Here is a quick video, for sales people
Start thinking a little differently about your Linkedin profile. [Read more...]
Start thinking a little differently about your Linkedin profile. [Read more...]
A harsh reality for the sales professional is the necessity of cold calling. Having to cold call is like having to eat your vegetables as a kid. In order to grow big and strong in your profession you have to do it. So instead of making it something you dread, like eating your vegetables when you were a kid, put some ketchup on it and make cold calling fun. Yes fun. Once you make it fun you’ll find it one of the easiest parts of the job.
Cold calling can be a lot of fun if your approach is relaxed. Forget your quota, forget the numbers, forget that you need to make president’s club to afford that vacation, and just clear your head of all those external pressures. You may not realize it, but all those pressures come through in your voice when you’re on a call. If you’re going door to door on cold calls, it will show in your voice and body language and that’s double trouble. This external stress translates into a more high pressure and anxious call directed at the prospect. The prospect can tell you’re thinking about what their business can mean to you and not necessarily how it can benefit them. This is no basis for a relationship and if you want to earn a prospect’s business, a solid relationship has to be established.
Once you free yourself to relax, you will come to realize that cold calling is a game. It’s a game about numbers and statistics. You will find out that no matter how good you are, there will always be those who will not take a meeting with you or say “yes” – ever. Instead of homing in on these objections, you will start giving yourself permission to quickly move on to the next call. Then it’s a game about who can get to the “yes” first.
Now some sales managers might frown on such an approach and hammer on and on about overcoming objections. However, a natural by-product of relaxing and allowing yourself to get through to the “yes” is that you will think more clearly during calls. You won’t be so anxious. You won’t be forcing yourself to think of what next to say. Instead, you will be free to focus more on your prospect and your listening skills will improve by leaps and bounds. This will lead naturally to an ability to think more clearly during those calls and overcome those objections.
Overcoming sales objections can be especially tricky when a prospect suggests that your competitor’s offering is better than yours. You might be tempted to degrade the competition, but try to keep the focus on the benefits you can provide. Following are five competitor-related objections, along with responses you can use to overcome them. Of course, you’ll need to tailor your answers to reflect the specific advantages of your product or service, but these sales tips should give you a good idea of where to take the conversation.
1. “I already have a supplier I’m happy with.”
“That’s great, and I appreciate the time and effort it probably took you to make that selection. But just imagine for a moment that your supplier offered you the same quality product at a lower price, with improved ease of ordering, and with faster delivery. Would you be even happier?”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a prospect who could honestly answer no, and you now have a receptive audience; if the only change they’ll make by going with you is for the better, then you’re worth listening to.
2. “Your prices are higher than the competitor’s.”
“Only at face value; our cartridges produce twice the amount of images, so while the unit price is 25% higher, the actual per-image cost is over a third less than theirs.”
3. “I’ve been with my current supplier for a long time.”
“Sure, and I understand not wanting to stray too far out of your comfort zone, but if you don’t keep abreast of the ways your competitors are able to increase their savings, you could be shortchanging yourself and your company. You owe it to yourself to reassess the status quo every so often.”
4. “It would be a risk to try your product.”
“Isn’t it a bigger risk to dismiss our value-add right off the bat, without really knowing what you’re dismissing? At least make an informed dismissal, if that’s what you choose to do. You’ll never know what you’re giving up unless you try it.”
5. “I don’t have the time to explore alternative options right now.”
“I appreciate your time constraints, absolutely, and my job is to give you increased returns for less investment of both your time AND money. That’s why our customers love us.”
Remember to be your prospect’s ally. You’re on their side, so be empathetic to their objections and act as a partner in addressing their needs.
One of the main sales tips all sales reps are taught is how to take control on a sales call. Statistics show that sales are made in the first three minutes of the sales call. With more and more of the buying public savvy to sales techniques and scripts, getting control is becoming more difficult. There are basically three types of people: the totally uninterested, the waffler and the show me more type. With each type, taking control of the sales call is a matter of listening.
The Totally Uninterested
Getting control means allowing people to show you where to grasp control. In the totally uninterested type, this will involve listening carefully to spot their weaknesses and then putting your foot down until you get a credit card number. In some it could be curiosity, in others it could be one upmanship over a neighbor and in yet others it could be the need for a new possession to round out the collection. This type might be seen as an impossible sale, but the impossible just takes a little longer to accomplish.
With the waffler, the sales rep needs all the sales tips he can get in order to get a decision. Sales call research in tracking down leads will yield this type immediately. Where the sales rep will nail down the waffler is in the old adage of the solution to the problem lies in the problem. The customer can’t make a decision so the sales rep makes it for him. Bold, yes, but it works because this type craves a bit of the strength he sees in you that he lacks.
The Show Me More
The show me more type is perhaps the hardest to which to listen. This type will drain dry the sales rep of information, see all there is to offer and want to compare his wares to others he has seen. He is curious about everything possible and buttonholing this guy is going to take special listening skills. The sales tips needed to bring in this customer will involve selling out the competition and convincing the customer he has only one way to go. Control of this type sales call won’t be gained in the first three minutes but will be a lasting sale.
Taking control of the sales call is a matter of listening to ascertain the customer’s type and fulfilling the customer’s need from a position of strength.
In sales, it’s tough enough handling prospects’ objections directly related to your company’s offerings. But what if the objection stems from their internal company politics over which you have no control? Following are five common sales objections of this type, and some sales tips in the form of suggested responses:
1. “Our current supplier is the president’s brother-in-law.”
“No offense to the in-law, but management often assumes that because their supplier-rep is a relative, they’re automatically receiving the best discounts, when in fact the opposite is true: The relative figures he’s got an unquestioning cash cow for life. Let me work up a comparison sheet, so that both you AND your president can gauge who’s really coming out ahead here.”
2. “This isn’t the right climate to introduce any changes now.”
“If you introduce a solution that works better for the company and reduces costs, those are the kind of changes virtually every company’s looking to make nowadays. And, by proactively seeking ways to increase your company’s ROI, you’ll be recognized as an effective contributor to the team.”
3. “I’m not the decision-maker, but I can present this to my boss, who in turn would have to present it to his boss.”
“Sure, but let me make a suggestion that may be more efficient for you: How about if we set up a conference-call so that I can address everybody’s questions and concerns? I’ve found that when a few heads get together, it really leads to a more productive and informative session, rather than having to go back and forth.”
4. “The CEO is very conservative, and wants to stick with established, big-name companies.”
“You may need to remind him that much of what he’s paying for is the big name itself and, of course, their big advertising. In fact, nowadays the most conservative tactic often involves exploring smarter alternative solutions.”
5. “We have a long-term relationship with our current vendor.”
“If most of the value is in the emotional benefit of the relationship, rather than in the product itself, then it’s not much value to the company in practical terms. Consider the real advantages you’re getting: More product for fewer dollars? Better quality? If your current vendor really has your best interests at heart, he’s giving you more than just the ‘feel-good’ factor. I’ll be happy to work up a cost-comparison sheet so you can objectively compare apples to apples.”
Plenty of research has been on common sales questions done over the years. It has revealed that when talking with a potential client, it is important that you don’t lead or persuade a prospect into answering sales questions in a particular way. It is important to have the customer give a real honest answer to involve him or her in the sales process. Many sales tips include steering clear of yes or no questions by asking open ended question. Open ended question usually start with the words how, what, which, when, or where.
Here are ten great open ended questions to help land a sale:
1. “What has brought you in to see me today?”
2. “Why are you looking for a particular product or service?”
3. “Where do you currently get this product or service?”
4. “What do you currently like or dislike about this product or service?”
5. “What challenges have you faced in the past?”
Building rapport is another sales tip. If the potential customer feels they have a relationship with the sales person, they will be more likely to complete a sale. To help build rapport use the following open ended questions:
6. “How would you like this product or service to benefit you?”
7. “What about this product or service is important to you?”
8. “When would you need this?”
9. “What concerns do you have?”
The last open ended question is a great sales tip for a situation when the sales person doesn’t get enough information to make a good recommendation in order to complete the sale.
10. “How so?” or “Why is that?”
By using open ended questions, a sales person can make an appropriate recommendation and provide a product or service based on the customer specific needs. The sales person can feel they did a service for the customer instead of just being a product pusher. This will lead to better sales numbers and referrals.