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.
In New Solution Selling, Keith Eades states it is the “profile for your prospective client”. Having this knowledge enables you to work with that prospect. Also, it helps you have your radar up when one appears.
How do you build a straw man? Utilize your past rewarding experiences, do research and make a profile of what this person looks like. This will enable you to more easily recognize new “straw man” prospects allowing you to be in your sales process state of mind (see other blog posts for information on this topic).
What does your straw man include?
-description of the possible opportunity
-marketing benchmarks (such as size of co., number of employees, industry)
-your ability to match your capabilities to their challenges
-success story if you worked with a similar client
So give thought to your “straw man”.
Please post your thoughts/comments concerning what your “straw man” looks like and perhaps, the value of having one.
Your current clients! Your current clients know/like and trust you. They are more likely to take
additional products/services from you and refer others (see other blog entry for referral strategy – I also have a powerful systematized referral policy I utilize with my clients). Discover what current challenges are facing them. See if what you offer aligns with their issues or refer them to others. They will “thank you” since you only refer your powerful partners.
Who’s next? Per Keith Eades of New Solution Selling, look for business prospects who are not looking for you. Sound strange? Those who are not looking for you – given the proper educational based marketing approach which includes changing the buying criteria and selling down to you. This foster new business opportunities. You must do some planning to make it a successful call.
– Company information – history, mission, any financial reports available to you.
– What makes them unique?
– Information about their market
– Executive staff history/background
– Capabilities and issues (if disclosed – probably need to get challenges on the call)
As much as possible, get to higher level personnel so you don’t have to repeat things or have others interpret what you said which certainly loses a lot in the translation.
Where do you get your background information?
-Wall Street Journal or Hoover’s Online
-News stories, etc.
You must look for their pain so they have a reason to change. Change is difficult and uncomfortable. You will make it easier. Make certain you align your capabilities to their pain, if at all possible. Discuss someone you helped with this issue as well as the strategy used (without giving away the store).
This will get you started.
More to come…
Let me know your thoughts/comments below please. I would love to hear from you and will respond.