In my opinion, the present is the only place your dreams can become a reality. It is where you actually DO the things that move you forward.
Are you a procrastinator? That prevents you from making progress. It can drain your energy and weigh you down since it’s on your mind. Often fear (acronym – author unknown – was said to be F=False / E=Evidence / A = Appearing / R=Real) is one possible cause as well as doubting your abilities to do the task at hand. If the task seems daunting, take small bites out of it – do a little each day. Guess what? It will then get completed. How will you feel then? Go to that feeling initially and get it done.
Og Mandino (author of The Greatest Salesman in the World) said “I will be the master of my emotions”. When you live in the present and are aware of your thoughts and which ones will serve you, better choices can happen. You need to be in the present to go there.
I believe having a structure to get things accomplished will serve you. Pick a time of the day where you will work on something you might find distasteful. Often accomplishing it first thing in the morning is advantageous since the rest of the day is then “gravy”. Allow roughly one hour and determine how many days need to be set aside for your project. Get moving! You can do this!
I venture to say your self-esteem can increase as you realize you can and take on different and difficult tasks more effectively.
Here are some suggestions which might be of help…
1-Call immediately when interest is indicated. People “cool off” and your chance of getting them later and keeping their interest diminishes.
2-The average sales person calls a lead about twice before giving up. Research shows that is takes 6-7 contacts to make a conversation happen. Most reps stop much too soon. Afraid you will “bother” them? Not if you continue to develop their interest, curiosity and give value with each message left. A lot of money is left on the table when you don’t follow-up persistently.
3-Franklin Covey found calling between 3:30 and 4PM is helpful. I also learned the boss will often answer the phone if you call between 8-9AM (check their time zone) or after 5PM when office staff is not available and they pick up their own phone.
4- Calling on a Wednesday or Thursday is considered best. The beginning of the work week is too hectic and Friday people are in a weekend frame of mine.
5-Use a local number –people have caller ID and are more likely to pick up the phone when local numbers are used. There are many companies that offer this type of phone service.
As you move forward reaching more of your leads, it’s important to have sales scripts ready with the responses to FAQ’s. That is your next step. I help my clients develop powerful sales scripts that have been tested and are successful. Some ideas are noted on my blog entries.
Please write your comments/thoughts below on what you found helpful in reaching prospects. Try the ones above and let me know your results. I will respond.
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.
1. Ask Current Clients for Referrals
Is your business stagnant? Are you out of fresh ideas? Let’s explore… One of the first priorities – ask your current clients for referrals! It’s amazing how many business people miss that source of contacts. Some people feel it’s a bit pushy or not-so-nice to ask your current clients for referrals. Why not? Are you giving your current clients value? They must be happy with you or they would have taken their business elsewhere. Consider giving incentives for referrals. Perhaps a reduction in your rate, a book you believe would be of interest, or some promotional item. Always send a “thank you” note too. Send an email card on a birthday or a small gift to a special client.
Ask your current clients to write testimonials on your behalf. If they have trouble articulating their thoughts in writing, or they don’t have time, ask them to share how they feel about your service and then write it up for their approval. Whenever possible, use the full name of the person but do get their written permission first. It is much more believable than putting two initials or aliases after a testimonial. It’s terrific if it can be videotaped. More people will watch it than read it.
3. Short Satisfaction Survey
You can also ask them to fill out a short satisfaction survey after you’ve rendered your service, Make it simple, ask them to rate your service on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. Leave room for additional comments they might want to add. This will not only help you understand your clients, but will also identify areas that might require improvements. Have them email it to you or provide a stamped self-addressed envelope.
4. Give Presentations
If you give presentations, invite them to bring a guest. You might give the client free admission (or credit his/her account later) in exchange for referring a paying guest. The possibilities are out there. Grab one that feels right for you.
Personally, when I started networking I was a bit shy and awkward. I felt it was selling (not my favorite thing to do and something we don’t do now). Then I came from a different mind place. I had value to give someone. We would partner to help them make their business and professional life more successful.. So, I came from a place of joy. Working with a coach could be life changing. . I imagine you know by now you need to be a giver and good things will come back to you (power of attraction). I now want to go to networking activities. It’s a great opportunity to meet people you may have never touched before. So go to events in which you feel comfortable and enjoy. Get involved – be part of a committee. Remember six degrees of separation – even if the person you are speaking with doesn’t need your services, they know many people who would love to connect with you. Go for it! Let me know how it works for you.
There are many ways to grow your business. These are some basic ones. I certainly have more advanced strategies as well. What has worked for you? Please let me know below.
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.
In my previous blog post, I discussed how Tim Templeton in his book, The Referral of a Lifetime, suggested how to divide your database into categories (A, B, C, D) based on their likelihood of referring people to you. To move people from one level to another (from B to A for example), you will want to keep in touch with them. Invest time and money on this group. This is well worth it. They will want to refer you to people in their world. People believe what others say about you more than what you might say yourself.
Templeton suggested perhaps the owners of your company write to previous clients. Thank the person for his/her previous business. That owner would then introduce you as someone in his company (if you are one) they could call as well as himself to see if they had any questions or comments. You state your associate will call in a few days to check in with them.
In a few days, you call and have a warmer call. Also, ask if you could follow-up with them periodically just to see how they are progressing, share some valuable articles and see if there was any way at all you could help them reach their goals. This ended up as a successful way to generate more referrals without even asking. It’s about relationships.
It’s suggested that you develop a follow-up program. Use a program like Infusion Soft, to automatically send out articles, and items of interest you develop for your database. You might also use “Send Out Cards” which is a reasonable way to keep in touch with a group of people rather inexpensively.
What ways do you use to keep in touch with special people personally and professionally?
Please write your comments below. I will respond.
In The Referral of a Lifetime, Tim Templeton discusses thinking about who is your cheerleader. They are people who feel strongly about you and your products and can refer you at a moment’s notice. Templeton believes there are about 10-20% of the people in your circle you can categorize in this way. They are your “A list”. Your “B list” needs some education about you but can easily move to the “A” category. He said it’s about 17-20% of people in your circle. The “C list” are those you are not are sure about but want to continue connecting with them. Your “D list” are people you don’t want to work with and can delete from your circle.
I’ve fired clients – they either didn’t honor our agreed upon date/time to speak a couple of times and didn’t give 24 hours notification as instructed. Or, they didn’t do the work so I wouldn’t take their money. It was not the place they should be. They needed a consultant to do the work for them. There are certainly a lot of benefits of using a consultant but you need to make sure they are reaching your audience in your voice and relay your message appropriately.
Divide your database into A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s. How you will reach out to them would be different. Develop a marketing plan for each category and either use a CRM if at all possible for automatic emails to be generated or if necessary, send them yourself or have a V.A. (virtual assistant) help you.
How do you reach out to people in your database? Don’t miss this important piece in your business. It will increase revenue big time. In future blog posts, I will give you suggestions. Stay tuned and post your thoughts below please. I will respond.