Most business owners send cards or gifts during Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/or other religious holiday events. It’s a time where it can go unnoticed since they are being contacted by many. I suggest you consider Thanksgiving or other holidays so you stand out and get noticed.
Make a plan and work your plan. Make a yearly calendar. Each month, write a holiday down or way to give your prospect or customer something special (article, newsletter, complimentary time with you-alternate who will get the time if your availability is limited and there are many to contact). Of course, the way you write up this offer to make it exciting and a must-have experience is vital. You want to get interest and make it a must-have experience with a limited time offer so they go into action soon.
I suggest putting a value on this consultation (worth $___), tell them what will be accomplished (within 15 minutes, you will ______, and expiration date. It’s good to test things. So send this out to about 10 people and see how many responses you get. Often, you need to follow-up by phone call or email since people are busy.
When a call goes well and you want to extend the conversation or deepen the relationship, how would you do it? You will want a budget for this strategy. For example, what do you do to make a good impression on a potential customer? You can send flowers if appropriate, invite them to a meal (or a lunch and learn session where you provide a simple lunch and present a problem they are having in their business – not sell- and give valuable information about how to solve it. You mention your company at the end and first ask permission to present info about your company which might serve them. Make that much shorter than the overall discussion. This needs to be done expertly. I do this with my clients.
Let me know below how you would handle this opportunity. I will give you some pointers.
Here’s some tips that might be helpful:
-Often if you ask questions that produce a “yes” response” about five times that will continue as you move into their purchasing.
-Be sure to delve into what is standing in their way of using a different company to work with? Does the current one give you the ROI you expected? Do they respond quickly to your questions and serve you well?
-Determine what their greatest desire is concerning a product or service such as yours.
-Chet Holmes used to say, “Features tell, benefits sell”. What benefits can you provide that solve their issue(s)?
-Often the salesperson doesn’t give the prospect a chance to jump in and purchase. They like to talk too much.
-Get as high in the company’s chain of command as possible to get the proper person who has the authority to make a buying decision.
-Remember, it takes about 12 calls to make a sale – you won’t be a pest if you have a lot to offer and your follow-up emails or calls give additional information (a valuable article, etc.)
-Congratulate your new client on a good decision. Make sure they sign on the dotted line!
Please leave your comments or what worked for you below. Let’s work on what’s holding you back from greater success.
It’s not time to play hard to get! Call them within five minutes of their showing an interest in your product or service. You have more likelihood of reaching him/her too because he/she was at the computer to advise you of their interest.
If you don’t get a response, how often do you follow-up? Most sales people give up after one or two attempts. Research has shown if you make nine attempts, you have about a 90% chance of reaching them.
What is the best time/day to make that initial contact if they are not initiating it? Usually Wednesday or Thursday is best. People are busy after the weekend and are getting things in order the beginning of the week.
It’s helpful if you don’t need to go through an operator too. See if you can get their direct phone number. Using a company that provides you with local phone numbers is helpful too. It’s worked on me! Rather than seeing my caller ID noting an 800 or 866 number, a local one shows up. You are more likely to pick it up thinking it is local business or someone you know.
Please let me know what has worked for you. Let’s have a conversation.
Where do you start when calling a prospect?
The New Solution Selling book by Keith Eades suggests to really know a company, develop a list of the key people in the organization. This takes some research but is worth the effort. It allows you to call people by their full name and title.
Next write down what you identified as key things that could keep them up at night (ex: CEO – investors’ expectations are not realized; VP Sales/Marketing-they are not reaching revenue goals expected).
Do a chart for different industries with pain points the primary people could be experiencing. If one executive is having a problem, it usually affects others. Your chart should demonstrate this clearly (example: if the CEO finds revenue is decreasing, it effects the VP Finance and VP of Sales since goals probably will not be met). You stand out differently when armed with this information. It’s obvious, you have done your homework.
Make sure you are armed with a story that discusses how you helped another executive with the same issue and the results realized. If you do not have this reference, discuss the ROI when this is addressed. These stories should be concise and powerful. The prospect will either direct you to another person in the organization or might state he knows how to tackle this issue himself/herself now.
Accumulating this information beforehand, allows you to be armed for what might develop. It is worth the time and effort.
Have you ever tried anything like this? If not, what are your thoughts or questions when you read this blog? I would appreciate hearing from you.