For attendees of my Telesales Rep Colleges, and customized training programs for clients, I have a standing offer of evaluating their opening statements afterward. Here are a few submitted by the pros at Dobbs Publishing, a group of niched magazines for auto enthusiasts.Joe Galloway faxed over several openers. The first one: Good morning Mr. Grabowski, my name is Joe Galloway. I am with Dobbs Publishing and Super Ford magazine. If I've caught you at a good time I'd like to discuss your mail order program to determine if we might be able to help increase your profitability in this area of your business.Not bad, but we can make it better. First, this opener touches on the time issue before mentioning the possible result the prospect will get. Although I like this method of respecting the listener's time, I suggest it appear after the possible benefit. Although the remainder of it has a better chance of creating interest than resistance, let's spice it up by getting a bit more specific with the possible benefits.Here's a suggestion. After introducing himself and the magazine, Joe could say, I notice that you target Ford enthusiasts with your mail and phone order ads. Our magazine reaches proven direct marketing buyers, and if I've caught you at a good time, I'd like to discuss some potential opportunities to promote to Ford owners who you might not be reaching now. Here's another Joe submitted. I'm Joe Galloway with Dobbs Publishing. We specialize in reaching mail order customers through seven very targeted automotive magazines. If I've caught you at a good time, I'd like to review the opportunities that these titles might afford you to strengthen your mail order programs, and ultimately maximize your profitability. I like the first part, but the second half got a bit wordy and formal. Let's make it more conversational with If I've caught you at a good time, I'd like to discuss some ways you might be able to get more catalog and mail order customers. A Call to an Existing CustomerMatt French submitted one for a call to a regular advertiser, with the call objective being to increase the ad size. This is Matt French from Super Ford Magazine. I'm calling this morning in regards to the current ad you are running with us. I've noticed you have quite a few products in your 2/3 page ad, and I was wondering, depending on how much you plan on growing your business this year, if you would have a few minutes to discuss the opportunities that exist in gaining more market share by increasing your ad size?First, referring to the customer's existing situation is good, since it lets him know you're actually thinking about him as opposed to just smilin and dialin. What I would avoid, though, is any mention in the opening statement about increasing ad size. They're not ready yet; they'll look at that as an expense, not at the potential return. Here's an alternative. I was reviewing the products in the ad you're now running with us, and came up with some ideas. Depending on what your growth and promotional plans are for the next year or so, I might have a few options worth considering to generate more revenue from your ads.Notice that instead of talking about increasing ad size, we mention increasing the revenue, which is really all the advertiser is interested in. After getting into the questioning part of the call, then we can make the recommendation on the larger ad size, and he'll be much more receptive to it, since we will have explained how it will increase the revenue.Overall, nice job guys.Art Sobczak helps sales pros use the phone to prospect, service and sell more effectively, while eliminating morale-killing "rejection." He presents public seminars and customizes programs for companies. Art has a number of books, CD's and other learning resources to help sales reps. See free articles and back issues of his weekly emailed sales tips at www.BusinessByPhone.com
You pick up the phone, the decision maker is on the line, countless letters and attempts have been made to get to this point, your great benefit line comes out, response; not interested, click.Want to be able to engage customers with out creating resistance? Here are 2 vital elements everyone needs to be influential and persuasive. Now it does not matter if we are using the phone, walking in cold or in a retail setting. We need to avoid adding any additional resistance in the other persons mind. There is this avoidance of sales people in 80% of our population including other sales people. This is mainly because of product pushing, I dont want to be sold something. Here is the key; do I understand what the other person really wants? Do I have an idea of how to talk in their language? Can I ask a question that will drop resistance and engage them in conversation? It has been proven time and time again that shoving your product in front of someone will create resistance to you and your product. Review the first and second key from the last article (4 Keys to Selling), your customer buys the results of your product/service/idea because it fixes, fills or satisfies their perceived needs or wants. This means your product/service/idea is just a means to and end, not the main issue. 1. Our first action is to take the time and determine just what is it that our product/service/idea does for the other person. Determine what the real results are from using your product/service/idea. Here are some examples.A business owner might be looking for more time, better productivity, reducing hassle in some area, freeing up capital for something else. A young mother with 3 toddlers might be looking for best value, more time, better direction, safety, even just a listening ear. A plant manager might be looking for ways to get better compliance, reduce down time and get his numbers up, keeping his boss off his back. Think of your past and current customers, what is it your product/service/idea did for them? What did it reduce, take away, eliminate or create? Also keep in mind that people have a tendency to avoid loss more than obtain gain. This means if you can provide a better today, it generally has more power than a better tomorrow. In a recent training program we worked with a real conflict situation a participant was involved with. We ended up with over 50 whats in it for the other party points that could be used to engage the other party in a positive way! It took 5 minutes! 2. Second you want to engage your prospect or customer in a positive way. The best way is to develop questions that can engage rather than repel. Before we start, we have to understand what results your product can potentially provide for your customer. Here are some examples. Office equipment: Reduce work load, eliminate paper, eliminate errors, streamline process, reduce labor expense, free up time, create in-house opportunities, and eliminate daily frustrations. Real Estate Agent: Eliminate wasted time, reduce the stress of selling/buying, assure legalities are covered, target the market, professional image, experienced input, negotiations services, and eliminate the hassles.Now there are many more and I suggest you create at least 20 for your product. Here is a hint, list the facts about your product, then all the benefits related to that fact and then ask, What are the results to my customer/other party because of these benefits. Lets now apply these to questions that engage our customers. We want to use open type questions that get people talking. If we don not have them talking we have only partial engagement. Open questions use what, why, how in their structure. Mr. Jones, what effect would a reduced work load have on your staff?If you could eliminate both paper and errors in your current procedures, what would happen for you? Just suppose the frustrations you face on a daily basis were gone, how would it change things for you?Now put yourself in the customers shoes, how would you react to the previous questions versus this? We sell copiers and office machines of the highest quality with excellent service, when could we meet to determine your needs? How many words are in this question that create resistance or could be rejected by the customer? Compare that to the three questions above, which ones engage and which question repels. Now if your customer is a D-I* type you usually can ask for appointments or get quickly to the point. If you have an S-C* type they may want more info which you can give in the form of a quick example of another application you have done, not a litany of your products facts and benefits. This has proven to be a much more viable way to engage customers and people in general than talking about your stuff. People are concerned about their issues and problems, not your product or you. Engage them by asking about what a result might do to their concerns and issues. You will find them much more open and willing to talk. One of our participants in the Internet Technologies asked only one of these type questions and 20 minutes later closed on a million dollar deal! Just one question! The customer did all the talking and sold themselves. The power of engagement! For more on building these skills and thinking patterns, check out the Influence and Persuasion Program and Reverse Engineered Sales at our web site www.hgoergerassoc.com* DISC Behavior Patterns, ask us about how this can help you sell, manage and engage people. Questions or comments: Contact Harlan at Harlan@itstartswithyou.net cell phone 701-799-1972.
Yup, its Girl Scout Cookie time in our part of the world. [And, yes, my English teacher DID tell me never to start a sentence with the word Yup.] For those of you who are unfamiliar with the sights, tastes, and overall experience of helping your daughters sell Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-Si-Dos, youre missing a fundamental and wide-ranging education about the dynamics of sales, selling, and salespeople.Here are some points Ive garnered while helping my daughter, Rebecca, age 11, and Troop 3129, make their sales numbers. These pointers are hard-earned, field-tested, and as applicable to you and your business as they are to Rebecca and hers.1. Its who you know. Its true: the cookie business is a relationship business. Our next-door neighbor bought 9 boxes Bam! Neighbors on the other side, 2 boxes, then 3, then more. Why? Because Rebecca had something to sell. Whats your personal brand doing these days? If you switched products, services, or companies, would people buy from you JUST BECAUSE ITS YOU?2. Its not about the product. Its time to get the lawyers upset. Ready? Girl Scout Cookies, for the most part, taste terrible [Thin Mints are the one exception, in my humble opinion]. And they have enough fat, calories, and cholesterol in them to power a small Japanese alternative fuel vehicle. You want good cookies? Buy Oreos, Mallomars, Ginger Snaps, Nutter Butters, Grasshoppers, Deluxe Grahams, Fudge Sticks, etc. etc. Yet Girl Scout Cookies sell like crazy, year after year, donating millions to the bottom line of Girl Scouts of the USA. 3. Its not about price. Girl Scout Cookies cost $3 a box. The smallest box, by weight, is 7 oz. and the largest is 10 oz. Most retail cookies come packaged in a small size of around 12 oz. and cost about $2.49. Girl Scout Cookies even give premium brands, such as Pepperidge Farm, a run for their money when it comes to high cost. Did I mention one of our neighbors bought 9 boxes at a clip?4. Its not about need. Face it, nobody NEEDS Girl Scout Cookies. In fact, when the girls were out doing a Cookie Shop at a local hardware store (local merchants, malls, and grocery stores allow Girl Scouts to set up a table for sales on their premises to support the cause), the number one objection we heard was I already have some Girl Scout Cookies at home more than I need! So, why did they buy? Because they had a relationship with their salesperson that was more important than their need, desire, or use for the actual product. Hey, did you know that Girl Scout Cookies make great gifts, freeze really well, and are only sold for a short time each year? Can you learn from this and apply the lesson to YOUR sales message?5. Its not about competition; its all about contacts and referrals. So who is selling to all those customers who have Girl Scout Cookies at home more than they need? Naturally, its their Girl Scout. What are the chances of Rebecca selling a box of cookies to someone whose daughter is also selling the same cookies for the same price? You got it: less than zero. Is Rebecca going to bang her head against the wall bemoaning those lost sales? Of course not. Shes going to tap into her network of networks neighbors, cousins, kids and parents at the Y where she plays basketball, my former colleagues at my old job who have become good family friends (and Rebeccas customers in previous years). Do you know how to fill your pipeline when things seem dry? Do you know how to move your prospects along to becoming customers, satisfied customers, and then customers-for-life not of the product or service youre selling today, but of YOU and whatever value proposition you might be offering now and in the future?6. When times are tough and things look quiet, thats the time to push harder than ever. Cookie sales end at a certain time each year. Right now, were about two weeks away from the ending date, and there are Girl Scout Cookies being sold everywhere you look. Well probably have 10-12 boxes left over by the time the deadline comes. Are we depressed that we didnt meet our goal? Are we failures as salespeople? Only if we quit when its over. Dont you see that as soon as everyone else stops selling, stops marketing, and stops with the Cookie Shop setups -- these cookies move up from a commodity to a valuable asset? Its the same thing in your business: when the market is down, your competition has pulled their ads, its hunker-down time, get back to basics, and cut, cut, cut! However, thats the worst time to cut you have everyones attention! Theres actually much less noise out there for your message to compete against. Push now, and youll be heard!!! What does this all mean to you and your business? Its simple -- now is the time to get back in the saddle and ride your sales and marketing activities harder than ever. Youve got the floor. Youve got more relationships and more people rooting for you than you realize, and if you cut through the old excuses about your product, price, competition, the economy, and all the rest of it, youll see the sales breakthroughs that lie ahead. Why waste another minute?
Many more people want to buy your product or service, but they dont end up doing it! Thats because many companies are stuck in the print marketing mindset, and dont realize that there are a couple simple things that they can do online to increase their conversion rates. In this article, Ill outline three easy to implement changes that will take those extra sales right to the bank!1) Product / Service Image SizeChances are youve got images that represent or depict your product or service -- thats a common sense way to add familiarity to what you have or do! An eye tracking study has shown that small images are oftentimes overlooked and that medium sized images (210x230 pixels) provide near a 150% increase in the amount of time spent looking at the image. The same study has shown that people tend to focus their attention on photographs that contain a human face. Medium sized pictures with faces in them retain interest longer!2) Linking ImagesThe same study showed that people click on pictures, even when there is no indication that the picture is a link. For those images of products, link the image to the product page where they can buy your product! For those images depicting services, link the image to the related service information page or a contact page! Always link your images to the next step of your conversion process!3) Call to ActionVisitors that are interested in your product or service may not know what to do to get it. Or they may be interested enough to purchase or subscribe, but only if its easy -- otherwise theyre not interested. This often overlooked scenario is easily overcome by a call to action link on every page. The call to action could be as simple as "Find out more about XYZ Widget Model 3 here!" It could be a Buy Now button underneath an image. The most important part of content written for sales is to make that call to action. Youll quickly see that doing so will have you smiling all the way to the bank! Always have your visitors do something!After youve implemented these three simple changes into your website, sit back and watch your stats increase. Youll find that getting more conversions is a very pleasing scenario! As one last word of advice, other eye tracking studies (and possibly the same one Ive referenced throughout this article) have confirmed that many people let their eyes wander below a picture when theres text below it. Use that to your advantage by placing "Buy Now" buttons underneath your images. Good luck!Source: http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/photos.htm
I hope it has been some time since you last had a dead battery. It's not a lot of fun, especially if it is pouring rain and you don't have a set of jumper cables. Most people know a battery has a positive and a negative terminal. When jump-starting a car it is very important to know which is which. If you don't connect the negative terminal on one battery to the negative on the other, and then do the same with the positive connections, one can do serious damage to the battery and alternator. So what does this have to do with sales? Well if you think about it, those in sales have a negative and a positive. Instead of terminals, we call it attitude. Unlike a car battery, everyone knows the difference between a positive attitude and a negative attitude ... or do they? You would think this question is a no-brainer. A recent encounter caused me to wonder how evident this fact is. It is no secret to many in sales that those who maintain a positive mindset towards their daily tasks, their prospects and their clients will out perform those at the other end of the spectrum. Have you ever come across someone who didn't realize they have a negative attitude? I encountered someone recently that if you looked up the word negative in the dictionary you would have found a picture of this person. Envision a person firmly closed to new ideas or different ways of thinking. He was sceptical about the impact of mindset on actions and behaviors. He believes established processes are more critical than creatively thinking through a solution. He was openly argumentative with his peers, challenged his manager, and discounted others results. His only defence, "Ive always done it this way." He was fortunate in having established a sizable block of business contacts over the years; which helped him produce above the required corporate quota. I was left to wonder what his true potential could be if were to flip the dial from negative to positive. Those familiar with the pioneering work of psychologist Dr. Henry Murray will know he was one of the first to postulate a direct, observable link between thinking and behavior. In the 1960s and 70s, a Harvard professor, Dr. David McClelland extensively studied achievement motivation and concluded that successful individuals have a significantly stronger drive or motivation to succeed than do average or below average individuals. Building on these works, the late Dr. Clayton Lafferty noted that successful sales people were likely to engage in constructive thinking, while unsuccessful sales people were prone to think in counter-productive ways. Top sales people learn to be effective thinkers. That is, they consciously maintain a positive mindset; they focus on the sale and have established an inner drive to succeed. They combine their strong relationship skills with a strong belief in their clients. If you want to see what they look like, look up the word success in the dictionary! If you want to jump-start your sales performance - connect to the positive terminal.