Mon, 27 April 2009
Real Secrets 037: How to Handle Incoming Leads
I get many requests each week from readers who want to know how they should deal with incoming “warm” leads. “These leads are more qualified because they are calling in," I hear over and over. But we all know this isn't necessarily true is it? In fact this attitude leads to the biggest mistake 80% of your competition is making when they receive warm leads --
“They go into pitch mode rather than qualification mode."
80% of your competition mistake the “implied interest" of a call in to mean they are already qualified, and all they need to do is explain their product or service. Wrong!
The Top 20%, on the other hand, know that warm leads can be some of the biggest time wasters of all, so they do what they always do -- disqualify people who are “just looking” so that they can identify the real buyers, and they do this by asking questions rather than pitching.
Here are some great questions to ask the next time you get a warm lead:
“Thank you for contacting us today, what was it about our ad/promotion/website that caused you to call us today?" [Listen for the buying motive]
“Who else are you looking into?” [Listen for your competition]
“What do you like best so far?"
“How long have you been thinking about (buying, investing, changing) something like this?" Then,
“What has kept you from acting on this?” [Listen for possible objections]
“When are you looking to make a decision on this?"
If you found this article helpful, then you can get 10 more GREAT TECHNIQUES for FREE by downloading my Special Report, “10 Techniques to Instantly Make You a Better Closer.” You can read about this by clicking here: http://www.mrinsidesales.com/report.htm and you can get it for FREE by signing up for my FREE weekly Ezine, “The Secrets of the Top 20%” by clicking here: http://www.mrinsidesales.com/ezine.htm
Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, offers FREE Closing Scripts, and a FREE audio program designed to help you double your income selling over the phone. He works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques of top 20% performance. If you want to Close Business like a Top Closer, then learn how at: http://www.MrInsideSales.com
Mon, 20 April 2009
Real Secrets 036: How To Handle the RFP Process
I was having lunch with a client last week and she was telling me about how frustrated she was with a prospect who wasn't calling her back.
"But our first meeting went so well," she told me.
I asked her what happened, and she told me that she visited with a prospect who currently has four other vendors and was initially resistant to using a fifth. My client persisted, however, developed good rapport, and the prospect said she could submit an RFP on their next job.
My client left feeling good about the lead and excited that she had been able to overcome the initial resistance. She went back to her office, put together her proposal, emailed it to the prospect and began following up. Not surprising to me (and soon to her), she got no response from the prospect.
“I can’t understand it!” She repeated.
I don’t know about you, but this whole transaction had Red Flags all over it. To begin with, whenever I hear “RFP Process,” a host of questions jump out at me. Here’s what I’m thinking (and you should be, too):
1. How many RFP’s are they getting?
All these thoughts need to be scripted into qualifying/disqualifying questions and you need to ask them before you enter any RFP Process. If you don’t get this information, chances are you’ll end up on the outside with no return call. And I’m sure you know how that feels!
If this makes sense to you, and if you’re having trouble coming up with your own scripted questions, then you’ll love my Complete Book of Phone Scripts, a 110 page downloadable e-Book that you can have in the next 10 minutes for just $49. Click Here to read more about it!
Enjoy, and from now on – know when and when not to enter the RFP Process.
If you found this article helpful, then you will love Mike’s new book: “The REAL Secrets of the Top 20% - How To Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone.” You can read about it by clicking here: http://www.mrinsidesales.com/bookmarketing.htm
Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques of top 20% performance.
He offers a FREE audio program designed to help you double your income selling over the phone, as well as an internationally acclaimed FREE ezine. If you’re looking to catapult your sales, or create a sales team that actually makes their monthly revenues, then learn how by visiting: http://www.MrInsideSales.com
Mon, 13 April 2009
Real Secrets 035: Change Your Self Talk – Change Your Results
First of all, did you know that you are talking to yourself all day long? (You’re thinking, “Do I talk to myself? What does he mean, talk to myself? I don’t talk to myself!”) Psychologists estimate that you are talking to yourself at a rate of 1,200 to 1,500 words a minute (in contrast, when we speak aloud we can only go up to 250 words a minute and that’s if we’re talking REAL FAST).
The problem is that most of our self-talk is negative. And even worse, we tend to believe our self-talk and that influences our performance – in a big way. For example, have you ever stopped to listen to your self-talk after you missed a sale? Mine used to go something like this:
“There I go again. I’m an idiot! I’m amazed I’ve ever made a sale. This product sucks, nobody is ever going to buy and I even knew he wouldn’t buy. I wonder when lunch is – do I have enough money for lunch today? I wonder if I’ll make a sale this week – how am I going to pay the rent if I don’t close at least X amount of business. I wonder how long they’ll keep me, shoot, why didn’t I stay in college. I hate sales….”
Sound familiar? This is the self-talk (or some variation of it) of 80% of your competition. Not very empowering, is it? And the biggest problem with this is that it leads to even poorer performance. With self-talk like this, you automatically stop using effective sales techniques, you don’t qualify properly, you begin using negative, closed ended questions, etc., and you anticipate being blown out (and then give up). In other words, poor self-talk leads to and creates poor sales performance.
Here’s the good news: The opposite is also true. When I committed to becoming a Top 20% producer, the first thing I did was begin to monitor and change my self-talk. When if missed a sale, I began to say:
“Gee, that wasn’t like me. Let me think about what didn’t go right with that and here’s what I’m going to do to change it. OK, I’ll use this line or I’ll ask this qualifying question next time, and here’s how I’m going to improve on my next sales call.”
Then I’d pick up the phone to prospect and say to myself, “OK, watch this, this will be much better!”
And it really worked! Suddenly, it was “like me” to use proper qualifying questions and to qualify red flags. Suddenly “I regularly” used my scripts and was “in the habit” of practicing perfection on each call. And my performance and production reflected it. Within 90 days I was the top closer in the office. And monitoring and changing my self-talk was a HUGE part of it.
I challenge you this week to begin getting accountable for what you say to yourself, and begin taking responsibility for your attitude. When you find something you don’t think is positive or helpful, don’t beat yourself up, but rather, change it to something more empowering. I’ve been using and teaching this (and other) attitude adjustment techniques for years and THEY WORK!
The bottom line is that your attitude determines how much of your ability, knowledge and desire you have. The question is, “What are you doing to improve yours?”
Mon, 6 April 2009
Real Secrets 034: How To Successfully Handle Objections
If you're like most sales reps, you hate to get objections. Your stomach aches, your palms start to sweat, and you can literally see your commissions fly out the window.
And, if you're like most sales reps, when you begin dealing with objections one of two things happen:
1) After you answer them, your prospect gives you another, then another objection and you go on the defensive...or
2) In answering the objection you tend to talk past the close, and you actually INTRODUCE more questions or objections! Now that's a sick feeling, isn't it?
Want an easier way to deal with the objections you get over and over again? Here's how to do it:
First, learn to listen. Don’t be so quick to interrupt your prospect because often times the way to overcome their objection is actually in the objection itself…
Second, if you don’t know how to respond to their objection, or don’t even understand what the objection is (which is the case for 80% of sales reps), ask for clarification. An effective technique is:
“Hum… I’m not sure I follow you, what exactly do you mean?”
This is a great technique because in restating their objection, many times prospects will either give you the answers you need, or sometimes they’ll even explain away their objection.
Third, after your prospect has clarified their objection and you fully understand what it is, you should always isolate it before answering it! Again, you must be patient and give your prospect every opportunity to help you deal with their objection.
Let’s use “The Price is too high” objection since it’s the most common. Most sales reps have been taught to build value to justify their price, or drop close to a lesser amount, or try to negotiate in some other way. While these techniques are valuable tools, they should only be used after you isolate the objection. Here’s what you say:
“I understand __________, and let’s put the price aside for a moment and make sure this (product or service) is something that will work for you. Let me ask you, if price weren’t an issue here, in other words, if this fit in with what you were willing to pay, would you go ahead and put me and my company to work for you?”
This one technique is the most powerful closing tool you’ll ever use in dealing with objections. Sadly, it’s used less than 10% of the time, and that’s the reason I keep getting emails asking me what the best way of dealing with objections is.
My suggestion to you today is to incorporate these two techniques and to see for yourself how much easier objection handling becomes for you. If you’d like more techniques like this that actually work, then invest $29 in yourself or your team and purchase and then use the other proven scripts and techniques in my “Complete Book of Phone Scripts.” Save 40% by using the coupon code, SCRIPTS. You don’t have to keep struggling – invest in yourself today!