Ice Melting Lines

ice melting

Have you ever felt a little awkward after that first five seconds of an initial sales conversation? Using those “Hey, how you doing?” mundane type of initial phrases that lead to you just talking over your prospect and not making a quick connection. I hear and see it all the time!

Everyday initial conversations starters DO NOT work in the selling world, and DO NOT forward your sales conversation. If you’re wondering why you’re not growing, as you should be in sales, this may help you break through. Shake things up a bit. Make your lead in phrases you!

Where do we start?

Bring your personality into it…literally your personality!

Examples:

  • “Hey is this John Smith? Great, do you have 79 seconds for me really quickly?”
  • “John, I’ve been trying to catch you for months I literally thought you were    kidnapped man, were you kidnapped?”
  • “Hey John, this is Dave, are you ready for this?”
  • “John, how is your office staff running over there today? (don’t let them respond) Who’s winning, you or them?”

Shake things up then lead into what you are doing and what you’re calling about. You’re melting away the tension that could exist when you use those icebreaking lines that can immediately connect you with your prospect because you’re different. If you are a prospecting master, you are an “ice-melter” with these types of initial phrases!

Let me leave you with your prospecting golden nugget for the week…

When prospecting, be YOU. Nobody in this world has your design. Daily you choose to cater to the world, or make it your masterpiece. Make it your masterpiece when you are prospecting today. Get out there and melt the tension, use your ice melting lines to get in and connect with your prospect quickly.

What are some of the ice melting lines you have used? Tweet them to me @davebrown_swc #meltingtheice #southwesternconsulting

10 DAILY POINTS LEADS TO SALES SUCCESS

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. ~Colin Powell

Success Tips

I always have a sheet on or near my desk with my Critical Success Points. Of course, the points have changed over the years depending on the different careers I’ve had (real estate, fundraising, network marketing, training sales, etc). Your points will change based on where you are in life and what career and projects you are working on.

The list of 10 Points below is used daily at our company, Southwestern Consulting™.  When you work on these points on a consistent basis, you put yourself at a higher level than the average producer. You can use these 10 points as a skeleton to create your own that are critical to your success. I suggest you write out the 10 Points and post them where you can review them regularly.

Turn It Up a Notch Daily with These 10 Points

  • How many calls and appointments made before 8 AM? How many messages left?
  • How are my phone appointment skills?
  • Am I closing word-for-word for the appointment?
  • Am I trial closing?
  • Am I using 3rd party selling?
  • How many appointments ahead am I? 10-15 appointments ahead at all times.
  • Progress report on how much potential business set up, signed, and still needed to hit goals every week. (Daily attention – Friday Summarize)
  • What did I do sales-wise that was productive between 4-6 PM?
  • How am I doing in my Daily Point game? Am I 2 strong EVERY DAY?
    (Each appointment = 1 point; Demonstration/Workshop = 1 point)
  • Am I spending at least 15 minutes putting positive thoughts into my mind? 10/10 Affirmations?
  • Am I spending at least 20% of my time going after LARGE groups that can produce LARGE results?
  • Am I asking EVERYONE I meet for a REFERRAL?

Give this a try for 4 weeks and share with us your successes!
Gary Michels, Co-founder Southwestern Consulting™

gmichels@southwesternconsulting.com

Are You Fishing in an Empty Pond? FIND MORE REFERRALS IN 3 FULL PONDS

Are You Fishing in an Empty Pond?

Picture 7

Have you ever heard anyone use the excuse “I just don’t have anyone to call on!”?  Fishing in a pond without fish is not fun.  Our job is to find the ponds that have fish. There is a large body of water that a lot of salespeople seem to forget to fish in and there are 3 main pools of water you can pull from to fill your pipeline.  The large body of water that is the holy water for salespeople that will keep them alive forever is REFERRALS!

3 Referral Pools

  1. ABC Lake– Asking for a referral from every person you meet
  2. Old Man Joe’s Farm Pond– Calling on existing clients and “farming your book of business” and asking for referrals
  3. Fish Hatchery– Developing a network of referral power partners who send business to you

At the Southwestern Company we have seen true sales professionals who know that prospecting is a vital ingredient in the recipe for success.  In fact, prospecting should be one of your daily tasks.  As you may have heard before, prospecting can make or break your sales effort – which is exactly why you need to do it well…but what does it take to be “good” at prospecting?

Man-Fishing-1

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that prospecting is more than just a part time task…it is your livelihood.  Prospecting should not be a duty that’s left only to “slow” times.  Continued prospecting ensures constant growth, and can minimize income and production slumps. Your prospecting efforts should be viewed as an investment in the future success of your business.  Basically, it’s an investment in your long term goals.  If you’re consistently seeking out new leads, you guarantee yourself an audience regardless of market status.

Secondly, you should recognize that prospecting is a discipline.  Rory Vaden the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting a Southwestern Company says “Success is never owned, it’s only rented, and the rent is due every day.” It won’t matter how “good” you are if you don’t have the discipline to see it through.  Much of being a successful sales person is perseverance and practicing a solid work ethic.  Set prospecting activity goals for yourself and use a schedule to get there.  Commit yourself.

And finally, prospecting should be viewed as a task that requires both quality AND quantity.   Prospect well, but prospect often. Many sales professionals at the Southwestern Company swear by the “triple rule” that says your prospecting efforts should exceed your expected sales by three times.  For example, on the small scale, if you wanted to sell 3 products, you should prospect 9 potential clients!

Remember: never lose sight of what needs to be done!Get a handle on the commitment you’ve made to your own success and stick to your goals.  Make sure you are “fishing” like a pro and asking for referrals.  Ask yourself, are you reallytaking advantage of available resources?  Are you procrastinating?  If you are not working at your full potential get a coach or accountability partner to help you make sure you’re fishing in the right ponds and consistently have you line in the water.  For more info on coaching go to

The “Golden Ten”: How to Generate Leads and Turn Contacts into Clients!

The “Golden Ten” – how to Generate Leads and Turn Contacts into Clients!

One of the most important things you need to ensure sales success is a solid resource of leads…but that means you will have to get out there and generate those leads!  The good news is that lead generation doesn’t have to be intimidating and if you use the right techniques, it can actually be both productive and fun!  Because this is such a common sales question, we’ve put together the “Golden Ten” tips for generating leads.

So, without further adieu, “The Golden Ten”:

The Golden Ten

The Golden Ten

1)      Use your networking resources!  Exchange URL links with companies or business that share your target audience but do not represent a direct competitor.  When any member of that target audience visits your “partner’s” web page, he or she will have direct access to YOU!  Increasing web traffic is a MUST in lead generation; more people use the Web as a shopping forum than another other available source. For example www.southwestern.com andwww.southwesternconsulting.com shares web traffic to help increase web traffic from the Southwestern Company to Southwestern Consulting.

2)      Give your patrons a chance to hear from you.  Put your ‘opt in’ on every page of your web site. As a patron browses your site, he or she may not be immediately inclined to provide you with contact information – but providing them with more opportunities may prove enticing.  The more opportunities you take to generate leads – the better.  This option is convenient and is not overly pushy.    For example check out the Southwestern Company seminar website at http://www.ssnseminars.com/.

3)      Use a newsletter as a way to advertise your business.  No matter what’s going on with your company, customers will respond to a newsletter option.  Giving potential patrons an option to sign up for a monthly business update or newsletter is a great way to spark interest even over a long period of time.  Statistically, customers who don’t purchase immediately will make a purchase within the subsequent 12 months!  A newsletter will allow you to stay in view during this window.

4)      Using a website to advertise your service is one of the best ways to stay out in front of the sales wave, especially since so much of business is virtual these days.  Using an auto responder to automate your website is great way to keep your web page current without taking up scads of time.  Auto responders can be set up to send out a periodic update or email reminding your customers of sales, new products, etc.  Check out the Southwestern Company website atwww.southwestern.com.

5)      Be personable! Send thank you notes to let your clients know that you truly appreciate their business.  After any successful transaction, issue a thank you – either in the form of a greeting card or an e-postcard.  This thank you note will help you stand out and is very well received in client circles.  People appreciate acknowledgment.  You can use this technique in all areas of business – not just sales.

6)      Potential customers like to hear what other customers are saying.  Ask your clients for testimonials that can be published on your web page or your sales copy, pamphlets, etc.  This is a great way to show your customers that other “real” people are truly happy with your services.  Video testimonials work great check out the Southwestern Company student testimonial videohttp://www.southwesternsummer.com/southwestern-company-students-home.aspx.

7)      Use your social networking circles.  Social networking is the wave of the sales future!  If you haven’t yet explored the option of using social networking as part of your sales strategy, today is the day to do so!  Spend some time looking into this powerful tool and don’t let the wave of the future pass you buy!  Check out the Southwestern Company Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=1374284354847#!/Southwestern?ref=ts.

8)      Publish press releases for new products or services.  Believe it or not, people respond to the press in a way that most other advertising falls short.  Use the power of the press release to get your services and your name out anytime a new opportunity comes up.  You’ll be surprised at the response you get.

9)      Followup, Followup, Followup!  Did you know that most people have to see or hear a message 7 times before it is installed in the “memory bank”?  That means that a followup system that get’s your message in front of potential customers at least 7 times is ideal.  Using varying options for this followup should be easy: an email, a postcard, a letter, a phone call, a newsletter…get creative and have fun with it!

10)   Market yourself with events!  Promote events, teleclasses, seminars, and other industry related paraphernalia.  Speak publicly as often as possible and use YOU as a resource.  Marketing yourself will be just as important as marketing your business.  Plus, getting out there and showing what you’ve got and what you can do will draw customers like moths to a flame!

Tips to Catch the Golden Nuggets Your Prospect is Throwing at YOU!

Gold Bars and Golden Nuggets: by Lester Crafton

 

Lester Crafton is an expert in “linguistic influence” from theSouthwestern Company. In a recent interview I had with Lester, we were discussing the importance of every word that comes out of someone’s mouth. Mr. Crafton says, “paying attention to every single word that comes out of someone’s mouth is as valuable as gold bars.”

“Golden Nuggets” is the term we use at Southwestern Consulting to describe the seemingly insignificant things that people say throughout the course of conversation. A common denominator amongst most successful “influencers” of people is that they pay attention to every word that comes out of someone’s mouth.
Earlier this year, I was following a sales rep in the field for a sales performance consulting project. I was perplexed how many things the prospect was saying that the sales rep wasn’t paying attention to. It was like gold bars flying out of the prospects mouth, and instead of taking out a net and catching the gold bars, the sales rep was dodging them and trying to get through their presentation as fast as possible.

Flying By Gold Bars

So what are the little things you should be listening for?
Here is a list of “golden nuggets”:
– hobbies and things they do for fun
– people they know that you know as well
– things that they are interested in
– what they like about your product or service
– their answer to all of your questions
– people they say would be interested in your product or service
– what they don’t like about the current service provider
– why they didn’t buy from the last person they talked with
– why they accepted the meeting with you
– what grade their kids are in
– where they work
– what area of town they live in
– where they grew up
– what they say after you answer their objections
– why they bought
– why someone didn’t buy
– what they like the best about your product or service
– what kind of dog they have
– what kind of car they drive
– their favorite sport
– how they know the referrals they gave you
– what they did before the job they’re at now

Take a look at this list and ask yourself “how effective am I at getting ‘golden nuggets,’ remembering them, and then using that information at the right time to answer objections, influence someone to see things my way, set an appointment, or close a sale?” I recommend creating a “Golden Nugget” note book that you write down all of the detailed information you gather about the people that you interact with daily. Then before every meeting or phone call where you’re talking with someone that you’ve got “golden nuggets” about, you pull out your “golden nugget” notebook and review the valuable information you know about them before engaging with them.

Have fun gold digging!

3 Voicemails that Work to Get Prospects to Return Your Call

Today, nobody seems to be around to answer their phones. You spend time calling, and all you get are voice-mail messages. You know people don’t bother calling back if they think it’s a sales call. Here are a few messages that get call backs.

 

Voicemail #1 (The Mystery Message) :

“Hey Bill, this is Steve Reiner. The reason I’m calling you specifically is I was told you can answer a question of mine. My phone number is… and again my name is Steve Reiner. It would be great if we can connect sometime today. Thank you.”

I encourage you to not leave the name of your company on the first message. You do that and you’ll be shouting, “I’m selling something.” As proud as we are about the value we provide our clients, the reality is, people avoid salespeople and you’ll find the mystery message will be a greater enticer to receive a call back.

 

Voicemail #2: (The Mystery Message Part 2):

“Hey Bill, this is Steve Reiner. I’m not sure if you got my message from last week or if you’ve been on vacation but again, the reason I’m calling you specifically is I was told you can answer a question of mine. My phone number is… and again my name is Steve Reiner. I look forward to hopefully connecting today sometime. Thank you.”

 

Voicemail #3: (The Call to Action Voicemail to Set up your Warm Cold Call):

After you’ve left 1-2 unreturned voicemails, leave this message:

“Hi Bill, this is Steve Reiner. You are a tough person to get hold but I consider that a good thing. It tells me you’re working hard and making things happen and you’re the  type of person I like to work with. So here’s my plan. I will be driving out to your office next Friday to meet you in person between 10-10:30. Please do me this favor: I’ll be driving 45 minutes out to your place so if that time does not work for you then please call back and suggest a time that works better. Otherwise if I don’t hear back then I will assume this is a good time to meet in person and I will plan on being at your office next Friday between 10-10:30. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

This will either cause your prospect to call you back which is great or when you show up you can let the front desk know that Byron should be expecting you. The strategy here is rather than driving out 45 minutes to one prospect who may not even be there, now you are setting up an entire day of these warm in person calls. You should see your effectiveness sky-rocket. It requires a bit of planning on the front end but well worth the effort in the long-run!

 

Remember, the #1 way to avoid call reluctance is to Take Action! It’s easier to act your way into proper thinking than to think you’re way into proper acting.

 

To your success,

Steve Reiner

Professional Sales Coach

Southwestern Consulting™

Sales Tip of the Day – DAY 1

Leaving messages and not getting calls back? Here is a script for those folks who are not returning your voicemails:

“Hi Mary, this is Shelly Blume over at BBI. I’ve got to tell you, you are a tough person to get hold of, but you know what? I consider that a good thing. It tells me you’re working hard and you’re making things happen and you’re the type of person I like to work with. So I’ve got an idea since the phone is not working so well. I’ll plan on coming out to your house on Friday between 3 and 3:30 to drop off the guide. Now if you can do me a favor, it’s about a 40 minute drive out there, if that time does not work for you, please give me a call and suggest a better time that works for you, that would be great. Otherwise if I don’t hear back from you I will assume that Friday between 3 and 3:30 works for you and I will plan on introducing myself to you then. Again, this is Shelly from BBI and my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. I look forward to meeting you on Friday!”

 

If you are wondering if this really works . . . here is how it worked for a current SWC coaching client:

Just wanted to drop you a note regarding using this script.   It is fabulous.  I’ve used it on four calls and I’m thrilled with the results.  It definitely was a shot in the arm that I needed.  The first couple was today at 2:00 p.m. and they didn’t call to cancel but were at home waiting for me.   This was a couple I had been calling since April and never got anywhere with them.  The second call was for an appt on Friday, she did call and cancel but asked me to call her back with another day and time.  The next was an appt for next week and he called to confirm.  And the last one I haven’t heard from.

Thanks again for your sharing this script.   Can’t wait to get going with our first meeting.

Kathy Kemper, Community Service Counselor
Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary & Cemetery

 

Looking forward to your results – please comment below