FREE TRAINING: Mastering Your First Impression Conversation

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Just in case you missed last month’s sales training conference call, we are making it available to you here!  Each month Southwestern Consulting™ brings together our finest Top Producers to train on today’s most relevant sales topics.  These calls are free and you don’t want to miss out on these opportunities to learn from the absolute best.  Some of our past topics include closing, referrals, prospecting with LinkedIn, follow-up and selling with social media.

Listen to last month’s call on Mastering Your First Impression Conversation When Selling:

Sales Tips: 5 Scripts to Handle Blow Off Objections

From: Dew Tinnin

Dew Tinnin

When I started my sales career, I was given a script and I started dialing. Like most salespeople, I was given basic scripts to handle common objections like price. But I wasn’t trained on how to overcome blow off objections – the lame excuses I heard when someone was just trying to blow me off.

  • “Send me some information.”
  • “I’m happy in my current situation.”
  • “I need some time to think about it.”

I lost deal after deal until I finally learned how to keep from being blown off. Just like any objection, the best way to overcome the blow off is to write out a power statement script that is in your own words. I’ve started some sample scripts for you – feel free to take these and make them your own.

1. “Can you just send me some information?”

“Absolutely, what’s your email address? Now [name], I want to be absolutely sure that the information I send you is what you’re looking for. If you were in my situation sending information to you, what would you be sure to include?”

For the rest of these tips visit Sales Coach Dew’s blog here.

Sales Tips: 10 Creative Ways to Get People to Return Your Calls

From: Gary Michels

Man pleads for the phone to ring

If you want to get people to talk with you, wouldn’t you improve your odds if they knew you were a fun person to talk with? Here are ten proven tips that really work. They are quick. They are easy. And they are a lot of fun.

1)       Cheese Technique:

I heard about this technique from one of my students I was training at one of our events. She explained to me that she was having a lot of success getting people to take and return her calls.

She handed me a copy of Spencer Johnson’s book, “Who Moved My Cheese”. She said her company would buy hundreds of these books from the publisher and send them to the prospects they most wanted to meet. She would pen a note inside the book cover telling the prospect the book is about CHANGE and it only takes an hour to read it. She then would say, “I’ll call you next week to see what you think.” She got hundreds of appointments using this technique.

I have used this technique recently sending my book out about growing your sales through new techniques and ideas. Saying sometimes CHANGE and trying new things works out for the best. I am having quite a bit of success.

What literature can you send (article, brochure about your company, etc.) that you can write a note on and follow up the next week with?

2)      Stalker Technique:

There is definitely a fine line between being persistent and being a stalker. It is OK to be persistent and it is not OK to be a stalker. A stalker is someone who never gives up. They never take no for an answer. You can tell them no until you are blue in the face and they will still come after you. But someone who is persistent just wants an answer to close the deal. They are OK with a no. In fact, they will practically beg for a no so everyone can move on with their lives.

If I keep getting someone’s voicemail, or they keep asking me to call back, I’ll finally make a statement like this, “I would really like to have your business… and I am the most persistent, not pushy sales person you will ever meet J; but I do not want to wear out my welcome. I will leave that up to you. Would you like for me to keep on calling you or should I move on?” (Give example of a personal client that took a long time before they finally worked with you).

3)      Lotto Technique:

This technique is fun and you can make it really funny also. What I do is send the prospect 3 Lotto tickets with a note that reads, “With a little luck, maybe we can get together. However, if these are the winning numbers – PLEASE do not call me back and tell me you won!”

When you call back you can always start the conversation with some humor…. “Good. I see you still have your day job J, I was worried that you might have won the lotto since I never heard back from you.”

4)      Baseball Card Technique:

This works well for an elusive prospect that always seems to slip away without you being able to contact them. It especially works well if you know they are into sports. Send a pack of baseball cards (or a single card). Then include a note that says, “Just wanted to TOUCH BASE with you and see if you are still IN THE GAME, J. I would love to get a chance for a conference at the MOUND (or your office) and share what has been happening in …”

5)      Free Ad Technique:

If you or your company has a newsletter or blog, try this: If you keep getting your customer’s voicemail, leave a message telling them that if they would agree to a 15-20 minute appointment with you, you would like to give a free ad in your newsletter or on your blog. Being willing to give away what costs you practically nothing is a great tool to get people to move to action. People love things that are free or greatly discounted.

6)      The Unimportant Call Technique:

If I know the person has a sense of humor, I will leave a voicemail saying, “It is extremely UNimportant that you call me back.” It adds some levity to the situation and lets them know that my feelings haven’t been hurt. This also takes away some embarrassment they might have since they haven’t called me back as promised.

7)      The “Just So You Know” Technique:

This technique starts commitment and consistency and creates social responsibility. This is really a deal closer.

A gentleman I read about was interviewing for a job at a coffee shop somewhere in the heart of Dallas Texas.  After about 30 minutes or so, he slid out of the booth and said, “Just so you know, I’m very interested in working with you, your company and doing this job…Are you interested in me?” Basically he was trying to close the deal right there.

The owner had a twinkle in his eye, smiled, nodded and said yes. A few years later the man asked the owner why he got the job and the owner said you were the only one that attempted to close me. I know you could sell at that moment and that was what I was looking for.

“Just so you know” can be used often…. Today I told a sales manager of a large furniture supply company … “Just so you know, I can already tell we would partner well together and if we were able to put this together I think we would really rock it.  How do you feel?”

This technique could be used over the phone as well and that is why it made this list!

8)      Skeletons in the Closet Technique:

I have given many presentations over the years where the potential prospect never called me back. I am sure you all have also. I found rubber skeletons at a party supply store around the Halloween holiday. I bought as many as they had and then bought small boxes to put them in at Michael’s art supply store. Inside the box with the skeleton, I enclosed a note that said, “This is ME waiting for YOU to call me back” I have seen a few skeletons in people offices hanging on when I go to do the appointment.

9)      Foot in the Door Technique:

I have always said that if you are willing to go the extra mile to prospect for the business, it subtly shows you will go the extra mile once you have the business.

Go to Walmart, Sears, the Flea market, Target or anywhere you can get dozens of infant shoes for cheap or even adult shoes for bargain prices. The send the shoe in some sort of box, preferably clear. Enclose a note that says, “I just would like to get my foot in the door.

One of my recent clients that works for Aflac just tried this with of his “Elephant” sized prospects and told me of the 5 he sent out he set 3 appointments so far. One is looking good, one he still needs to go on the appointment to see what happens. The third one became a sale and is worth over $2000 commission to him.

10)   I Tried Yours Technique:

If the person you are calling on has a product that you can potentially buy for not a lot of $….. Buy some and try it out. For example if you wanted to sell your product to a winery…. But a bottle of wine and then send back the empty bottle of wine and say, “I tried your product … will you please try mine.

So when you want people to take and return your calls? Lighten up. When you keep your requests for return calls fun, but get your point across, you show others that you might be the right kind of person they want to work with. You do not come across as desperate. You would like to have their business, but you are not going to die if you don’t get it.

So go ahead and schedule your phone time each day and get excited about it!

Sales Tips: Characteristics of a Great Closer

From: Gary Michels

Gary MichelsAll great sales closers have a few things in common. They are:

  1. Great closers have a burning desire to close the sale. They know that closing one additional sale per day, per week, or even per month will greatly increase their income. As I have traveled around the country with great closers, I have noticed that they often have a score sheet on the wall or in their car and they can’t wait to fill in the numbers after closing the sale.
  1. Great closers really believe that their prospect is going to buy. Believing the customer will buy and selling with conviction greatly increases your chance of making the sale. Great closers expect success. They don’t think it was just “their lucky day.” In the car on the way to the presentation, they do a lot of positive self-talk, assuming the person is definitely going to buy. They say things like: “I am now pulling into the parking lot of my next big client!”, “I know that I have the best product and the best price for this customer, at this time. Now I will prove it to be true!”
  1. Great closers are sincere. People can tell when you are not sincere. Sincerity will always sell more than anything you do, and your lack of sincerity will almost always kill the deal. Look people directly in their eyes and tell them how it really is. Listen and really care about what they are trying to accomplish.
  1. Great closers talk low and slow. When you are calm and talk low and slow, your prospect will listen and believe you. If you talk too fast in a high pitched voice, you come across as pushy and tend to sound like someone they cannot trust.
  1. Great closers keep the close simple. Your prospect must fully understand what you are talking about.
  1. Great closers ask a lot of questions that will elicit a positive response. The more you get prospects saying “yes” during your presentation, the more likely they are to say “yes” during the close.
  1. Great closers realize the importance of names and examples. They will “name drop” appropriately throughout the closing process. Once again, remember that the close is supposed to be a natural ending to your presentation that makes people feel comfortable to move forward. By using names of other people whom they know, you subtly make them feel comfortable because they feel they are not taking such a huge risk. After all, others they know have done well with your product or service, and so should they.
  1. Great closers never argue with their prospects. They agree with objections and continue closing the sale. Whenever they must disagree with a prospect, they do it in a light, agreeable way. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is: “If I win the argument, I lose the sale!”
  1. Great closers never lose their cool. They let customers upset them occasionally, but they never show it. They always keep their voice low and a friendly expression on their face. If you get the reputation as a friendly sales rep, you can more easily build a large client base. Remember, more often than not, if people like you, they will overlook some of the bad points of your product or service.
  1. Great closers are politely persistent. They are not overbearing, yet they give prospects a number of chances to buy before judging whether or not the sale will actually happen. The key here is to walk the fine line of trying a little harder to get the sale without the prospect feeling any pressure from you.
  1. Great closers leave people happy. They make sure their prospects are in a good frame of mind before they leave. They want to brighten people’s day. They are also aware that their reputation precedes them in the community. Additionally, they know that by leaving prospects happy, they, too, will be happier, thus increasing their chance of making a sale at the next appointment. When I walk out the door of a prospect or client, I always say to myself: “I hope he or she thinks I am a cool guy!” If the prospect thinks that, I will likely get to work with that person at some point in the future.

To learn more about Gary Michels visit his website here.

From Sales Coach Dew: Master “Feel, Felt, Found” with 3rd Party Stories

Overcoming objections can make or break any deal, yet few sales professionals have truly mastered learning how to handle them. I love teaching my sales coaching clients how the Feel, Felt, Found technique can overcome every objection.

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The Feel, Felt, Found technique isn’t new; it’s been around forever. But the basic technique is just the beginning. Most salespeople haven’t taken the time to really master it – and the secret to mastering this technique is using real 3rd party stories.

Here’s the 3 steps process:

Step 1: The Feel, Felt, Found Technique

Create empathy with your client by telling them you understand how they “feel”. It tells them that you’re listening and it creates rapport. Moving on to “felt” tells them they’re not alone. You’ve worked with people who have felt the same way. It moves their focus off the objection and moves them to a place of trust. Finally, the “found” is a way to come to a resolution and show them that there is still a way to work it out.

So the basic Feel, Felt, Found technique works like this:

  1. FEEL: I understand how you feel.
  2. FELT: In fact, that’s not the first time I heard that – others have felt that way, too.
  3. FOUND: And what they found was (explain to them how you resolved the concern).

Read the rest of the article here…

CREATE A BUYING ATMOSPHERE

How to create a buying atmosphere

We’ve talked about how building trust is a crucial facet of selling. So, how do you make someone like and trust you? At the Southwestern Company they teach how you need to create a “buying atmosphere”–a non-pressured environment that allows your prospect to open up their mind and allow you to truly demonstrate the value of your product or service.

Creating a “buying atmosphere” can be established in a sales situation by using statements such as “Well, Erin what I’m going to do is show you how this works, and if you like what you see that’s great…but if it’s not a fit, that’s no big deal. I just want to make sure you understand how it works. Does that sound fair?”

Any time you feel like you are over pressuring the client be sure to use a buying atmosphere statement like the one above or even something as simple as “if you like it, great. If not, no problemo.” The sales experience shouldn’t mimic that of a used car lot. It should be the kind of atmosphere that encourages discussion, fosters relationships and builds trust. ALWAYS create a buying atmosphere that keeps both parties comfortable and engaged.

DUSTIN HILLIS