical ingredients for successful emails – pages 97 & 98
  • Scripts & letters to win back lost customers – pages 112, 113 & 114
    .
    You can download this sales-building e-book for just $14.97!
    .
    CLICK HERE to buy now!
    .

Solving the Gate-Keeper Dilemma

The screener.  woman-working-on-phoneThe gate keeper.

Those words can strike fear in the heart of anyone who has ever made a cold call.

Strike out with this person and you’re a goner.

She (sometimes he) is usually efficient and organized.

Her/his job is to keep people away from the boss – people the boss doesn’t want to – or doesn’t have time to – talk to.

Often that means you – the sales person.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The screener is not always treated with respect by callers, especially callers who become annoyed when they are not immediately put through to the boss.

What does not treating the screener with respect do?

Annoys and irritates this employee.

Is this person important to you?

Absolutely.

S/he can make your job easier or shut you out of the company you are trying to get into.

What’s the best way to get to the decision maker (DM)?

First:  Get the Name

Your job will be more difficult if you don’t have the name of the DM.

Call first (before you intend to talk with the DM) and ask for the name because you are “updating your files.” After you have the name, wait a few days before calling back. If you are unsuccessful at getting the name of the DM this way, there are other ways to find out.

How to Find the Name of the Decision Maker

  1. Look through the prospect’s web site. Often you will find several different contact names you can use.
  2. Call the company and ask to be put through to the sales department. Sales reps are usually willing to help other sales people – and will often give you the name of the DM you are looking for.

It’s amazing what happens with the right words and a respectful tone of voice.

Four Tips:

  • “Can you help me out?”
  • “Can you point me in the right direction?”
  • “I’d like to be of some help to your company. Could you tell me who I would talk with to introduce the benefits of [insert your product or service.]”
  • If the screener is not sure who the decision maker is (for your particular product or service) and puts you through to someone’s assistant or secretary, it’s very important not to assume that person is not a decision maker.

One Respectful Way to Ask the Question

“Are you the person who makes the decision regarding your [product/service] needs, or do you have someone who does that for you?”

When you convey an attitude of respect to the screener or the assistant to the boss, you may make a friend who can help you get to the DM.

Get more sales-building tips and ideas when you join my exclusive one-to-one e-Course.

Send me a message or phone me at 757-463-0924 if you’d like more info or want to register for the course.

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive day!

Ann
PS:  Your BTA Educational Discount applies for this course.

Best Subject Line I’ve Seen and it Might Work for You

attention-grabbing-signFor your email to NOT be immediately deleted, your subject line needs to get attention and interest or curiosity.

Yesterday an interesting message came to me because I’m a customer of Vital Choice Seafood. They send emails once a week and I don’t usually read them unless there is something I want to order.

Emailing to customers can be challenging if you don’t want them to think:

“Oh, it’s her again. I don’t need to read this.”

But the subject line was so compelling I had to open and read the email.

This was the subject line:

Preferred Customer Alert

Wow! That immediately grabbed my attention because of the two specific positive power words:

“Preferred” and “Alert.”

Fact:

Marketing research has found that attention-getting positive power words motivate consumers to read emails and sales letters.

More positive power words you can use to attract attention:

Program, savings, exciting, convenient and excellent.  But not all in one sentence :)

There are other words that will increase sales, like these 7 words that made the sale by email.

And when you use these 4 words, your clients will love you.

Increasing Call-Back Rates

Students in my last e-Course said using specific positive power words in their voice mail messages have increased call-back rates. And who wouldn’t want to get more return calls after leaving hundreds of voice mail messages?

Boost Confidence and Increase Return Calls

If you have a co-worker or employee who is looking to boost confidence and increase sales, please forward this link because the next exclusive sales-building e-Course begins on Wednesday.

One-to-One Coaching & Sales Training

During this private one-to-one coaching I will work with you, personally, to provide positive motivation plus new marketing ideas and wording that can convince prospects to WANT to become your raving fans and paying customers.

Because I work directly with each person, class size is limited to 10 and there are just three spaces still available.

Send me a message if you would like more info about the course or want to register.

Here’s wishing you a cool and happy day!

Ann
P.S.: Your BTA Educational discount applies for this course.