Stop Setting Goals for Number of Calls!

prospecting goals for number of callsWhen setting calling goals, stop setting goals for the number of calls you’ll make when prospecting! If you write down this as a goal: “I will make fifteen prospecting calls starting at nine tomorrow morning,” you can make all fifteen of those calls and have nothing.

Instead, set success goals: “Tomorrow at nine I will start telephone prospecting, and I will continue prospecting until I have three confirmed meetings to demonstrate my product to people I believe can and should own it.” Set a reasonable success goal and then do it. Stop for meals, go home nights, but keep prospecting until you achieve your success goal. [Read more…]

Earn the Right to More Yeses

Even though you may have won a yes from your buyer, it’s important to continue to earn the right to more yeses. People buy from sales pros they trust. Once trust is established and the buyer is satisfied with their purchase (becoming a happy client), it’s time to get some referred leads.

You begin this step of the sales process by creating an exceptional buying experience for each person. Realize that this is just the first step. Just because people love buying from you doesn’t mean they’ll give you referrals. You will still have to ask for them–in a completely professional manner.

It’s highly likely that your new clients will be telling others about their new product or service, and about how nice you were. People love being the one who referred others to a great product or excellent service. It allows them to become somewhat of a hero in the minds of those other people. And, who doesn’t want to be a hero?

Setting the stage to ask for referrals should happen fairly early in your sales process. It can be as simple as stating, “Our objective is to provide such exceptional service that you can’t wait to refer us to your friends and colleagues.”

Or, you could incorporate a story about another client into your presentation as you tell about a benefit of your product. That might sound like this: “A client referred me to Sheila, an office manager who said her company had a challenge with…” It’s a bit more subtle but still gets the point across that “people refer others to me.”

more yesesAnd, here’s an extra little hint for getting multiple referrals. When your buyer goes to their contact list to get you the information to reach out to Aunt Martha or Bob in another department, their whole world is right there at their fingertips. It’s super easy to ask them to also grab the contact information for three to six other people who could benefit from your product or service.

When you incorporate asking for referrals into every client contact (professionally, not in a pushy way), you practically guarantee yourself a successful career. Don’t think of it as asking for something else from buyers. What you’re really doing is offering to serve the needs of their friends, relatives or associates.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

When You’re New to Sales

When you’re new to sales, it will take some effort to get your career rolling. I compare this to the amount of thrust that’s required to get an airplane off the ground. It takes a lot, but once you reach  a certain level, staying aloft gets easier.

To make your career launch a little smoother, start by letting everyone you already know about your new position. They may or may not be qualified to own your product, but they are likely to know someone who is qualified. It never hurts to ask others to keep you in mind when the subject of whatever you’re selling comes up. Share with them the training you’ve taken and knowledge you’ve gained about your product so they’ll realize you’re working on becoming an expert on your product and industry.

Here’s a sample introductory letter I’ve taught past students to use. It’s just as effective when delivered via email or verbally.

Hello, Aunt Sally,

Something exciting has happened in my life. I have recently been hired as an associate (salesperson, consultant) with (name of company). This company is one of the largest (best, fastest-growing) in its field. I have learned a great deal about their products and services and feel very confident in representing them. I’d appreciate an opportunity to tell you more about my experience with them.

It’s my responsibility with this company to offer my relatives (friends, clients) the latest and most innovative ways to (state a benefit — not a feature). There’s so much to share with you I’d prefer to do it in person (on the phone). I’ll be contacting you for a time when we can visit. I’ve always appreciated your support and look forward to sharing with you the benefits of this new phase of my life soon.

Change the wording to suit your personality and product, but do invest the time and effort required to tell all of the people in your world about your new and excited career opportunity. You never know where qualified leads will come from. Don’t take a chance of missing them. Aunt Sally may be more well-connected than you think!

Learn more proven-effective prospecting strategies in my free eBook here.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

 

Using Keywords When Prospecting

Products Services keyboardWe use keywords when prospecting on social media sites and when searching for information on potential clients. When we go online to search for anything, we ask questions of our favorite search engines. The search engine uses the words in our requests to search out those same words on websites so we can be properly directed.

A keyword is defined as: an informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.

I think it’s time we adopt a keyword approach to prospecting…only with the words we hear people speak. We use them effectively when searching for leads online. Why not use the same strategy during conversations? [Read more…]

Vital Telephone Skills for Sales Pros

Telephone SkillsYou might think that everyone knows how to use a telephone and that the topic of Vital Telephone Skills for Sales Pros is antiquated. For some, possibly you, that may be true. However, based on the calls received by me, my wife, and members of my staff, there is a great lack of skill in the general selling populace. Because of our experiences, even recently, we all agreed this topic should be addressed.

The pathway to riches is that opening in the front of your head called a mouth and one of your biggest assets is the telephone. Most appointments are set by telephone and there are certain steps to follow to do it well. [Read more…]

The Secret of Getting Referrals by Dan Kennedy

There has never been any argument in advertising circles that the most effective business advertising is word-of-mouth advertising.

That’s why direct selling is so dramatically successful as a method of marketing every imaginable product and service, and why direct selling is such a great business in which to be.  As a direct salesperson conversationally telling another person why you like a particular product, you are much more convincing advertisement than any TV commercial or magazine ad.

[Read more…]

The Survey Approach to Prospecting

If you have access to a postal mailing list for potential clients, I suggest sending them a simple, one-page letter of introduction then following up with a phone call. [Even better, if you can network with someone else who already does business with the people you’re trying to approach, get their permission to send the letter under their name.] If you have access to email lists, consider using those addresses in a similar manner.

The letter needs to be personalized with the recipient’s name. Don’t send letters with a salutation of “Dear Friend” or “To Whom It May Concern”. Here’s a sample letter derived from my book, Sales Prospecting for Dummies. [Read more…]

Handle Sales Challenges Promptly

Sales professionals handle challenges promptly. This includes returning calls as quickly as possible, researching the details of what caused the challenge and finding creative ideas for resolving them.

No one wants to face an angry client. Yet delaying a response to their challenge will only create more challenges down the road. Dont’ feel that you have to have a solution before you contact them.

Think about how you feel when you’re unhappy about something. Isn’t it better when someone just gets back to you quickly to either gather the details or just to listen to you vent? Once calmness and clarity reign, solutions can be sought and provided.

The better you are at resolving the inevitable challenges associated with being in sales, the more your business will grow–by referral. You can bet John and Sally will tell everyone they know about their challenge. Don’t you think it’s wise to give them a happy ending to the story (wth you being the hero)?

Even if you are unable to resolve their challenge fully or immediately, stay in touch with unhappy clients until they’re satisfied or ready to move forward–continuing to do business  with you.

Listen to more simple selling solutions in “How to Master the Art of Selling Anything.”

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

Prospecting, Being a Valued Resource

Prospecting EverywhereThrough your prospecting efforts, you encounter more people in a single month than the average business owner does in a year. Because of that you can enhance your role as a product or service provider with all of your clients. Make yourself more valuable to your existing clients and they’ll do more business with you. They’ll also provide you with more referrals than you’re getting now. With referral business, they’ll help you cut down the amount of time you need to spend prospecting.

You do this by sharing ideas. Start paying attention to what Company A is doing to survive the current market. Watch what they are doing with their advertising and ask if it’s working well for them. Consider if it’s something Company B might also benefit from as well. Becoming a gatherer and sharer of ideas is just as important in serving the needs of your clients as anything else.

Of course, never share information between competing companies. However, when it’s appropriate, be a walking reference guide for all of your clients. Not only will they thank you verbally for the input, they’ll thank you with their continued business.

If your largest accounts have cut back their ordering, it’s likely have a little time on your hands in the servicing area of your job. Invest more time attending to the needs of your smaller account. They will appreciate the added attention. You might also find new avenues to sales through increased business with them. Even better, they may provide you with referrals to other potential clients that allows you to cut your prospecting time. A warm referral is better than a cold call any day.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com). To learn more prospecting strategies, consider “Sales Prospecting for Dummies” authored by Tom Hopkins.


Are You Missing Opportunities for New Business?

In sales, “getting new business” is also called “prospecting.” Unfortunately, using that term tends to turn off average salespeople who are afraid of doing it. If you know how to prospect properly, you’ll never fear doing it.

The best place to start prospecting is with people who have already paid money for products and services similar to yours. If you’re selling exercise equipment, begin with people who jog, belong to health clubs, or join local sports teams. Why? Because you will know they’re already health conscious. The convenience of being able to exercise at home may be just what they’re looking for. [Read more…]