Archive for September, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt Teaches Sales…

September 30, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Never take a “no” from someone who can’t say “yes”. That scenario played out for me on the phone this morning. Here’s my story…
I have a client that sells regulatory reporting software to banks. I have a list of target prospects I dial each day, and a Gold Call Script at the ready should a prospect answer their phone.
As often happens with telephone prospecting, the call I made was to the wrong person. Once I got to asking my Focus Question, I was immediately met with resistance. The person on the phone, an auditor, told me that he didn’t have anything to do with regulatory reporting, and that the controller of the bank was in charge. But before I could ask for the name of the controller I should be calling, he jumped in to tell me that the bank had no problems with filing regulatory reports because they outsource all their reporting work – blah, blah, blah. He wasn’t the right contact, but he knew all about why they didn’t need anything I was selling.
Do you have sales prospects like mine?
Not being one to give up easily, I decided to search the Internet for the controller’s name, and found the name and phone number, and I made the call. Nothing ventured – nothing gained, right?
After opening the call with my ‘Lemonade Statement’ I was surprised by the response I got from the controller. He told me that the timing of my call was perfect! He went on to tell me that he is looking to buy software within the next 30-days and he’d like for me to come and meet with him to discuss the sale of my product. I stopped him mid-sentence and explained what the other guy told me on the phone, that they outsource, and it didn’t sound like the door was open to anything I might have to offer. Then my prospect made me laugh – He told me that the other guy didn’t know what he was talking about, and that he’s “just an auditor, and what do they know”? He continued with, “We need help, and I’d like to see you right away”.
As we continued our conversation I found that the auditor was simply telling me “no” because he couldn’t say “yes”. I bet it made him feel good as he quickly brushed me off the phone and hung up.
One of the top priorities of any call you make to a prospect is to make damn sure you are talking to the right person. If you’re call is met with resistance, make damn sure you aren’t being told “no” by someone who can’t say “yes”. Otherwise you run the risk of bailing out and quitting early. There is a second chance for a “yes” after being told “no” the first time!
People in low positions, and those that can’t spend the company’s money are starving for power because they have none. And they know it. Then you, the cold calling salesperson calls them, and now it’s their moment to shine. They tell you “no” because it’s all they can say. Beware of these people!
Eleanor Roosevelt was right, “Never take a ‘No’ from someone that can’t say ‘Yes’. That piece of advice paid off for me today…

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Pick up the phone and call!

September 28, 2011

As the author and instructor of The Gold Call Script I discuss many problems my students bring up about cold calling on the telephone. I’m sure you’ve heard a few of them; trouble getting past the secretary screen, leaving voice mails that never get returned, handling aggressive, or disinterested prospects, lousy sales leads, and so on. One of the problems I hear most often are the problems salespeople have getting more prospects to answer their phone”? My answer – increase your dials!
I know dialing the phone dozens of times a day is a mundane task, but you gotta do what ya gotta do. Do nothing and the results speak for themselves!
The bigger question is about what is keeping you from dialing the phone as much as you need to in order to make contact with enough prospects. Could it be because you are self-conscious? Worried about your loss for words? Do you wince at the slightest bit of pressure when the prospect picks up their phone? All this may be true, but you gotta dial the phone anyway! You miss 100% of the shots you never take, so take a shot and pick up that phone, and take your medicine.
So what if the prospect is a ‘mental case’. Your job is to make contact with prospects no matter who they are. And if you’re going to let the effort, or even the thought of the effort stand in your way, you’re not going to make it in sales – period.

Bill Gates, one of the most successful businessmen in history, started out as a high school student who spent hundreds of boring hours programming computer code in the school’s computer lab. Often times he fell asleep at the console working into the wee hours of the morning driven by his burning desire to create a product we are all familiar with by now. The point is this, spectacular achievement is often preceded by unspectacular preparation. Cold Calling is that unspectacular preparation…
So now I ask you, are you a winner? Do you want to be a winner? Do you want to feel like a winner? Then pick up that phone and drive your calls to an end-point of decision each and every time. Execute with precision and strive to be the best! Find the discipline it takes to make the effort, and double the times you dial the phone each day. Even if you fail to reach anyone, or if the responses are all negative, you have still succeeded because you made the effort. Don’t let prospects, and others decide your fate. Take control over your effort and you will control your destiny. Now go pick up that phone and call someone!

Go for “No”

September 18, 2011

Believe it or not, getting prospects to tell you “No” (the truth) up front can actually benefit you. Assuming you are a confident salesperson, with superior communications skills, going for the “No” is a lot easier and smarter than you think, and it brings with it plenty of benefits. If hearing a prospect tell you “No” doesn’t hurt, then go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

As ironic as it may seem, when you ask questions that lead to, or sound like a “No”, often times you’ll find that prospects will work conversation in the opposite direction, and wind up saying “Yes”. That’s the key benefit behind going for “No”!

In a practical sense, during the course of conversation you can ask questions in ways that openly welcome rejection, or get your prospects to tell you “No” up front. Fight all your battles up front, don’t wait! The truth only becomes more elusive as time goes on. Try asking negative questions to engage prospects in conversations that help lead to truthful answers, whether those answers be “Yes” or “No”.

Here are two ways to ask the same question:
* (Positive) Would it benefit you in any way to have a faster process than you have now?
* (Negative) I don’t suppose it would benefit you in any way to have a faster process in place, would it?

Negative Questions help bring forth truthful answers from sales prospects because they’re easier to answer. Admitting need, or admitting to having a problem is not an easy thing for prospects to do. So if you phrase your questions in ways that make it easier for your prospect to say “No”, you’ll have an easier time getting to truthful answers, and also understanding what kind of prospect you’re dealing with. Why are they saying “No”?  Is it “No” not now, or is it a “No” not ever? The point is, once you know the objection, or get a “No” from a prospect, then you can deal with it out in the open, and work your conversation in ways that validate whether the prospect is really saying “No” out of a lack of need, or saying “No” just to get you off the phone.
And… Don’t debate your prospects by trying hard to change their “No” to a “Yes”. Go easy.  Besides, the prospect always wins the debate no matter what you say.
A “No” is not the end of the world for any sales person. In an ironic sort of way it can actually be a good thing. There are a lot more “Noes” in sales than there are “Yeses”. Going for “No” requires you to be objective and candid in your dialogue with prospects. Place more emphasis on getting to the truth and ‘dare’ your prospects to say “No”. Once you know the real truth behind why your prospect says “No” it’s much easier to decide on what to say next in order to perhaps turn your “No” into a “Yes”.