One Three-Letter Word can Derail a Sales Presentation

man-holding-hands-over-ears-medThis seems too simple to really make a difference.

Actually, it makes a very big difference.

There is one word, used in everyday conversation, which can derail an otherwise perfect sales presentation.

This one little word is often used when responding to an objection, but it can ruin everything else you say.

Words Matter

How quickly you capture a customer’s attention depends on how carefully you choose your words, according to Maura Schreier-Fleming, author of “Real-World Selling for Out of this World Results.”

Schreier-Fleming recommends staying away from one particular word.

Avoid This Word

“If a customer has a concern, our job as salespeople is to listen, to acknowledge and to hear that concern.

“Using the word ‘but‘ negates everything you’ve said before it,” warns Schreier-Fleming.

“What your customer hears is the disagreement that precedes an argument.”

Instead, first acknowledge the concern and follow with the word “and.”

For example, your customer might comment that the process you recommend sounds complicated.

You would respond:

“Yes, it is complicated and with our technical assistance . . . ”

Think about how much better the word “and” sounds – in the sentence above – instead of the word “but.”

Objection

“We are happy with our current vendor.”

When hearing this objection, some salespeople begin their response with “Yes, but we can offer you a lower price” or better quality products, or faster delivery, etc.

A more effective way to handle this objection is to use a soft-sell response without the word “but.”

Like this tip?  Sign up for more good ideas on this page.

And …

… join my e-course to discover the best ways to handle – and pre-handle objections!

 

How to Use Bartering to Attract New Customers

One Virginia Beach business owner is using a successful form of bartering (and marketing) to add perceived value and attract new customers.

A good example of how he does it:

Barter System In September I took my car to the local CITGO station for some needed work. They have been taking care of my cars for years, with good results.

When the work was completed I checked out and paid the bill.

The receptionist gave me a piece of paper which read:

“Write a review about your service and we will reward you with a free hand car wash. Visit our website and click on the “Write Review” tab and tell us about our service. Stop in with review proof and receive your free hand car wash with an appointment.”

I made the time to write a good review and scheduled an appointment for the car wash.

On Saturday I took my car into the station for the free hand car wash and now my car is cleaner than ever except when it was brand new :)

The barter: A good online review in exchange for a free (needed) car wash.

The marketing: Good reviews add to the perceived value of the business and attract new customers.

Anyone looking online for where to have a car serviced in Virginia Beach will see dozens of positive reviews for this CITGO service station. A great way to attract new customers!

If you are looking for new marketing and/or bartering tactics, drop me a line. I have imaginative and workable ideas based on more than 20 years of experience and would love to hear from you!

6 Simple Tips to Get Your Calls Returned

Telephone-LondonThere is good news and bad news. First, the bad news. Recent marketing research has found that up to 40% of outbound calls made by salespeople end up in voice mail :(

After talking with hundreds of Weekly Sales Tips subscribers, I have learned that number is actually closer to 50% or 60%. And . . . most voice mail messages left by sales reps are not returned. (Very discouraging for salespeople.) This was especially true because of last winter’s fierce snowstorms resulting in traffic problems and empty offices.

Now the good news – yes there is good news!

We may need to dial more numbers, but we CAN get our calls returned. Read what Steve Sheffield in Vancouver, Washington wrote:

“I jotted down a short voice mail message to leave for a customer I have called 4 times in the last 2 weeks with no reply and she called me back the next day!

More about Steve’s voice mail success later.

Think about this: The first goal of a voice mail message is to get the call returned or, ultimately to result in a live conversation, so . .

. . . . Get Rid of Wimpy Words! Forget about leaving those wishy-washy messages like “please call me back if you have any questions.” Wimpy words with no call to action do not get results.

What action do you want them to take?

1.) Know what you want as a result of your voice mail message. 6 Simple Tips To Get Your Calls ReturnedWrite down in one sentence what action you want the listener to take.

2.) Organize your message so that you state the most important and attention-getting information first, since you may be cut off at any time. Include BENEFITS for the listener.

3.) Speak clearly and not too quickly. Pronounce your first and last name clearly, spelling your name if people may not recognize your name. The person you are calling could become annoyed if they have to spend time replaying the message because they could not understand it.

4.) State your telephone number twice: once at the beginning of your message – after your name and company name – and again at the end of the message. This makes it easier for the prospect to return your call.

5.) Be a name dropper. (This great tip is from urbachletter.com)

If somebody referred you, that person’s name should be one of the first things out of your mouth, even before you fully ID yourself: “Jane, I was referred to you by Barney Rubble. This is Fred …” Starting off this way will ensure your entire message will get listened to. If you don’t have a known person’s name to use, the next best thing is to reference an organization you have in common: “I’m also a member of the Bedrock Chamber of Commerce …”

6.) Prepare and rehearse your voice mail message. Reason: If you leave a bad message, you’re stuck with it, and . . . your voice message is being recorded and can be forwarded to others.

As promised, more about Steve Sheffield’s voice mail success:

“Ann, thank you for what I would consider the best ROI percentage that I have ever experienced in 18 years. I downloaded your books and read just 3 pages in your Voicemail Tips, jotted down a short message to leave for a customer I have called 4 times in the last 2 weeks with no reply and she called me back the next day!” – Steve Sheffield, Southwest Office Systems Vancouver, Washington

On-Site Interactive Workshop/Seminars

“I had the opportunity of attending Ann Barr’s sales seminar two years in a row.  I can unequivocally say that this is THE course to take.  I have been to other courses but I feel that they pale in comparison.  This training is invaluable and I have become very successful with Ann Barr’s methods.” – Shelley Sterling, Burlington, Ontario

On-Site Interactive Workshop/Seminars:

Minimum: 10 Participants – Maximum: 20

  • Two Days:  $995 per person USD + expenses
  • One Day:  $795 per person USD + expenses

To find out if an on-site seminar fits your situation, contact me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Private Coaching

I’ve helped thousands of customer service and sales people in the U.S. and Canada gain more trust in the eyes of their prospects and increase sales. Why do I do this?

Because I remember struggling through those days, weeks and months in my first sales career.

Years ago, after being hired for my first sales job I knew I would be required to make cold calls.

A terrifying thought at the time.

The first day I was scheduled to make pro-active cold phone calls, the manager sat next to me, listening to every word I spoke.

Was I nervous?

Absolutely.

I still remember the feeling of butterflies in my stomach and sweaty palms while I was dialing the phone.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to speak.

Somehow I made it through that first call.

With practice and through trial and error, my confidence and sales increased and I became the manager of my department – a department that had a higher employee retention rate than any other department in the company.

This is the reason I do what I do.

I love helping new customer service and sales reps through the process of making pro-active outbound calls that produce positive results. I am passionate about working with experienced sales people who want to build trust and eliminate rejection during telesales calls.

Does it work? Read what clients say about working with me.

It can be frustrating and stressful to begin making phone calls to strangers, especially when we think we might be rejected.

But think about this:

If you are experiencing rejection on your sales calls, you will learn that it’s probably not your fault.

It might be the fault of the selling approach that you are using.

Some people call it telephone marketing or worse: “telemarketing.”

I like to call it “connecting with your future loyal clients” because . . .

. . . making cold calls does not have to be a painful and frustrating experience.

It can be a smart way to build credibility with future clients + increasing your sales and profits. Yes, really.

Intelligently crafted opening statements let people know how you can help them without turning them off and making them want to reject you and hang up.

A well-developed introductory statement attracts interest and attention and gives you credibility – without making you feel sleazy.

To find out if my coaching and training fits with your situation, call me at 757.463.0924 or send me an email and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible. I look forward to hearing from you!