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.

Three Costly Mistakes that Kill Sales & Waste Time

caution-sign-muted-redIf you have ever heard a salesperson making these three mistakes, you know why they are killing sales and wasting time.

1.) Boring prospects by doing too much talking

You know your services and products inside out.

You could talk for hours about your product features or benefits.

Don’t.

You have just 7 seconds to get their attention and make a good impression.

Whether you call a prospect or they call you, use the call to learn what they want and need.

Ask the right kind of questions, and then –

Let them do the talking so you can get the information you need.

2.) Wasting time with people who aren’t buyers

No matter how good your system is for qualifying leads, you will sometimes end up on the phone with people who can’t afford your services or won’t benefit from your products.

Conversations like these can take up way too much of your time.

And I know this is true because I spent my first year in sales doing exactly this – wasting time with people who were not buyers.

It was a costly lesson.

What I learned after that first painful year:

Use qualifying questions and their responses to discover within the first 3 minutes of a conversation whether or not the person you’re talking with is a promising prospect.

If not, thank them for their time and move on to your next call.

3.) Losing sales by quoting price too soon

When prospects call, one of the first questions they ask is about pricing.

If you tell them right away, you risk ending the conversation and losing the sale.

Not stating the price immediately takes practice.

Dollar figures by themselves are meaningless.

When a prospect asks what you charge, don’t tell them until you’ve had a chance to learn what they want.

Then put the price in the context of the value and quality solutions you provide

Are you tired of making calls that don’t get the results you want?

You are invited to start getting positive results by joining me for my once a week 4-week coaching and sales-training e-class which begins on Wednesday.

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.

To register or learn how you can increase your sales with my coaching and your commitment, send me a message  and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

I look forward to helping you achieve your goals!

Ann
P.S. – You can use your BTA Educational Discount for this e-Course!

One Question Gets an Honest Answer and Here’s Why

girl-head-in-hands

You know how most third graders (and 4th and 5th graders) don’t like to hear one particular question?

Aunts, uncles and grandparents all seem to ask the same question.

(Note:  this article also applies to sales and is not just about children.)

The question

“How’s school?”

Usual answer: “Fine” or “It’s okay.”

So there is really no way to get a thoughtful answer with that vague question..

Unless the child is loving school and getting all “A”s in every subject.

Then there is the more specific question third graders (or any children in school) are asked:

“What’s your favorite subject?”

This is a good question because it implies interest.  Sounds like the aunt or uncle or family friend really wants to know the answer.

Some children being asked this question stop to think: “How should I answer? What would my mom want me to say?”

True Story

Mary Kate is the smart and beloved grandchild of a friend of mine.

We were visitors in her home when she was in third grade and were having a conversation.

I asked: “What’s your favorite subject?”

She answered: “I don’t have a favorite.”

I thought for a minute and then asked: “If you DID have a favorite subject, what do you think it would be?”

After a few seconds, she answered firmly: “Math.”

Later we learned Mary Kate earns top grades in math.  (Yaaay for girl power!)

The question “if you DID have a favorite subject, what do you think it would be” caused her to stop and think and answer thoughtfully.

Anyone involved in sales asks questions to find out what is most important to prospects and clients.

One question gets an honest answer

In a sales situation, a question similar to the question I asked Mary Kate could be:

“If you could make changes in the office equipment you use, what changes do you feel you would you want?”

Specific and open-ended questions are the best types of questions to ask if you’re in sales, or in any business where an honest answer will let you know how you can best help the customer.

Learn more about authentic and effective questions to ask – plus much more -when you join my sales training e-Course.

And you will:

  • Learn how to create your own unique opening statement which will motivate the prospect to become more interested and end up in more sales for you.
  • Use authentic words that will cause the prospect to trust you and feel 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.

To Find out How this e-Course Fits with Your Situation

1.) Send a message to me with your name, company name + email address. Ask anything on your mind and I’ll respond to you within 24 hours.

2.) We will schedule a time for a phone conversation to talk about your situation, challenges and goals.

I look forward to talking with you soon!

- Ann
PS:  You can use your BTA Educational Discount for this e-Course!

Are You Tired of Making Calls that Don’t Get Positive Results?

man-unhappyDo you ever feel like your voice mail messages are being ignored?

Millions of folks just like you make calls every day, worry about meeting quota, and wonder how they can improve their numbers.

But unless you spend your time working on ways to boost your sales, you’re never going to build the kind of business you need to be successful.

Are You Tired of Getting Rejected by Prospects?

Do you wish you knew how to make your calls and voice mails truly resonate with your prospective clients?

What if I told you there’s a better way?

What if I told you the calls you make could help you attract the right customers and get profitable results?

Successful sales people know the fastest way they can increase sales is by getting outside help from someone who knows how all of this works together.

Someone who will work personally with you to help you build trust with new prospects and earn the sales and profits you deserve.

Lots of account managers and sales reps face these struggles, but the ones who succeed get help – they hire the right coach.

There is a solution.

Join my one-to-one 4-week e-Course and you will learn how to get positive results starting with Week One.

This note arrived from a business development manager who recently completed the e-Course:

“I believe this course has helped me tremendously in how I present material to the customers,
how I frame my intended conversations, and how I respond to their objections.”

Byl Beasley, Business Development Manager
Repro Products, Smyrna, Georgia

There are very effective methods I can teach you, so you can increase your effectiveness and build your business.

To Find out How this e-Course Fits with Your Situation

1.) Send a message to me with your name, company name + email address and I’ll respond to you within 24 hours.

2.) We will schedule a time for a phone conversation to talk about your situation, challenges and goals.

How to Keep More Prospects Interested

“My introduction on my cold calls has been helped by Ann Barr’s e-Course. I can now keep more people on the phone and interested in what I have to offer. As soon as I started using the information from Ann’s class I signed up two new accounts!”

Hugo Garcia, Houston, Texas


You
Can Get Better Responses from Prospects

“After taking part in Ann Barr’s four-week e-Course, I’ve been more comfortable making calls and I’m getting better response from prospects during the calls.
Thank you, Ann!”

Jonathan Thacker,
Indiana Business Equipment, Terre Haute, Indiana

See more feedback on this page.

Because this course includes 4 weeks of once-a-week private sales training & coaching where I will work personally with you, the course is limited to the first 10 who register.

When you join me in this one-to-one Sales Success e-Course,

You Will:

  • Learn how to create your own unique opening statement which will motivate the prospect to become more interested and end up in more sales for you.
  • Use authentic words that will cause the prospect to trust you and feel 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.

IMPORTANT: You do not need to be in front of your computer at a specific time for this e-Course.  You choose the time when it is most convenient for you and I will set that time aside for you each week for four weeks.

To register and/or to have a conversation about your goals, send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible because the course begins next Wednesday.

Here’s wishing you a joyful and productive day!

- Ann

PS: You can use your BTA Educational Discount for this course!

 

 

 

Are They Listening to You?

woman-listening-with-ear-phonesIt is often just a part of the job.

Making call after call.

Wondering if people are really listening.

Do they want to hear what you have to say?

It may depend on what kind of day they are having.

Are they under pressure?

Do they not feel well?

It also depends on how YOU are feeling.

Your tone of voice and the words you are using make a big difference.

Are you comfortable calling people who don’t know you?

If you aren’t feeling comfortable, the listener knows.

Think about this:

Whenever you pick up the phone, you have an opportunity to brighten someone’s day.

You may be calling about a product or service they really want or need.

4 Guidelines for Making Calls that People Actually want to Listen to and Remember

1.) Before you start making cold calls, read the positive comments and testimonials customers have written for your company’s products or services because this will help you feel more confident and you can:

2.) Approach your calls with the knowledge that you are helping people because you have a product or service that will make their lives better or easier.

3.) Spend time with positive friends and stay away from negative people.

4.) Register for my 4-week private e-Course because I will teach you how to make a positive difference – and feel more comfortable – in the way you approach prospects by phone. And this leads to a better response and an increase in your sales.

Last week, after completing my most recent e-Course, Jonathan Thacker said:

“As a result of taking part in your four-week e-Course, I’ve been more comfortable making calls and I’m getting better response from prospects during the calls. Thank you, Ann!”

- Jonathan Thacker, Sales Representative, Indiana Business Equipment,
Terre Haute, Indiana

During this e-Course you will:

• Learn how to create your own unique opening statement which will motivate the prospect to become more interested and will end up in more sales for you.

• Use authentic words that will cause the prospect to trust you and feel 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 prompt her to think and share important information you need to move forward.

How it Works

As soon as you register, we will schedule a time to talk so you can describe your situation. I will let you know how the course works and answer any questions you may have.

Then I’ll send you the Week One workbook in a pdf document and assignment pages in a Word document.

After you review the workbook and complete the assignment pages, email your completed assignment pages to me.

I’ll review your assignments and send you an email to set up a date and time to talk and give you my ideas and suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

And we do this once a week for four weeks – while you are achieving your goals.

Click here to see feedback.

To register or to have a conversation about your goals, send me a message

I look forward to hearing from you!

Ann
P.S. – BTA Member discounts apply for this e-Course.