Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cold Calling: What to do when...

You're on a cold call and the prospect says, "I had a horrible experience with your company."

Say you are sorry and then pause. If they want to tell you more, they will. If not, say, "We've made many changes to improve quality for our customers. I'd like to hear more about your experience and tell you about the changes we've made." Then ask for the appointment and be prepared to discuss your quality strategy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cold Calling: What to do when...

You're on a cold call and the prospect says, "We're happy with our present vendor."

You say, "I appreciate that. Many of my clients say the same thing. But maybe at some point your needs will change and if they do, I hope you will consider us. With that in mind, would you allow me ten minutes to introduce myself to you?" Then ask for an appointment.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cold Calling: What to do when...

You're on a cold call and the prospect says, "Send me information."

Do what they ask. Send the information along with a letter. The letter should tell them why you called and state that you will follow up. When you follow up, be sure to ask for an appointment.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cold Calling: The Script

A prospect has picked up the phone and said "hello" what?

The Script
  1. Say who you are and who you represent.
  2. Ask who is in charge of buying .
  3. When you have the buyer in the line, tell them who you are and who you represent. Be sure you are talking to the right person.
  4. Ask, "Do you have a minute to talk?"
  5. Tell them why you called - offer a benefit.
  6. Find out if they need what you sell.
  7. Wrap it up. If you sell what they buy, say so. 
  8. Ask for an appointment. Be specific and give them two date and time options.  Example: Bob could I have a few minutes of your time next Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning? If they say no, ask for an appointment the following week. If they say no again, ask when it would be convenient for them.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Reaching a Client Who Never Picks Up

Wondering how to reach a client who never picks up? Try these tactics:
  • Try calling early in the morning and late in the day
  • If you've called repeatedly, leave a polite message explaining who you are
  • Send them a letter and then follow up on it
  • Persist if you really want them as a client
  • Is there a way to get a referral to Mr. or Ms. Avoid-you?
  • Block you phone number with *67 and see if they pick up

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Summer Check List for Savvy Sales Professionals

Summer is upon us and with clients on vacation and sales slowing down, savvy sales professionals like you know it's important to take advantage of any down time and use it to build your sales skills.

Here are the Top 5 Things You Should Aim to Accomplish This Summer:

1. Engage with prospects using LinkedIn, and get at least one meeting with someone you met through the social media site.

2. Focus on one area where more expertise would get you more sales. For example, become an expert on one cross-media solution. Read all the articles, whitepapers and case studies you can, talk to colleagues and attend in-town workshops and seminars.

3. Update your elevator speech so it's relevant and will help you sell today.

4. Resurrect at least one customer you thought was dead.

5. Attempt to cross-sell/up-sell to at least three customers.

Great information like this can be found in our free monthly newsletter Self-Taught Sales. To sign up, email

Monday, May 14, 2012

Uh-Oh...Now What?

Did you or your company make a mistake? Everyone does time and again, but how you correct the problem is essential to keeping your client happy and buying from you. If something went wrong, create an Executive Summary to explain exactly what happened and how you'll stop that same problem from happening again in the future.

The Executive Summary is one to three pages long, and when using it to address problems, it has four sections and a title page.

Section I: State why you are preparing the summary. List the objective in number order and try and keep it to three objectives or less.
Section II: Recap the current situation. No blaming allowed! Just state the facts.
Section III: Explain what will be done to fix the problem in the future.
Section IV: Wrap it up. Tell the client you value their business and want their feedback.

After you type the Executive Summary up, read it out loud. Keep sentences short, simple and to the point. Cut unnecessary words and make sure it looks professional.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Constructing Your Value Proposition

To construct your value proposition, a good place to start is by writing out the features, advantages and benefits of your offering.

Feature: A specific characteristic of a product or service. This is what the customer gets when they make a purchase.
Advantage: What your product or service does better than the competition. Advantages describe comparative value.
Benefit: What the customer gets from choosing this product or service. This is the "What's in it for me?"

Once you construct your value proposition, conduct this test:
If your customer heard it would they say, "So What?" OR "TELL ME MORE!"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


What determines the worth of a product or service? Your answer comes from how your customers answer these questions:

What's in it for me?
What does it cost?
How does your product compare to the competitor's product?

People buy products because of the benefits they deliver. In its most basic form, a value proposition says, "We can do this for you because we're great in this specific way." Value propositions connect a customer's desired benefits to your core competencies. For best selling results, be sure your value proposition appeals to your customers' strongest decision drivers!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Smart Questions That Get Real Information

Be a salesperson with a questioning attitude. It takes you a long way down the road to sales success.  Here are a few examples of smart questions that will get you real information:

            • What is your typical day like?
            • What changes do you expect in your company over the next year?
            • How do marketing and purchasing work together on projects?
            • What should I know that we haven't covered?
            • What was your best experience with your previous sales representative?
            • What was your worst experience with your previous sales representative?
            • What should I bring the next time we meet?
            • What do you think sales representatives like me do that "un-sells" us?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Body Language Part 2

Here are a few more body language tips to ensure you have an effective conversation.

  1. Beam - be the first to smile.
  2. Say "hi" and attach your name to it. "Hi, I'm Linda." Extend you hand and try to say their name, so you can store it in your memory. "Good to meet you, Bob."
  3. Lean in a little.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Body Language

I think Nicholas Boothman's book, "How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less," should be required reading for every sales person. He says that the first few seconds are critical to create the perception that you are sincere, safe and trustworthy. He outlines five steps to an effective introduction.

  1. Start with a positive attitude. Check your body language to make sure that's what you convey. Keep your heart aimed at the person you're meeting. Whenever possible, unbotton your jacket or coat.
  2. Be first with eye contact. Look this new person directly in the eye. Use your eyes to reflect your positive attitude. Look at the other person long enough to see the color of the person's eyes.
Check the blog on Friday for more great tips!