Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tips for Terminating Telephone Terror

Do you dread picking up the phone to make one more cold call? Here are a few tips that are sure to help, from Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling.

Make a lot of telephone calls
If you only have one prospect to pursue, that prospect becomes overwhelmingly important. If you have hundreds of leads, no one prospect can make or break you. The more calls you make, the more success you will have.

Practice
If you are new to cold calling or uncomfortable with cold calling, practice your pitch out loud. Role-play with friends or colleagues. Practice various sales scenarios. This way you will not have to worry about what you are going to say, you will be prepared and you can focus in on your prospect.

Start with less important leads
It will be good practice and less stressful. Once you feel more comfortable, start working on the more important leads.

Wendy Weiss is known as The Queen of Cold Calling. If you ache with dread when you pick up the telephone to call a new prospect, put Wendy's advice to use. If you break out in a cold, clammy sweat at the mere thought of having to make cold calls, Wendy can help you.

Wendy teaches an 8-week virtual Cold Calling College beginning Feb 19. You can learn all about it, and get some immediate expert advice, by joining her on a FREE preview call on Tuesday, Feb. 5th at 4:00 p.m. EST. Wendy will talk about cold calling, appointment setting and how to develop new business. She'll be sharing some tools and techniques that you can begin to use immediately to increase the numbers of qualified prospects you are able to meet.

Go here to learn more and register


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too Much Certainty Kills Curiosity - and Costs You Money!

I was reading Bill Caskey's blog and came across this intriguing post. We often encourage you to research and educate yourself to become an expert in your field, and while this is very important, there is a point when too much confidence can become a deal-breaker. This story from Caskey will definitely make you think about how you position yourself:

Last month I was giving a sales training seminar, and one of the participants voiced his opinion on how he does something in the sales process. He was actually saying all the right things, but the "way" he said it turned other people in the room off a little.

I got to thinking about what he said and was curious about why that had such an effect on people; I determined that certainty kills curiosity. Whenever I hear someone say, "This is how I do it and it's always worked," they almost certainly have killed themselves off from being curious about other ways to do it better. You've heard the saying, "only fools are positive." To me, that is exactly what happens when you are so sure of yourself that you are not open to other ways to improve your results.

As you think about your sales approach to prospects and clients, be careful that you don't "have all the answers and don't need more input," because you may be cutting yourself off from one easy tactic that can monumentally affect your business.

Bill Caskey is a sales development leader and experimenter. His ideas about selling are convictions about life, money and meaning. He has coached sales professionals and executives for over 19 years, and his philosophies and strategies have fueled explosive growth in sales and profits for clients. Visit his website at www.caskeytraining.com
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Setting the Table" for Referrals

Getting referrals is one of the best (and easiest!) ways to build your business. However, many salespeople are timid about asking for referrals. Business coach Tom Kelly has the advice you need to ask for referrals in a considerate and professional manner.

"In order to effectively generate referrals for your business, you need to set the expectation up front with your clients," says Kelly. "This way, your clients know that you are looking for referrals, and you know what exactly you need to do to earn their referrals." Below is an example of how to accomplish this:

You: "Mrs. Client, may I take a moment to share with you how I build my business?"

Client: "Sure."

You: "Well, what I enjoy most about what I do and where my time is best served is working with my clients. I want to spend as much time as possible serving my clients and exceeding your expectations. In order for me to spend more time with my clients and less time marketing or prospecting for new business I really need the help of my satisfied clients."

"Please understand, I'm certainly not asking for any referrals from you now. After all, we just started working together! However, in a couple of months or even weeks, when you are clearly realizing the benefits of my services and have gotten even more value than you expected, would you be comfortable sharing the results you have experienced with others and introduce me to those people who might benefit from my services?"

Client: "Sure, I don't see why not."

You: "That sounds great. Thanks in advance for the consideration. Just so I know what it will take to make you a raving fan, what can I do to make you comfortable enough to actually want to refer business to me?"

"Having this conversation up front with your clients allows you to let your clients know that you are looking for referrals, gets their permission to do so, and also allows them to tell you exactly what you need to do to earn their referrals," says Kelly.

"By 'setting the table' up front, you remove any awkwardness around the process of referring business to you, and it allows you to feel comfortable after you exceed their expectations to ask them for referrals."

Tom Kelly is the founder and owner of Potential In Motion, Inc. As a coach, Tom is dedicated to working with salespeople, entrepreneurs and small business owners that want to reach their full potential in business and life. Visit his website at www.potentialinmotion.com
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Quote of the Week

"The most unprofitable item ever manufactured is an excuse." - John Mason, Author - Conquering An Enemy Called Average

While they may make you feel better, excuses don't do anything to change a situation and they won't fly with your boss. Promise yourself that this week you'll take complete responsibility for a lost sale - and then work on what you can do to make sure it doesn't happen again.
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Friday, January 25, 2008

SalesDog Quick Tip

Sales trainer Lori Richardson has a sales blog on AllBusiness.com that I highly recommend - it's well written and her posts are always content-rich. She recently wrote a "Sales Prospecting Tip Sheet" to help make your prospecting a success. Here are a few of her tips:
  • DIVERSIFY - Mix up how you contact your more probable prospects. Call early in the day, call at 5pm.
  • BE CONSISTENT - You must set regular time slots in your calendar to do this! Once you set the times, honor your commitment to yourself and to growing your business.
  • GET FEEDBACK - Ask trusted advisors to let you "call them" with an introductory call. Find out how you can tighten what you say - especially in voice mail messages which are nearly always way too long.
  • SEPARATE research time, calling time, and updating time. Work like a machine - create a smooth process so that you do research at a different time, and you are able to crank through calls and email messages.
A consummate student of learning, Lori immersed herself in "how to" books, strategies, and professional development programs from an early age. She's walked on hot coals, watched and studied masters in diverse fields, and sold "in the trenches" - on straight commission - and otherwise - for more than 30 years. Visit Lori's website at www.scoremoresales.com.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Selling to the Opposite Sex

No one will deny men and women have different ways of communicating - just ask any married couple. The question is - how do you deal with these different styles when selling to the opposite sex? Sales trainer Will Turner has the advice you need to break down the communication barrier and start selling.

If you're a female salesperson calling on a male prospect, focus your talk on goal-oriented activities, tangible accomplishments, or problem solving. Observe and listen rather than processing out loud, and be succinct and bottom-line focused. Be careful not to offer help before it is asked for, as doing so may indicate a lack of trust in his ability. Above all, never force a man to talk if he is not ready.

If you are a male salesperson calling on a female prospect, ask what you can do to help, as she will interpret this as a show of support. Understand that women may process out loud as a way of including others and building relationships. Listen patiently to the stories of your prospect, even when you are anxious to get to the bottom line. Never short-circuit the opportunity to get to know your prospect.

This nugget of sales wisdom was excerpted from Top Dog Sales Secrets, a collection of sales advice of 50 top experts edited by Michael Dalton Johnson. To get your copy plus $2,500 worth of FREE BONUS GIFTS when you buy today, click here.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Close With Confidence

It's hard to know the perfect moment to initiate the close ... if only you were a mind reader, right? In the new book of sales advice, Top Dog Sales Secrets, sales expert Linda Richardson gives you the next best thing to mind reading powers -- advice on how to close the sale confidently.

Perhaps the biggest reason salespeople are hesitant to close is that they are anxious about facing rejection, or shutting down communications. This typically happens when they haven't elicited enough feedback or signals from the client to know if it's safe to close. Most often, they haven't received these closing signals because they haven't asked for them during the call.

Checking is the process of asking for feedback throughout the call. For example, after positioning your message, responding to an objection, or answering a question, ask, "How does that sound?" or "How would that work?" or "What do you think about ...?" Asking for feedback on what you've just said provides critical information, and increases your confidence either to ask for the business, or proceed to the next step. When you fail to check for feedback, asking at the end of the call becomes an all-or-nothing situation.

This nugget of sales wisdom was excerpted from Top Dog Sales Secrets, a collection of sales advice of 50 top experts edited by Michael Dalton Johnson. To get your copy plus $2,500 worth of FREE BONUS GIFTS when you buy today, click here.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Get $2,500 worth of free bonus gifts

TODAY ONLY: Get your copy of Top Dog Sales Secrets plus $2,500 worth of free bonus gifts. You get downloadable e-books, white papers, articles, and reports from top sales and business growth leaders. Details here.
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Quote of the Week

"If your work is becoming uninteresting, so are you. Work is an inanimate thing and can be made lively and interesting only by injecting yourself into it. Your job is only as big as you are." -- George C. Hubbs

Sometimes the constant routine of cold-calling, prospecting, and e-mailing can get a little - dare we say it - boring. Think about it. How can you inject a little of "you" into your routine?
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't React - Respond!

For the past week sales expert Keith Rosen has been discussing the "Top 10 Most Common Mistakes in Selling" on his blog. Number four on the list is about reacting to your clients rather than responding.

This common mistake pops up when your customer says something like "Your price is too high." At this point, "salespeople often switch into a defensive mode, thinking about a past experience with a similar customer, and react accordingly," says Rosen. "Remember that re-action is any action you have taken before. So, if you are continually reacting from the 'same place' you are going to continue to generate the same result."

"'Your price is too high' is not a question you need to defend," explains Rosen. "Instead of answering it, respond with a question such as, 'Before you ask me why my price is high, why do you feel the other price you got is lower?'"

Switch your thinking from a "react" mindset to a "respond" mindset and you'll see the difference in your relationships with your customers, and your sales.

Keith Rosen, The Executive Sales Coach, is one of the foremost authorities on how to assist people achieve positive, measurable change in their attitude and in their behavior. He is a well known and engaging author, speaker, and coach. Learn more by visiting Keith's website at www.profitbuilders.com.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Motivator and speaker Bob Burg has written a new book with co-author John David Mann called The Go-Giver. It's an eye-opening parable about Joe, a harried young salesperson on the brink of failure. He's short on his quota - with just a week left in the quarter. Prospects are dim - that is until Joe meets the enigmatic "Chairman" whose friends reveal to Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success, with intriguing results. Think The Celestine Prophesy for business people.

If you're not happily accomplishing what you want in your career, and earning what you deserve, you owe it to yourself to read The Go-Giver. It will change how you think about success and what it takes to manifest it.

Today only, they are having a one-day sale where you can get the book at a 20% discount and receive a $297 set of amazing videos for free! This is over ten hours of world-class training videos recorded at the "Extreme Business Makeovers 2007" event with people like Bob Proctor, Bo Short, Cameron Johnson and Stephanie Frank. Visit http://www.thegogiver.com/amazon today!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Help the Gatekeeper Out to Reach the Decision-Maker

As someone who has worked as a receptionist, I know how difficult it can be to evaluate whether or not to transfer a call to your boss - especially when you're told "I'm a close, personal friend" or "He's expecting my call, we spoke this morning" (when you really didn't!).

You don't need to resort to lies to get past the gatekeeper - being friendly and having a concise value proposition does wonders! You can also appeal to the receptionist with the following approach from sales trainer and author Andrea Sittig-Rolf:

Receptionist: "ABC Company, how can I direct your call?"

Salesperson: "Hi, my name is Andrea Sittig-Rolf and I'm with Sittig Incorporated. I'm hoping you can help me. I'm looking for the person in your organization who would make a decision regarding sales training. That wouldn't be John Jones, would it?"

Receptionist: "Oh no, that wouldn't be John Jones, that would be Bob Smith."

Salesperson: "Great! Can I talk to Bob, please?"

Receptionist: "Sure, I'll transfer you."

"Believe it or not, most of the time, this technique works and will get you to the person you need to talk to," says Sittig-Rolf. "The idea is that the receptionist doesn't want to bother John Jones, the CEO, with a cold call from a salesperson. It's almost a relief for her to be able to transfer you to Bob Smith, someone below John Jones on the org chart at the company."

Sittig-Rolf continues, "Even if you are unable to speak to Bob Smith during this particular phone call, at least now you have the name of the person you need to talk to for the next time you call."

Andrea Sittig-Rolf is an author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. Her unique sales training program empowers salespeople to schedule appointments with qualified prospects the day of the training, resulting in a pipeline full of new opportunities at the end of the day. Learn more at www.sittiginc.com.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The "Goody Two Shoes" Approach to Networking

Many people mistakenly look at networking as collecting as many business cards as possible, or having a lot of contacts on LinkedIn. While it's great to have all those contacts, what happens when you call them? Hard to believe they're going to remember and want to help a person they barely talked to at a conference.

Networking and motivation expert Josh Hinds has seen this situation many times, and offers advice to help you build a network built on value and trust.

"One of the hardest things for people who are beginning to embrace professional networking to grasp is that it's not simply about sharing their product or service, but rather about first building some basic rapport with the person they've just met," says Hinds. "It's about creating value for others first."

"This 'goody two shoes' approach to networking ensures that you will not only be thought of in a favorable light - you will remain there for as long as you're willing to commit to keeping that connection going. The more value you create for the people you connect with - the greater the likelihood that they will not only end up a customer of yours, they'll even seek you out as a trusted advisor when they have a need that they feel you might be able to help them with."

Here are some of Hinds' tips for building value with those you meet:
  • Upon the initial meeting, take a sincere interest in the other person first. Then let them know that you're always meeting new people and would be willing to keep an eye out for potential sources of business for them - you can even ask what their ideal prospect would look like. Be careful - you can't just give this idea lip service - you have to be sure to actually send referrals their way as you run across them.
  • Be on the lookout for things of interest to the folks in your network - and pass them along to them. It's a terrific way to stay in touch, while being valuable to others.
  • Every so often drop a quick e-mail, greeting card, or note to someone you may not have touched base with in a while. Something as simple as 'It's been a while so I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you' can do wonders to position yourself in a favorable light.
  • Be on the lookout for opportunities that will be of benefit to those in your network. Doing so is as easy as keeping your eyes open for news you might read, or listening to what others have to say.
Josh Hinds is a speaker, trainer, and author on topics such as networking and personal branding. Check out his popular newsletter at www.GetMotivation.com.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

Quote of the Week

"If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life) you probably aren't doing enough asking." -- Jack Canfield

It's as simple as that: ask for what you want. If you've given a great presentation, answered all your prospect's questions, created value, and feel your prospect would benefit from your solution, then ask for the sale! You'd be surprised how few salespeople do this. Your prospects will be impressed with your confidence.
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Friday, January 11, 2008

SalesDog Quick Tip

It's the beginning of a brand new year. If you're like most salespeople, you've probably made a resolution to work harder to achieve your goals. While we encourage you to do this, we also want to stress that working smarter is even better than working longer. You'll work smarter using this quick tip from sales expert Jill Konrath.

"Always debrief your sales calls," says Konrath. "This is the only way you can get better."

Ask yourself:
  • What went well?
  • Where did I run into problems?
  • What could I do next time to get even better results?
Implement this strategy, and you'll get more effective results.

Today's tip comes from Jill Konrath, Chief Sales Officer of Selling to Big Companies.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't take no for an answer

How do you react when a prospect tells you no? Do you immediately think, "Oh, there goes another one?" Do you counter "No" with more features, benefits, and explanations? Here's a much more effective strategy from Ron Karr, one of the leading Business Development and Turn-Around Specialists in America.

"Too many salespeople instantly respond to a no answer by either withdrawing from meaningful discussions with the prospect or turning up the heat by discoursing endlessly about features, functions and benefits," says Karr. "Yet all we need to do when we encounter a no answer is to find out what the customer perceives is missing."

Try this response to "No" and watch as the discussion continues to the sale.

Ron Karr is the Founder of Karr Associates Inc. and creator of the ground-breaking Titan Principle.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Grow Your Sales by Watching the Home Shopping Network

The strike by the Writer's Guild of America has made watching my favorite TV shows a thing of the past...actually, it has made watching any decent show a thing of the past. So what to watch besides reruns or reality shows? Sales trainer Al Uszynski suggests you turn to QVC or the Home Shopping Network - not for the entertainment value, but for the sales lessons that can be learned.

"While you might not sell products to consumers, through observation you might learn a thing or two about what works (and what doesn't work) when it comes to selling," says Uszynski.

Uszynski suggests you ask yourself the following questions:
  • How would you describe the enthusiasm of the salesperson?
  • How are testimonials woven into the sales presentation?
  • How do they use pricing terms to make the purchase seem minimal?
  • Do you trust the salesperson? Why or why not?
  • How do they use the limited quantity or time to their advantage?
Apply what you learn to your own sales presentation. Hurry now! Quantities are going fast!

Al Uszynski is a results-focused sales trainer and professional speaker. His proven, quick-start sales training program, "15 Ways to Grow Your Sales Tomorrow" helps sales professionals ignite immediate sales growth. Learn more by visiting www.Uszynski.com.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Do Your Research

Cold calling is difficult enough - but failing to do the proper research can really make it tough. Take a look at these examples from cold calling expert Ari Galper and notice the difference a little research makes.

Cold Caller: "Hello my name is Maggie and I am with XYZ Company. We are offering a wide array of services that we think will help your business..."

And they would say:

Prospective Client: "Umm...I don't think so...thanks anyway."

Or simply hang up...but if you do a bit of research wonderful things can happen...take a look:

Cold Caller: "Hello my name is Maggie and I am calling from XYZ Company. I took a look at your company featured last month in Fortune 500 Magazine and I think that our services can help...I have Monday next week free if you have about 10-15 minutes to meet and discuss it. How would 4:00pm sound?"

Then they would say...

Prospective Client: "Yeah...I think that might be OK. Let me check my schedule."

"This approach opens doors for you to build a strong relationship with them in the future," says Galper. "If you are behind your product or services then come across like you are. Be a little more risky and go the extra mile to get the relationship started because if you can't get in the open dialogue then they will never see your wonderful product!"

Ari Galper is the creator of Unlock The Game, a new sales mindset that overturns the notion of selling as we know it today. Contact him at www.unlockthegame.com.
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Monday, January 7, 2008

Quote of the Week

"There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it." -- Dale Carnegie

That's it, the essence of persuasion in a nutshell from the master of influence, Dale Carnegie. Keep these wise words in mind this week when you need to persuade, influence or motivate.
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Friday, January 4, 2008

Destined to Fail: The Truth Behind New Year's Resolutions

If you're like most people, you've either already broken one of your New Year's Resolutions, or will sometime soon. Don't worry - it's nothing to be ashamed of! "The failure of your resolution has nothing to do with a lack of resolve or discipline. The success or failure of your resolution is determined at the very moment it is born, when the idea for change first stirs in your mind," says sales trainer and speaker Tom Richard.

"True change happens in the blink of an eye. It stems from an emotional trigger that speaks to you, stirs something within you and opens your eyes to recognize that something must change. If a resolution does not carry with it this immediacy of action, it is destined to fail. Therefore, any resolution that can wait until the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve lacks the emotional power to have any lasting effect on your life."

"The only way to change an entire year is to change how you act within every single moment. How can you best spend, not a minute next week or next year, but this very minute?"

"As you begin 2008, embrace the strength and courage you have to see that every minute you have the power to act in such a way that will make that minute its very best. You don't need the burden of trying to change an entire year all at once. By focusing on the present moment, you will discover a refreshingly light way to conquer large and long-term goals. Then, when 2009 rolls around, you will look back on the year with a smile, knowing that your entire year was as complete, fulfilling and successful as every minute within it was."

What a great way to look at the New Year!

Tom Richard gives seminars, runs sales meetings, and provides coaching for salespeople nationwide. He is also an inspiring and educated speaker who will light a fire under your team. For more information, visit www.TomRichard.com, or email [email protected]
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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Respond to RFPs on your own terms

Around this time of year you'll often get many requests for proposals (RFPs) out of the blue. Companies are dealing with new budgets and want to see what's out there. While it's great to receive an RFP, responding to each one can be time consuming. Author and speaker Lee Salz has some expert advice to help you decide which RFPs are worth your time - and which ones to chuck in the trash.

Lee recommends you call the procurement person and ask a few questions:

"Hi, I'm Lee Salz with XYZ Services. I just received your RFP in the mail and wanted to ask you a few questions so I can determine if it makes sense for us to respond. As you can imagine, we receive many RFPs and are very selective when determining to which we will respond."

"With that said, one of a few things can happen," says Salz. "She could give you permission to ask your questions. Or she could say, 'Fill out the RFP, or not. It's up to you.' My vote is to decline any RFP where the Procurement person won't allow you to ask questions of them. How can you have a fighting chance to win if they won't speak with you?"

With permission granted to ask questions, Salz recommends you ask the following questions to decide if it makes sense to participate in the process:
  1. How did they get your name for inclusion in this process?
  2. Why is this RFP out now?
  3. Have they definitively decided to change providers?
  4. What criteria will be used to score the RFPs?
  5. What are the steps of the process after the RFP is submitted?
According to Salz, "The rule of thumb is that the less information Procurement shares, the lower the chance you have of winning."

Keep this in mind the next time you receive a blind RFP. It will not only help you qualify whether to respond, but also give you the information you need to better tailor your proposal to the company's needs - giving you a better chance at the sale.

Lee B. Salz is President of SalesDodo, LLC and author of "Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales Manager." He specializes in helping companies and their sales organizations adapt and thrive in the ever-changing world of business. Visit Lee's website at www.salesdodo.com.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"I'm just calling to follow up"

There's nothing more annoying than a sales rep who's "just calling to follow up." What a time waster. Follow the expert tip below from telesales guru Art Sobczak to avoid this call killer and give your client something of value.

"Have a primary objective for every call," says Sobczak. Before each call plan out "What do I want them to DO as a result of this call, and what do I want to do?"

If you do this, you'll be giving your client something of value, and they'll be much more likely to give you the response you're looking for. If not, at least you'll know to stop wasting your time and move on to better prospects.

Telesales expert Art Sobczak is president of Business By Phone. Visit his site at www.BusinessByPhone.com.
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