Elevate…Your Sales Game 2015: Prospecting

Prospecting: Critical Success Factors and Best Practices
March 18th 2015

The purpose of Prospecting is to gain an appointment with a decision maker; and then to convert them into a long-term buying customer. However, prospecting is much easier said than done. In fact, many experts describe prospecting as the “most difficult step” in the entire sales process. The bottom-line is; like it or not, and as difficult as it is, prospecting is absolutely necessary for selling success.

Jeff Gardner, will be sharing key insights and tactics on how you can improve your prospecting success. In addition, Jeff will be facilitating best practices from TriMega members. These members will be sharing their prospecting processes and best practices on how they move prospects through the funnel.

Who should attend:
Dealer Principals, Sales Managers, Sales people, Marketing

TriMega members participating in this webinar will also discuss:
1. What is working?
2. What are the stumbling blocks and challenges?
3. What tools are they using?
4. What techniques do they find effective

Here are some of the topics Jeff will be covering in the webinar:
o Five Critical Success Factors for Prospecting
o Prospecting ratios – ABP: It’s still a numbers game
o Using a prospecting contact campaign
o The “Sales Manager’s Effect” on prospecting
o Why you want to get to the objection fast
o Handling prospecting objections

Maximum Performance Group, LLC is in the business of bringing the latest and best sales management training systems to our clients. We also provide practical and effective consulting and business planning strategies to help you stay ahead. Our approach is to work closely with our clients to help them maximize their performance so they win more sales.

Since MPG’s formation in 1991, Jeff Gardner has been committed to staying “connected to the street.” Our proprietary sales training and consulting gets results because our consultants are out in the field or on the phone working side-by-side with salespeople and sales leaders on a regular basis. We test our techniques to confirm what works and what doesn’t. This sets MPG apart from other training and consulting companies who operate on past history and theories, which means they can “tell but not sell.”

Lies that Prospects Love to Tell Salespeople: Part 2

As you’ve probably guessed by reading the title of this article, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about the lies that prospects love to tell. And in all honesty, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. That’s because, particularly here in Britain, prospects often lie to get salespeople off the phone. Sometimes it’s because saying no to someone straight away can seem bad mannered, blunt and, and downright rude. More often than not though, it’s because we’re all so incredibly busy eating cucumber sandwiches and talking about the Queen that we simply don’t have time for sales calls.

So, how can you make the most out of ‘Pinocchio Prospects’ (see part 1) and sell around their lies? With every false promise and broken sales person’s heart, there’s a lesson to be learned, and it’s learning these lessons that will help transform you from the kitten of cold calling into the Wolf of Wall Street.

It’s vital to know exactly what to say to get the most out of every single response from a prospect, even if they’re clearly telling big fat fibs to get you off the phone and get back to their afternoon tea.

In this article, I’m focusing on one phrase which is a favourite amongst prospects, and which I’m sure you’ve heard time after time:

Lie #4 “I’m interested: send me some info and I’ll get back to you”

First and foremost, there’s no point trying to force your way through the door; if someone doesn’t want to talk anymore, then they aren’t going to be responsive, even if you manage to win a verbal wrestling match and submit them into listening.

What you should’ve hopefully gauged from the opening part of your phone call is whether or not they’re genuinely interested in your product/service. Did they ask questions and make a conversation out of the call, or did they just let you finish your pitch and then reply? If it’s the former, they’re probably being genuine, so by all means send them some marketing collateral or a pricing guide. Just make sure you follow up with a phone call, and add them on LinkedIn (read on)!

If it’s the latter turn of events, however, or if your marketing collateral is poor, you should simply arrange a better time for the phone call. They’re probably in a rush right now, or have got so much on their mind that they couldn’t possibly give you a fair chance. When they ask you to send them some information with the promise of a response, try something along the lines of:

“Name, I can tell you’re busy at the moment, so apologies for catching you at a bad time. I haven’t really got anything to send over that would do our products/services any justice. Is there any chance we could arrange another call at a time that better suits you? I’m convinced that we can help you (talk about solution to an industry-wide problem)?”

This way, the next time you call, the prospect has already agreed to listen, so the chances of them being open to your pitch are far higher. The real beauty of this beast though is that it allows you ample time to prepare for the next phone call, having now gauged the kind of person the prospect is, which should in turn boost your chances of success.

One of the best ways you can prepare for your second call is by using LinkedIn to do some research. Ask the prospect if they use the site and if it’s ok to connect, and you’ll be able to learn a lot about them in a very short space of time.

As we’ve mentioned in social media articles in the past, LinkedIn is one of the greatest modern sales tools around simply because you can flip the sales game on its head; LinkedIn allows you to talk to a prospect about their problems before you pitch, so you can sell them a solution, whereas traditional sales involves pitching to a prospect and then finding out about their problems as the relationship develops.

As you’ve already asked them to connect, there’s nothing wrong with dropping them a follow-up message before your next call to ask a couple of questions about issues that they usually face. Knowing this is half the battle, and a positive response will open them up to your sales pitch even more.

And if they say no to the second phone call, don’t be downhearted- all they’ve done is call their own bluff, which will save you a lot of time in the long run, and you can still send them some collateral if you have any.

Agree with me? Disagree? Maybe it’s completely different in your country! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my article below.

4 ways to stand out in any market

Interesting blog post from Sales-i.com

4 ways to stand out in any market

Competition. Something that every salesperson will have to face up to at some point during their careers. But simply cutting prices doesn’t constitute a competitive sales technique. Worryingly, a staggering 73% of respondents to the recent UK Sales Skills Audit were lacking in the basic skills required to maintain a competitive footing in the market and simply weren’t aware of the impact that competitors can have upon pipeline, opportunities and revenues.

This got me thinking. Is the ability to be aware of your competition and the impact they can have really that much of a problem? Isn’t it just basic sales sense? Are businesses today struggling that much to stand out in what has quickly become a bustling marketplace?

To add flame to the fire, a 2013 survey across the US found that almost a third of companies feel there is a lack of basic sales skills within their organization. These stats are pretty shocking when you think about it. If individuals today are lacking in the skills needed to distinguish their businesses from others, compete and even sell, how will any business ever really go the distance?

Being able to compete effectively and stand out from the crowd is key; here are just four simple tips to doing just that in a bustling marketplace:

Don’t discount, add value

Competing on price is a really cheap shot. You’re not only undercutting yourself and your profit margins, but you’re cheapening your brand. You should be adding value to your proposition at every single opportunity, making it easy and logical for your customers to purchase and repurchase. This could be delivering exceptional service, educating your customers or even reaching out to offer help and advice. People are more willing than ever to pay for great service these days and it is a big opportunity to do something a little different to the masses.

Offer a wider product range

If you and 30 other companies in the area were selling the same pink fluffy pens, it would appear that the only way to compete would be on price.Your value proposition for your customers isn’t all that great as you’re simply doing what everyone else is. But don’t be a sheep and follow the masses. Broadening your product range, maybe adding a blue fluffy pen to your portfolio and extending your offering might just be the gentle nudge customers need to choose you over your competition. Offer more products and you’ll attract more business.

Get the most out of your customers

Are you lucky enough to have a recognizable household name as one of your loyal customers? Use this to your competitive advantage; get a comment or a product review from them. Even add them to your website in a monthly ‘Featured Customers’ area. Not only will this spark an interest for prospects, but it’ll give your existing customers that warm fuzzy feeling when they are selected to appear. A reputable brand chose you over your competition, be sure to shout this from the rooftops.

Smile your way to competitive superstardom

If you had the choice between a faceless company with rock-bottom prices and a helpful, approachable company with moderate prices, which would you choose? If you’re selling to smaller companies, the majority will prefer to buy from a small team with a passion for what they sell, rather than a faceless corporate with no heart. Show your customers that you care at every chance you get, be proactive and pick up the phone to check in that everything is okay, you don’t have to sell to them, just be polite and say hello.