Did He Really Say That?

question-mark-word-tnEveryone in the room was shocked at the response to an objection, John – playing the part of the sales rep – used during role play.

What was even more surprising was the positive effect on the “prospect.”

It was not the normal response to an objection.

In fact, it was the opposite of what was usually taught in sales training classes.

The objection -

Prospect:  “No thanks, we buy from (John’s competitor; let’s call it the ZYX Company.)”

John’s response to this objection achieved his goal of creating trust with the prospect and not sounding “salesy.”

After all, John was being truthful – based on his research and knowledge of competitors.

He knows what his competitors can offer and cannot offer.

He also knows which items the prospect uses.  (The result of very good research.)

The response that surprised everyone

John:  “The ZYX Company is a good competitor of ours.”     (What?)

This response validated the prospect’s decision to buy from the ZYX Company and eliminated any pressure the prospect may have felt.

John continued (in a friendly tone of voice):

“However, they don’t stock the [item the prospect uses] and we do provide that and can ship it to you tomorrow.  How many do you order each month?”

I found out that John’s response to this objection results in a sale for him 95 percent of the time.

This knowledge of competitors impresses most prospects and leads to the creation of trust and more sales!

You can find out more about how to win against the competition in my new e-book  “Yes – You Can Win Against the Competition and Grow Your Business with Smart Marketing!”
(Whew – long title.)

Included in this 40-page sales-building e-book:

  • The #1 way to convince prospects your expertise & products will get the results they want!
  • How to create loyal customers who will turn first to you AND will come back to let you know if they find a lower price!
  • The top reason buyers will believe you are the first and best choice!CLICK HERE to see more info about this powerful new e-book.

 

If Only

any-questionsIf only prospects could just listen to you talk about your amazing products and services and then – place an order : )

That would be sooo nice, and would make your day so much easier.

Too bad it doesn’t usually happen that way.

Depending on your prospect’s needs, situation and budget, there are almost always objections, or . . .

. . . just questions that sound like objections, so:

How Do You Prepare?

It’s easy to say: “Know your product.”

Of course, we need to know our products.

Just as important:

HOW does your product make the prospect’s lives better or easier?

And then:

Think about the best way to ask the questions that will get to the heart of the prospect’s needs or wants.

And how to find out why they are hesitating.

Ask Yourself These Questions

  • Are they afraid to place an order because . . .
  •  . . . they are not sure if the service will be dependable?

or

  • They are not sure if your product will meet their needs?

or

  • Is it fear of changing vendors?

Here’s What to Do

Before you make your next call, write down the objections you hear most often.

Next to these objections, write down what the prospect may be thinking, based on the examples listed above.

Then, write down your response to what you feel the prospect may really be thinking.

You’ll find that the responses you write for what they may be thinking will also work for the objections they give you.

When you hear “I’m happy with my current vendor,” Imagine they are saying “Why should I change?”

Prepare your reasons why other prospects have switched over to your company and the benefits they have found after becoming one of your customers.

You Can “Shorten the Sales Cycle”

     “Ann, after being part of your e-Course, I now have better decision making, better control of meetings and handling objections to shorten the sales cycle. Thank you!”

Norman Deane, Senior Office Solutions Specialist
Repro Products, Smyrna, Georgia

More very nice testimonials on this page.

You are invited to join me for the next private one-to-one e-Course and you can

  • Learn how to create your own unique opening statement that gets attention, interest – and avoids rejection.
  • Use authentic words that will cause the customer to trust you and understand that you are there to help her rather than “just get the sale.”
  • Find out exactly how to create trust during the first call.
  • Discover specific questions to ask the prospect that will motivate her to think – and share important information you need, to move forward with the sale.

And much, much more.

The next e-Course begins on Wednesday.

If you are ready to begin reaching more decision makers and closing more sales, drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you!

Ann

PS: Your BTA member discount applies for this course!

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.

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.