After you called someone who was referred to you or gave you permission to contact them through social media (steer away from cold calls please), you describe what your company does and offer proof to your claims. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is through telling a story of how your company helped someone in a similar business to the person you called. You want powerful results you can report.
What do you say? How do you organize it? Keith Eades in The New Solution Selling suggests telling a brief story describing the issue you tackled for a company like theirs, what was needed (which you provide) and the result obtained.
You want your prospect to admit pain. People buy more and faster due to pain than pleasure. You can pursue pleasure but solving pain is something acted upon immediately if framed in the correct way. From here, write up for yourself ways to respond to the various common problems admitted by the prospect. If you are prepared and wrote something powerful you can utilize when speaking, you have a chance at another phone call or in-person meeting.
Remember you must be interested in them and their company. It is often said that we do business with people we like, trust and respect”. Be that to your prospects and develop a relationship where they will stay with you long term.
Please write your comments below and what worked for you to get that initial appointment.
Do you know how to speak with customers?
In a previous post I discussed Keith Eades who in his book, The New Solution Selling, discusses having “business development prompters”. It’s a way to increase interest in your product/service. You can use this in emails, on the phone, personal contact, trade shows, etc. You want to increase curiosity rather than sell.
One of the prompters discussed is for a new business prospect. There is no pressure to buy. It’s wonderful to have them developed so they are specific to the people (example: engineers) and companies you are calling. You start by stating your name, co. and then mention you haven’t spoken previously (ensures the person on the other end is listening rather than trying to figure out how they know you).
Then you discuss your expertise – for example, you’ve worked with ____(their industry) for the past ___years (if possible). Then state- what I continue to hear from people in this field is _____(difficulty with ____). We help solve this issue. Would you like to know how (then they are curious)?
If they want to talk more extensively, set up a meeting.
What have you done to get an initial appointment? Is this strategy helpful? Please let me hear from you. I will respond.
As you might have heard, people do business with those they feel they know, like and trust. Actually, it usually doesn’t matter if your services are more expensive. If they have those feelings about you, you are their new provider of a service or product.
People are more likely to do business with experts? Don’t be concerned if you don’t have a lot of experience. Look at what you’ve done in your life, what you accomplished and have people give you testimonials concerning those skills – for example: being highly organized, focused, efficient, and/or a time management star will be skills others want together with your offerings. Please don’t make light of those skills. Many are looking for someone just like YOU now.
The most important part of any sale is building rapport. It’s not just saying, “How are you today?” I actually don’t suggest those words. They know you are a salesperson and you really don’t want that answer. If you are on the phone, identify yourself and your company. If you haven’t spoken before state that, so they are not searching their brain for how they know you but listening to you. Discuss your experience briefly and the top few problems people in their industry are facing. Then state how you helped and ask it they would like to know more?
Give this a try. Let me know if it works for you or what you found is valuable.
Customers want to hear about the benefits of working with you not have you try to sell your products or services. How do you give value rather than sell?
Really listen to others and do whatever you can to improve their personal and professional life. Be a positive person, point them in the right direction, help them achieve their goals and possibly be their mentor.
Many people come to a prospective sales call wanting to sell something. What can you do to lighten their burdens, reduce their challenges and enlist the help they need to move forward? I spoke in other posts about building rapport. Search “rapport” on my blog and pick up some tips there too.
If you are seen as a giver rather than a taker or salesperson, more will come to you personally and professionally. Rather than expect it, be thankful when it happens.
Please let me know below how you have been a giver.
I remember a strategy I used when starting out. I gave myself permission to approach only five people at an event (make it three people to start out with if it feels more comfortable for you). I usually went over to people who were alone and/or were standing off to the side who were thrilled to have someone approach her/him. I asked questions about them personally.
My coach discussed the F-O-R-M acronym for starting new conversations and relationships…
M = message
You begin the conversation with a complement. If the person is of the opposite sex, talk about your spouse or acquaintance within this complement so they don’t think you are just trying to pick them up. An example, my husband would love your suit. Where did you buy it?
Then move on to the other areas (of F-O-R-M) where you ask a lot of questions and pay close attention. People enjoy speaking about themselves usually. You will gather some information you might find useful should you go forward in business. The Message part of this acronym is not where you jump into your business. Ask about what they do. When they ask about you, give a 3-5 minute powerful elevator speech. Then ask for their business card followed by setting up a time to speak more in depth. Do not do it then.
Have you ever tried this technique or one similar to it? Let me know about your successes and challenges below please. I will respond.
For some networkers, it’s difficult to connect with others. Others are more comfortable with it.
If you are not as relaxed, you are not alone. If you have trouble going up to people, often start with a friendly look and smile
and approach them with confidence. This is a good beginning.
People like to talk about themselves. Ask an open-ended question so you can connect and discover commonalities.
Questions could include:
-a simple introduction of yourself but then go right to them
-ask what do you do?
-if the other networker is different from you (age or profession), you could ask their opinion on the event both of you are attending or something in their industry.
-discover why they came to this particular function & what others they find valuable.
-find out if they are a member of the group or visiting.
-find something to compliment them about – be genuine.
-when they ask about you, discuss the benefits of working with you rather than the features of what you sell.
-if interested, exchange business cards and arrange a date to learn more about each other so you might be a referral source.
Chances are you will get more comfortable with networking when you attend more groups. Give yourself a goal – for example, go up to five people and have a conversation like the one above. You could meet some very interesting people and business could result.
Please leave a thought or comment on what has helped you in these situations. I will respond.