What Happened to Voicemail?

woman-wearing-beanie-with-cell-phoneMost sales people I talk with say they NEVER leave voice mail messages.

But here’s a question for you:

How many callbacks do you get if you DON’T leave a voicemail?

Answer:  Zero.

You CAN get your message across, despite voice mail roadblocks.

First of all, think of the person listening to your voice mail message.

Think about ways you can make your message not only interesting, but motivational.

True Fact:

You CAN motivate the listener to be curious or interested enough to want to return your call.

How?

Get their attention immediately – within the first 14 seconds, according to research by martechzone.com 

4 best attention-getting voicemail tactics

  1. Make your introductory statement short and to the point. See example below.
  2. Talk about something new.
  3. Explain how it benefits the listener.
  4. Use one or two positive power words with a time-sensitive message.

Example: Mortgage company employee calling a homeowner

“Hi [prospect’s name]. This is [sales rep’s name] calling from [name of mortgage company] at [sales rep’s telephone number].”

“I’m calling you tonight to alert you about some new refinancing options that are available for your mortgage loan. Our records show that we can save you several thousand dollars by lowering your interest rate and if you would like to learn more, please call us at [telephone number]. We don’t know how long this low rate will last, so please call me back as soon as possible. That’s [telephone number]. I look forward to talking with you soon.”

Why would this message prompt a call back?

Because the caller used a benefit statement for the listener with three Positive Power words: “new,” “your”and “alert.” And the message is time sensitive.

If you are brave enough to make an hour’s worth of phone calls for three days each week – with 50 to 80 percent going to voice mail – do this:

  • Give the prospect a good reason to call you back.
  • Make notes and keep track of all voice mail messages you leave.
  • Post your notes in a prominent place where you can easily see them.
  • Next to each name on your list, write the reason for the call, so you won’t be shocked and speechless when they DO return your call.

Do not be disappointed if you don’t get a call back the same day or the next day or the next. You will see a good reason to be patient on this page – based on my personal experience.

Related:

Why bother to leave a voicemail message?

and

Three reasons why it is important to leave a voicemail message

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a beautiful day!

-Ann

PS: Want help leaving effective voicemail messages and writing attention-getting emails?
Join my next e-Course!  Send me a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP (unless Hurricane Florence gets in the way!)

Her Secret to Success

woman-at-sunset-kicking-one-legLily is not a person who would be described  as a “typical” sales person.

(What is “typical,”anyway?  Dictionary.com defines typical as “a person regarded as reflecting or typifying a certain line of work.”)

Not that there is anything wrong with being a “typical sales person” who is professional and knowledgeable.  It is a pleasure working with professional – typical – sales people. 

Lily is both professional and knowledgeable; it’s just that she doesn’t come across as what most people think of as a person who is part of the sales profession.

She isn’t overly aggressive.  She IS assertive – in a friendly way.

(In the interest of privacy, you won’t see her last name or company name here.)

Attitude Matters

Though not immediately outgoing, Lily is a happy, positive person with a genuine interest in helping people.

And because of her positive attitude, prospects are drawn to her and they listen carefully to Lily when she is presenting demonstrations of products or describing facts and benefits on the telephone.

Another important reason prospects listen to her:  She truly believes the products and services she sells are the best available.

In her sales position, Lily is at the top of the chart nearly every month.

She wins cruises to beautiful islands and trips to expensive resorts.

Congratulations, Lily!

Her Secret to Success

In unique ways, Lily is a bit different from most of her co-workers.

How is she different?

Instead of using a direct close, like “would you like to place the order today?” Lily uses an open-ended question that asks for an opinion – not a decision.  It is what is known as a “trial close.”

(Note: Lily has recognized how her strengths and talents contribute to her success and I’m proud to have been a part of the process. She is a true star.)

Why is a trial close so successful?

Because it is an attempt to start getting commitment – before the completion of the selling process.

And it takes away the stress the prospect may be feeling because they are not being asked to make a decision at this point.

Exactly what the word implies, a trial close question is a test to see how near the prospect is to buying. And it may be used any time prior to the close.

Without the risk of a final “NO,” a trial close is like a report card that tells you how the prospect is reacting to your presentation.

Three Examples

1.)  “How does that sound, so far?”

2.) “What do you think?”

3.) “How do you think that would work for you?”

Important

After using a trial close question, listen carefully to the answer and you’ll know how to proceed.

Why a Trial Close Question Works Well

  • Lets you know where you stand
  • Clarifies what the prospect doesn’t understand
  • Takes the prospect’s temperature
  • You don’t risk a “no.”
  • A trial close asks for an opinion, NOT a decision
  • An opinion is much easier to give, than a decision
    .
    Are you looking for creative marketing and sales ideas?  My next one-to-one 4-week e-Course begins two weeks from Wednesday and there are just five spaces still available.
    .
    Interested?
    .
    Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible because I would love to work with you and help you achieve your goals. And good news  . . .  BTA educational discounts apply for this course!
    .
    Here’s wishing you a beautiful day!
    .
    Ann

 

The Letter that Can Change Your Day

man-writing-letter-with-pen“To write is human, to receive a letter:  Divine!”  – Susan Lendroth, author

Have you ever received a letter that changed your day?

Not an email message, but a real letter on paper inside an envelope with a postage stamp and mailed through the postal system. Yep … snail mail.

Think about it:  Your words in an actual letter have the power to change someone’s day, week or month.

And you never know what kind of impact your letter might have.

The Letter that Changed my Day, Week and Month

During my first sales job, I needed a fool-proof way to get my message in front of 150 decision makers – quickly and without making 150 cold calls.

This is what happened

I composed and printed a personalized, convincing letter directed at the needs of law firms because my company at the time had a product that would solve their problems.

Then I took a list of 150 law firms home with me one weekend, (with decision-makers’ contact names) along with 150 envelopes and 150 stamps and 150 small colorful flyers.

During the weekend at home I hand addressed all 150 envelopes with contact name, including the return address of my company, signed 150 letters, stuffed them into the envelopes with the flyer, put a stamp on each one and mailed them.

Why did I do this? 

Because a handwritten, personally-addressed letter usually goes (unopened) from the secretary directly to the decision maker. I know this because in a previous life I was a secretary.

.A Wonderful thing happened next

A few days after I mailed the letters, calls came in for ME from top people in the law firms who received my letters. Nice!

They requested an appointment with me and a demo of the product.  Result:  I made my first big sale of six units.  Woo Hoo!

I have included a version of this “letter to request an appointment” on page 11 of my 76 page e-book which also contains an attention-getting testimonial request letter along with 63 copy-and-paste business and marketing letters.

The Importance of Writing Thank-You Letters

After the sale of those first six units, I composed, wrote and mailed personalized thank-you letters to the decision makers who purchased my products. These letters resulted in referrals!

If you have thought about writing a compelling, personalized thank-you letter to one or more of your clients, you can digitally download, copy and paste nine different thank-you letters – plus 53 additional business and marketing letters – in my e-book on this page

A well-written personalized letter really can change someone’s day or change YOUR day!

Happy letter writing!

- Ann

PS- You are invited to join me in my next e-Course!
Click here to see feedback.

 

3 Ways to Win Back Inactive Clients

happy-woman-arms-stretched-outIt happens to nearly everyone at least once.

Despite your best efforts to provide top-quality products and world-class service, you may lose a client for one reason or another.

What do you do?

What do you say to find out why the customer left and – how can you earn the business again?

How do you ask?

Not This Question

It could be tempting to call an inactive customer and ask: “Why did you stop buying from us?”

Not exactly the most tactful or effective way to ask.

Three compelling ways to ask why they stopped buying:

1.) “I’ve studied your account (or reviewed your file) and found that it’s been [length of time since they last purchased] since your company last purchased your [products they bought from you]. I’m concerned that you may be running low on [insert products]. Shall I send you a case today?”

Or:

2.) Last year we had the opportunity to supply you with your [products they purchased from you]. I’d like to ask you a couple of questions and give you some new information about benefits you may qualify for, so you can decide whether it would be worthwhile for you to take another look at what we could do for you in the way of [type of products they bought from your company]. Okay?”

If that doesn’t work, the following question should get an answer from the customer, so you will find out why they stopped buying from your company (This is the call that worked for me):

3.) “I know that not every company is perfect in every way. If there were a way you feel we could improve our products or our service, I hope you will tell me what that is. I would really like to know because I value our relationship (or: I hate losing your business.)”

VERY Important Next Step

After you say this, don’t say a word until the customer speaks.

It may be difficult to stay silent, but it is the only way you will get an answer.

Why will asking these questions win back inactive clients?

Because you have shown that you care enough to want to earn back their business.

And because customers appreciate attention after they have made a purchase.

“One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”- Jim Rohn, Author

What Else Works?

When a telephone call does not work, an attention-getting email or direct-mail letter – with the right components – can remind inactive customers of the benefits you offer and what they may be missing.

A well-written letter  – with a P.S. or note of enclosure beneath your signature – followed by a telephone call will let the customer know you care about their business.

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a happy and productive day!

Ann
PS:  The next e-Course begins on Wednesday and there are just two spaces still available. If you’re interested, Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

This is How She Built Trust

trust-shaking-hands“If building relationships is the key to sales success, then trust is the foundation.”  Entrepreneur.com

I learned the importance of trust when I began my first sales job years ago.

My responsibilities in the new position included purchasing the products we were going to sell.

Vendors called to pitch their products. They sent glitzy faxes and colorful catalogs. One after the other raved about their “superior” products and wonderful services.  They all sounded pretty much alike.

Except for one person – who set herself apart from everyone else. 

This supplier – after learning that I was new at the job, did something different.  She (her name was Rita) offered to help me.  She had been in the business for 20 years and was exceptionally knowledgeable about all the products I needed to purchase.

Rita told me to call her if I had any questions  – even if her company could not supply the products.

What a great sense of relief.   She made my job easier!

Rita was the one person who was willing and able to provide information I needed. No one else had made that offer.

She followed up with her promise to help.  Again and again I called to ask her about products being requested by my customers.  Products I knew nothing about.  She always had the answers, including price and availability.

Result

She built a strong relationship with me and I trusted her completely.

Rita was the first supplier I called when I needed to order.  She had set herself above her competitors by offering to help me, rather than just pitching her products. She DID sell to me by being authentically truthful and believable.

The Importance of Trust

According to a recent survey conducted by Hubspot:

Only 3% Consider Salespeople To Be Trustworthy.  Ouch!

But you can begin building trust during the first call.

Spoiler alert:

The next part of this post is all about the March e-Course.  If this does not interest you, stop reading now. (Though I hope you won’t stop.)

3 Ways to Gain Trust in the First Call 

  1. Remember that the first 9 seconds of a cold call are critical to gain trust and build credibility.

Example:

“Using what I learned in Ann Barr’s e-course, I have actually changed my initial greeting. I really feel like this has helped me gain more trust in the eyes of my prospect and has given me more credibility.”

 Venetta Diesel, Managed Print Services Manager, Millennium Business Systems,
Cincinnati, Ohio

 2. Instead of making every statement about you and nothing about them, talk about how THEY will benefit.

Results:

“In the Ann Barr e-Course I’ve learned a lot about how to approach my work. I now have a much clearer idea of how to approach prospects and what they want to hear from me versus what I want to say.”

 Felipe Hernandez, Zeno Office Solutions, Midland, Texas

  1. Ask questions in a way that gives you the information to help the customer:

Success:

“Ann, your e-Course helped me become more successful as a sales rep because I now know how to acquire the information needed to develop a relationship with potential customers and how to be successful in increasing my personal sales.”

Christina Tolea, First Phase Data, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Here is how YOU can develop a relationship with potential customers and increase your personal sales:

Be one of the first 5 to register for my one-to-one sales success e-Course starting on March 28th.

Why be one of the first 5?  Because I work individually and personally with each person & there are just 5 spaces still remaining.

In this e-Course you can:

  •     Learn how to create your own unique opening statement which will allow the prospect to become more comfortable 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” because we all love to buy, but we hate to be sold.
  •     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 call and the sale.

So what exactly is this e-course?

It is a self-paced study training program that shows you step-by-step how to feel more comfortable making outbound calls in a way that is authentically “you” and irresistible to your prospects.

Click here to see feedback from successful reps who have completed this course.

How will you benefit?

With this 4-week once-a-week one-to-one e-Course you can learn how to write your own scripts and e-mails that sound genuinely like you and motivate people to want to buy what you sell.

Boring and self-promoting wording in a sales call or voice mail message can lead to rejection and is a fully reversible condition. But if left untreated, it can hurt your business.

Get Rejection-Proof Skills

Whether you’re a beginner or polished sales professional, everything you say and write in your emails will become more compelling and effective.

  • Work At Your Own Pace
  • Work on it whenever and wherever you can.
  • Revisit and review as much as you like: The materials are yours to keep for life.

How it Works

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

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.

Click here to see more about this e-Course and how it can work for you.

Interested?

Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible because I would love to work with you and help you achieve your goals.

And good news  . . .

. . .  BTA educational discounts apply for this course!

- Ann

PS:  The course begins on Wednesday and there are just five spaces still available.
PPS:  If you’re interested, Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.