How To Be Persistent (Without Feeling Like a Stalker)

November 23, 2011 at 9:25 am | Posted in sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Being persistent is a good thing right?

Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and the list goes on and on of people that kept working at something until they achieved success.  So we agree…persistence is an important and positive quality!

But it’s also important to recognize that being persistent will often be received /perceived quite negatively and what you assume is a success tactic can be viewed as merely bothersome.

So, how might we make certain to not alienate our prospects by our (positive) persistence:

  • Remember that although it is extremely important for you to make contact with your prospect it just might not be that important for them! Timing is everything and your attempts might be coming to them at an extremely bad time when they have other, more mission critical events taking place. (Mellow out!)
  • Are you remembering to “add value” to the relationship even before there is a relationship?! “Checking in” and touching base” in  your attempts to get through are usually perceived by prospects as a waste of their time and ultimately self-serving. Rather than approaching your prospects in this manner, endeavor to use the three I’s (information, invitations and introductions) when attempting to get in touch. You’ll be amazed at how much more responsive your prospects will be if they see that there is “something in it for them.” (Call me if you want more details on the 3 I’s.)
  • Try to find out to which means of communication your prospect is most responsive. Phone? Email? Text? For example, don’t waste your time calling someone if they are totally phone adverse and respond most readily to text or email.
  • Lastly…always use the phrase “I hope you can appreciate my persistence.”  This statement positions your positive follow-up (yes, persistence)  in a very positive light and helps to ensure that you don’t sound apologetic or belligerent.

Any questions?  Call me and I’ll be happy to give you some more tips on how to be effective with your continued and ongoing follow-ups.

Instant Karma

July 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales, Sales Training, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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You know it when it happens. Instant karma, the kind that sets your sales mind soaring and gets your energy sky high.

Yep, instant karma’s gonna win me the business!

Um, not so fast.

As a sales consultant I’ve seen lots of sales gone bad, instances in which a sales rep was absolutely CERTAIN that the deal was in the bag. There was, after all, instant karma.

But guess what, instant karma can’t always save the day. In fact, it rarely does and here’s why:

  • A great connection and good vibes can help pave the way but a less than stellar presentation of benefits and a compelling value proposition are really what seal the deal.
  • A “feel good” conversation often spirals out of business boundaries and there isn’t enough probing to uncover the red flags. Heck, why probe? We’re buds, right?
  • People do business with people they like but people also do business with people that they respect, trust and admire. If you come across as too much of a pal, the respect and admiration might become just a tad diluted.

    Yes, instant karma is fantastic and it sure feels good. It can also aid you in developing and closing business but you can’t minimize the importance of old-fashioned sales skills and techniques.

 

What’s Going On?

June 23, 2008 at 6:36 am | Posted in Networking, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment
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In this less than ideal economic climate, many salespeople are having a tough time earning business. You can be extremely diligent and think that you’re doing everything correctly and still be finding it difficult to make a sale.  No doubt, it’s frustrating!

 

The unfortunate reality is that the power to say yes or no completely rests in the hands of your prospects. Your job is simply to present value and benefits, overcome hesitancies, and guide them to want your solution to improve their situation. So, what if you’re doing all of these important things, and your prospects are still not budging?

 

Before you simply blame your bad luck on the economy, you need to ask yourself the following:

 

Are you 100 percent certain that you have addressed all of your prospect’s hesitancies and concerns?

You won’t be able to overcome a hesitancy that is unspoken or hidden. Take the time to probe thoroughly for what’s on their mind and help them reveal the true situation.

 

Have you made certain that the competition hasn’t wormed into the deal and caused your prospect to have second thoughts?

In many industries, competition is fiercer than ever before. It’s very likely that prospects are also talking to your competition. Be prepared for this, and take the necessary steps to shine above others trying to hone in on your prospects.

 

Are you 100 percent certain that you presented to the correct person who has buying and influencing authority?

You can make the most compelling sales presentation known to mankind, but if you’re pitching to the wrong person, you’re not making the sale. Qualifying your prospects is essential!

 

Are you aware of any “big” change that might be happening in your prospect’s company such as mergers, acquisitions, or changes in management?

These transitions can significantly delay decisions or require you to modify your sales approach. Don’t forget to ask prospects about any current or upcoming changes that could potentially impact a sale.

 

Are you confident about your touch point management program so that you can stay on the grid throughout an elongated sales process?

Evaluate how you go about staying with prospects through extended periods of time. If you don’t have a good system to keep in touch, you could be losing out on valuable sales.

 

Finally, if you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, don’t be afraid to ask, “What’s going on?” Sometimes asking a question as simply and directly as this can give you all the information you need to make the sale or cut your losses and move on.

 

 

How to Convert More Business

May 8, 2008 at 9:41 am | Posted in Customer Service, Networking, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, small business, technology | Leave a comment
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As a salesperson, it’s always helpful to have a long list of prospects. However, if you don’t have a well thought out plan for converting them into customers, you are simply setting yourself up for failure. A low conversion rate is a common problem for salespeople, but one that is correctable with understanding the steps to take through the entire sales process. These steps are easily implemented with little or no cost and can make a tremendous difference in converting a higher percentage of prospects into customers.

 

 

Pick Suspects with Care

Not all prospects are created equal, and it’s best to think of them as suspects until they are screened and qualified. This is a fact that seems obvious, but is often forgotten. The reality is that it’s very easy to jump into selling mode, and mistakenly waste time dealing with someone who will never become a customer. Without a process for assessing the potential of a prospect, you are rolling the dice. You might get a customer, but more likely you’re going to get someone who will take your time and not offer anything in return.

 

Categorize Prospects

When you have multiple prospects, it can be a challenge to keep tabs on where each one is in the selling process. A touch point management strategy is a must. From sales quoting to billing and beyond, companies of all sizes need to make sure that these vital touch points are handled on time and effectively. Without them, the relationship will most likely come to a screeching halt. Sensitivity to what a prospect or a customer is experiencing is crucial and knowing that the proper handling of the most basic of interactions can be what is required to ensure long-term, fruitful relationships.

 

Improve Your Prospect’s Situation

You can have the most wonderful product or service in the universe, but if it does nothing to benefit your prospect’s situation, they’re not going to buy it. Take the time to understand their situation, their needs and wants, and then show them how you can help them. Never assume that what you’re selling just sells itself. In the vast majority of cases, it won’t. It’s your job to sell.

 

Move the Process along the Sales Pipeline

Often the sales process heat up early on, and then fades before anything is closed. If you’ve done your homework and know that you have a qualified lead and a potential sale, don’t let the momentum die. Follow through, keep asking questions, and offer your assistance. Don’t let a sale slip through your hands due to a lack of follow through, and by all means, don’t expect your prospects to do move the sales process along themselves.

 

Close New Business

It comes natural to discuss the features and benefits of what you have to offer, but it can be unnerving to take that final step of closing new business. This is often because many of us associate closing a sale as hard selling. Rather, it’s not a cutthroat maneuver; it’s just a necessary part of the sales process. If you’ve taken the right steps throughout the sales process and recognize that your prospect is ready to buy, they will appreciate the honest, mutually respectful discussion towards the sale.

 

 

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