Archive for February, 2010

How To Get Referrals From Existing Customers

February 16, 2010

Step 1: Make a courtesy call to existing customers to check in and see if they are satisfied with the purchase.

Step 2: Ask your customer if they are satisfied enough with your product, or service to the point that they would recommend it to others.

Step 3: If your customer is willing to recommend you, then place your customer in your business by asking them who, or what company they would call first to discuss the purchase of your product.

Step 4: When your customer thinks of a name of someone, or a company, gently ask your prospect why they chose the person, or the company they mentioned. (Get some background to help structure the follow up call you are going to make).

Step 5: Gently ask your customer to make a phone call to the referral in advance of your call to explain why you’ll be calling them.

Step 6: Make a phone call to the referral, and start the conversation off by letting the person know who referred you, and ask if they got a call from your customer prior to your call.

Step 6 – Part A:
Assuming that your customer called in advance, proceed with your call, and ask about what your customer said on the phone when they called. (Asking about what your customer said will give you a great starting point for conversation, and should be enough to carry the rest of the sales call for you).

Step 6 – Part B:
If your customer didn’t call ahead of time don’t panic! Just proceed by telling the referral the story about how your customer became your customer, and why they thought it made sense for you to call. (This again gets the conversation started. Just make sure to keep the conversation focused on the problem(s) you solve, and not so much on making a ‘sales pitch’).

Lessons to be Learned:

1) If you don’t ask – You don’t get.

2) Find a problem = Close a sale.


The Best Time to Cold Call?

February 10, 2010

The best time to cold call is an age-old question. What time is too early? What time is too late? Should we bother calling during a holiday week? Does it make any sense to cold call on Monday mornings, or wait until Tuesday? Does the weather factor into our decision to call, or not? I say call them early, late, and often, but I still find myself asking when is the best time to call a sales prospect. So I went in search of an answer…
Since starting my own sales prospecting business, I have made a regular practice of dialing the phone at 8:00 AM every morning. Yes, including Mondays. My thinking is that chief executives get in early, and I can usually get around their admin. screen if I call before they get it. Simply put, the earlier the better…
Late calls work great too. I stick around the office until 6:30-7:00 PM on most days, and try to reach top-line executives in their office. Most chief executives work half days, (12 hours), so it was no surprise that I would catch them in their office after 6:00 PM. The best sales appointments I’ve ever closed were a result of my calling a prospect before 8:30 AM, or after 6:00 PM in the evening.
As for the best day of the week to make a cold call, I say Fridays! Specifically, Friday mornings between 8-8:30 AM. From personal experience, I have had the most success getting through over the phone to prospects most anytime on Friday.
And on a final note, I’ve found find that calling anytime between Wednesday and Friday afternoon has produced the most closed appointments.
The best advice I can give is to keep calling at all times. What’s the big deal about the time? Don’t pay much attention to what day it is, or the time. Otherwise you’ll become prejudiced, and find a million excuses not to make the calls at all.

Fun With Prospects…

February 1, 2010

The best advice I can give to any salesperson is to not take sales prospecting too seriously. If you prospect over the phone and take prospects too seriously you will sound like a telemarketer, and you’ll be treated like one. Enough said. Turn on your normal personality, and use that good sense of humor God gave you to calm your prospect’s resistance, and get them to engage you in meaningful conversations that yield the information you need to make a judgement call about how qualified your prospect really is.
In the following ‘gold call’ recording there are several conversational tactics that I use to move my sales prospects off the dime, and get them to feed me information. Believe it, or not, successful sales prospecting has very little to do with product sales, and most everything thing to do with how you ‘package’ yourself over the phone when speaking. If you speak ‘salesy talk’ to prospects it alerts their auto defenses, and they ‘clam up’ and withhold the information you need to confirm that you’ve called the right person. Don’t let it happen! Relax… Try speaking to prospects over the phone in a non-threatening way that leverages your natural humor, personality, and charm.
Don’t think you’re humorous, or have any charm? Then start kidding yourself and find some before your prospect finds someone else more interesting to talk to.