spacer
SalesDog's Coffee with The Dog Newsletter
      Issue 702 SalesDog's Coffee with The Dog Newsletter March 31, 2016      
spacer
spacer
spacer

spacer
 
Sign up now for our Weekly Sales Newsletter and get 300 FREE Leads from Lead Ferret.
Start selling more today!
 
spacer
 
Share |
  Follow us on Twitter   Find Us On Facebook    
 
 
Quote of the Week: "The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams."
— Eleanor Roosevelt
 
 
Make Your First Impression Your Best Impression
by Colleen Francis

In my line of work, I hear a lot of opening statements. Some I hear during sessions with clients. Others come from unsuspecting salespeople who call me at work or home. Sadly, the majority seem designed to create resistance rather than relationships.

A great line opens doors, which can land you more business. A bad one will cause those doors to shut faster than you can say, "Hi, I’m Tim, and have I got a deal for you!"

I think the reason so many salespeople use such disastrous opening statements is that they spend so little time preparing what they’ll say. Most sales experts say that we have between four and 30 seconds to create interest, yet many of my clients confess that they don’t even begin to think about their openings until they’re actually dialing the phone!

The little things can make the difference between success and failure. A few awkward or uncertain words, a mispronounced name, an inappropriate question or simply being under-prepared or long-winded can create a bad first impression, and cost you the sale. Something as simple as eliminating "How are you?" from your opening can yield as much as a 25% increase in your cold-calling success.

How do you craft a winning opening statement? First, recognize what’s wrong with your existing opener, and then take the appropriate steps to correct it.

Get Rid of the Clunkers

Start by pruning your sales vocabulary. Say you finally get a decision maker on the phone and you lead off with:

"Hi, this is _______ from _______. We’re in the business of _______.

Are you the person who handles that?"

I think you’ll agree that this isn’t exactly a killer opening. What makes it so bad? An opener like this announces your intention to try to sell something, triggering a defensive posture and a negative frame of mind—you know, the one that says, "Darn, it’s a salesperson, how do I get him off the phone?"

Instead, determine the right person to talk to before you pick up the phone. Start by reviewing the corporate website, getting a referral or calling other departments (Sales, HR or the Help Desk) to determine the name of the decision-maker.

If you do call the wrong person, he’ll let you know before you even have to ask. Avoid using an awkward clunker like this one and you won’t jeopardize the relationship you’re attempting to build. Remember, your job on your first call is to peak interest and get a dialogue going—not to sell something.

Tailor Your Opening

OK, so what should you do? When the decision-maker answers, go directly into something like:

"Hi Chris, this is _______ from _______. Our manufacturing clients tell us that we help them _______ by _______. How are you currently _______?"

Or:

"Hi Chris, this is _______ with _______. We work with (CEOs, IT Directors, etc.) to help them _______. I understand that you may be _______ and there’s a possibility we may be able to help you _______.

Does it make sense for me to ask you a few questions now to see if we should talk further?"

These statements are very generic. I suggest that you tailor or customize your opening with information you collect through conversations with other people in the company or by reviewing their websites or quarterly 10Q SEC reports (if their firms are publicly traded on a US stock exchange).

Touch on results in which they’ll be interested. Scour the local and national newspapers for stories that include or affect your prospects and use that news in your opening. When you show that you know a little bit about your prospects, they’ll be more likely to engage in meaningful conversations with you.

Remember: Potential customers will always be more impressed with how much you know about them than with how much you know about your product. Here are a few more specific examples of successful opening lines:

"Hi Chris, this is Colleen from ABC Staffing. We work with VPs of HR to help them find the right talent for their organizations quickly while guaranteeing the right skill match. I understand you’re expanding your Toronto organization and there may be a possibility that we can help you with your recruiting. Does it make sense for me to ask you a few questions now to see if we should talk in more detail later?"

"Hi Chris. This is Colleen with ABC Fencing. Our manufacturing clients tell us that we save them money each year in lost and damaged goods by implementing secure perimeter fencing at their factory sites. How are you planning to secure the new plant you’re building in Baltimore?"

One last note: If you’re a new rep taking over a patch of existing clients in a territory, don’t call and say, "Hi this is _______. I’m the new rep. Can we meet?" Instead, study the file, create two to three specific questions about the customer that show you’re genuinely interested, and start your call with:

"Hi, this is _______ from _______. I was reviewing your file, and I had a couple questions about _______. Is now a good time to go over these with you, or should we schedule another time in the future to talk?"

Telling customers that you’re the new rep puts your interests first. The statement above puts their interests first, which are always going to be more important (and more interesting) to them than yours.

Give your customers a chance to ask who you are. If they care, they will ask, giving you a chance to satisfy their curiosity with an answer they requested. Yes, it’s a subtle change. But it makes a huge difference in how many positive relationships you build and how successful you become.

Colleen Francis is the author of "Non-Stop Sales Boom". See her website here.


Written by an author included in Top Dog Recession Busting Sales Secrets. Get your copy here.

"One of these top dog secrets can earn you a fortune." - Jeffrey Gitomer, entrepreneur, bestselling author of Social BOOM!, and America's Leading Business Growth Expert

"It's like reading the best ideas from 50 sales books all in one book. It's awesome!" — Michelle Nichols, Savvy Selling International


 
Wendy Weiss
Top Dog of the Week
Wendy Weiss
"Many sales professionals claim that they never use scripts and never would. Many take issue with the entire idea of scripting, saying that scripts are 'phony,' 'don't work,' 'make you sound like a telemarketer,' or that 'every call is different so it's impossible to use a script.' The reality is that all salespeople use scripts. " —Wendy Weiss

Known as The Queen of Cold Calling, Wendy Weiss helps salespeople prospect fearlessly and schedule more appointments with qualified decision-makers. An author, speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach, Wendy is recognized as one of the leading authorities on lead generation, cold calling and new business development. For a copy of her book, "Sales Winner's Handbook" click here.
 
 
 
Share |
 
 
Trivia: What is a group of kangaroos called? You'll find the answer here.
spacer
black
spacer
Interesting but useless fact: Coca Cola would be green if coloring were not added to it.
spacer
black
spacer
Wordmonger is the featured word of the week. Find the definition, pronunciation key, and an example of it used in a sentence here.
spacer
black
spacer
Dogfucius Say: I, for one, like Roman numerals.
spacer
spacer
spacer
 
 
Word of the Week: Wordmonger noun [ wurd-muhng-ger ]
  1. a writer or speaker who uses words pretentiously or with careless disregard for meaning
Example Sentence: spacer
Fred, for a wordmonger, you don’t have a very good command of words. spacer
Definition & Example courtesy of Dictionary.com

Trivia:
What is a group of kangaroos called?

Answer:
spacerMob
spacer
 
Reprint Permission: SalesDog Newsletters may be reproduced and redistributed in any print or electronic form provided that "www.SalesDog.com" is indicated as the source. Distribution on Internet should use a live link to our site.
 
grey
 
Contact SalesDog
spacer
We do not rent, sell or give your information to third parties. When you contact us, we collect only the information on the form you submit.
 
grey
 
Do The Dog a Favor. If you found this week's advice helpful, please forward this page and invite your friends and co-workers who sell for a living to join the pack.

The purpose of the SalesDog newsletter is to inform, inspire and challenge you.


Note: SalesDog may be commissioned by some (but not all) partners mentioned in Coffee with The Dog. If you are in sales you know that commissions are a good thing.

spacer
Share |
  Follow us on Twitter   Find Us On Facebook    
spacer spacer
email email SalesDog Home Page Selling Tips SalesDog Blog Advertise with Us Our Partners Contact Us email email
 
SalesDog PO Box 7163, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
Tel: 760-634-6900 • Fax: 866-729-9362 • Web: www.SalesDog.com
 
Copyright © 2000-2016 Penny Union Corporation. All rights reserved.
 
spacer
Subscribe Rules Rules Rules Inside-Sales