How to get a client’s consent to a meeting and successfully hold it, how to develop confidence and successful “impudence”, how to constantly raise the bar of your own sales results, achieve and exceed it.
Ways to solve all these problems are described in detail in the proposed book.
Stephan Schiffman is one of America’s top sales trainers, president of DEI Management Group Inc., one of the largest US sales training companies.
Trained over 350,000 sales agents for organizations such as AT&T Information Systems, Chemical Bank, Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust, Motorola, and US Healthcare.
He is the president of DEI Management Group and the author of the following books: Transaction Technician That Actually Works!, Twenty-Five Habits of Successful Sales Agents, and several other popular books on sales.
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Your Main Competitor
Who is your main competitor?
You can list all the companies in your industry and, funnily enough, make a mistake. Whatever company you name, I can tell you that you are wrong. You can assume that you yourself are your competitor. And again you will be wrong.
You can say that your energy level is a competitor. By. Currently, your main competitor is the status quo, the current state of things. The status quo is what people are doing now. If you understand this, you can succeed.
We rarely have to fight a real competitor. Usually, we struggle with the current situation, with the status quo. Remember: most of your potential customers are happy with what they have, otherwise they would call you!
Where do the sales come from?
And now I’m going to discuss with you a fact that plunges many sales agents into the gloom.
So: no matter what you do, at best you will bring to successful completion only one-third of sales.
In fact, you and I probably met people who cannot even take a step on their own, but nevertheless, achieve some success in the field of sales. To feed themselves with this, they contrive because their actions are based on the needs of customers for a particular product. Sometimes something breaks, sometimes a person happens, they need a new car; sometimes you want to buy an extra bunch of salad, and sometimes a new TV.
Successful sales representatives understand that they will conclude a third of transactions in any case, simply by knocking on enough doors. But is that enough?
Sales that you never manage to make
You will never be able to make another third of your sales. Whatever you do, there will always be reasons why this third of transactions will not take place. You may be crossed by another sales agent. Perhaps some internal changes that are beyond your control in the company you are aiming at will interfere. In any case, the case will not burn out.
Sales worth competing for
The last third is sales, for which you have to fight. It is about them that we will talk. We will show you how to increase your competitiveness, how to agree on as many business meetings as possible and how to achieve the maximum number of transactions in this last third, and this is what distinguishes good sales agents from mediocre ones.
If you meet a sufficient number of people, in the end, you will be able to successfully conclude a deal. If you knock on enough doors, then whatever you do, the deal will end up.
It’s not enough just to meet people or talk to them on the phone. Appropriate techniques must also be used.
The Summary you might like: How to Find Fulfilling Work
Time is Everything
If we examine in detail the process of creating a customer base, it becomes clear why the concept of time is so important.
I know that in my case, from the moment I first meet with a potential client, until the moment when I make a deal with him, it usually takes about eight weeks.
So, let’s scroll in order and see how the whole process goes.
If I first spoke with you about the case, say, January 1, then I assume that the transaction will take place not in February, but in March, for example, on March 1. If my cycle takes 18 weeks, then it will take much longer, and the deal will be closer to May. If January 1 I’m busy and
I’m not calling anyone, because it’s a holiday, and I’m not calling anyone else, because I’m busy with something else, this puts off the day when I can count on a deal. Let’s say I did nothing on the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth or tenth of January. Accordingly, the transaction is pushed back to the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and so on of March. I think you got the point.
Look at this from this point of view: if you get money for a sale, when did you earn that money? It depends on your sales cycle – maybe three months ago, or maybe a year. If you did not start the search for a potential client a year ago, then now you will not receive any income.
Looking at things from this point of view, you will immediately realize that it is the meetings that you will arrange today that will give you potential customers, and this, in turn, will lead to a deal at the end of the sales cycle.
Now that you know how important time is, you probably are already jumping to your feet with the thought: “You need to start immediately!” Time is an extremely important factor.
The more the sales process goes beyond the normal sales cycle, the less likely it is to close a deal.
Open The Doors
Our company has an open-door policy. Anyone can meet with me. In practice, I try to answer all the phone calls. I believe that it is important for me to meet with each sales representative who so desires. I strive to meet with them and understand what they want to sell.
In my opinion, a leader who does not seek to talk with sales agents from time to time is acting stupidly. Why not try to always be in the know about what is happening in this area? Of course, not everyone thinks so. (After all, our work would be much simpler, wouldn’t it?)
It doesn’t matter if your potential customers are pursuing an open door policy or not. Your main goal is to arrange a business meeting.
With Numbers in Hand
Business Meetings give you Clients, and they bring you Sales.
If you don’t have an appointment for today, what are your chances of finding new customers? You have no chance.
If you do not have new customers, what are your chances to sell? Again there is no chance.
It is important to know this: how many meetings do you need to find in order to find one true potential customer? (A potential customer is someone who consciously agrees to work with you in the sales process.)
The number of business meetings will always be greater than the potential customer base, which, in turn, will exceed the size of the real customer base. It looks like a pyramid in which business meetings are the foundation, potential customers are the middle part, and the deals made are the top.
Cold calls are a game with numbers (or, to be more precise, a game with proportions). This game also manages your sales.
How many calls do you make daily? Do they bring you enough meetings to succeed? I know that I have to make one new appointment a day, that for this I need to make fifteen calls and talk with at least seven people. I do this five days a week. These are my indicators.
How many meetings do you need to schedule in order to succeed? If the same five pieces a week, do you succeed? If you need ten business meetings a week, do you manage to set them up? And, more importantly, how do you determine which particular indicators suit you?
You need to know these indicators and their ratios.
I’m going to demonstrate how easy it is to increase your sales by having one or two more meetings each week. You absolutely do not need to appoint twenty additional meetings a day. This is just unreal. But if you manage to appoint more than one appointment every day, the number of sales will increase accordingly.
Many sales agents have no idea where these numbers come from. For them, everything that happened happens spontaneously, in itself. But managing your career in this way is impossible. You should use only indicators that will help you calculate the real number of transactions and / or meetings that should be carried out every day, week, month and year.
How to Avoid Ups and Downs
There is another reason why finding potential customers and making appointments is so important. It is associated with ups and downs, ups and downs, which account for so many trading agents.
Most of these people do not understand that ups and downs can be avoided! Let’s try to understand where these ups and downs come from.
Think about how many failures per sale. You will understand that by closing a deal you are actually losing potential customers! Suppose you are working with twenty potential customers. These are twenty people that you have already met and are going to meet again.
Suppose also that in your case, five potential customers have one deal. When working with twenty potential customers, it turns out that when you make a deal with one of them, four more say no. Therefore,
there is one deal per five potential customers, that is, only fifteen people remain on your list (although it seems that all nineteen remain active). If you make another sale, you will have only ten potential customers. After the next sale, there will be only five of them. And then not a single one at all.
Trading agents often repeat the process just described by me and themselves find themselves guilty of peaks and dips.
Agents do not quickly replenish the customer base. Working with twenty clients, they conclude four to five transactions, but at the same time, they do not restore the potential customer base.
To avoid peaks and downturns, you should constantly replenish and restore the customer base.
In order to really understand how successful the sales process is, you should evaluate the average for three months. In this case, the numbers begin to suspiciously resemble one-third of the sales that sales agents should have performed in any case. The difference will be noticeable only when the agents are constantly working to replenish the database of potential customers.
Do Not Stop Searching for Customers
If the past week, month or year was successful for you, this does not mean that you can pause the search for potential customers. One of our biggest mistakes is that we convince ourselves that there is no need to constantly look for new customers.
We are happy and content with how things are going; we think that looking for a new job is not necessary. Search for potential customers continuously without missing a single day.
Of course, sales also play an important role, but no more important than working with potential customers. And the main thing in this work is to replenish the potential customer base through business meetings.
If you do not have enough meetings, you will not have enough potential customers. And if you do not have enough potential customers, you will not be able to conclude the right number of transactions and fly out of business. DW = K = P! Remember this, and then you can avoid peaks and dips.
Five Ways to Double Your Income
Depending on what we do with them, we can double our income in five different ways:
- Double the number of calls.
The first way to double your income is to simply double the number of calls. If you can actually double the number of calls you make every day, do so. You do not need my advice. Double the number of calls and the number of sales will increase. Unfortunately, for most people this is unrealistic.
- Call more often.
The second way to double your income is to get involved with a large number of people. Think about how such changes can affect your performance.
- Make more appointments.
The third way to double your income is to simply increase the number of appointments. If I could make one extra appointment each day, it would bring me a huge extra income! But even a slight increase in this indicator can give astounding results.
- Make more deals.
The fourth way to increase revenue is to conclude a larger number of transactions with potential customers who have scheduled an appointment.
- Try to get more money from each transaction.
And finally, I can take on the last number, fifty new customers, and simply raise the bid. If I began to receive twice as much money on each transaction, I could (at least theoretically) double my income.
- Where to look for contacts?
- What is a potential customer?
- How is it different from contact?
It often happens that a sales agent cannot give an exact definition of the concept of “potential customer”. To understand where contacts and potential customers come from, you should carefully consider the very beginning of the sales process.
Suppose I have determined which company I would like to collaborate with. Usually, I look for it, study it and put it in my database. What do I have at this stage? Do I have a potential customer? If you specifically invent a term, you can call it a candidate. You can – by the client. You can – a suspect. You can call it anything you like. I consider such a person an “opportunity” – an opportunity to establish business ties. He is not is a potential customer. But you can certainly say that after you determine the target company, your chances of concluding a deal will increase!
Now suppose I took the next step – made an appointment. In two weeks I’m going to meet with a person for the first time to tell me what I am offering and try to find out what this person does and how he does it. Now, do I have a potential customer? Of course, there is a possibility that a person will refuse to meet, postpone it or reschedule it for another day. This happens not only constantly, but often enough, so this opportunity cannot be ignored.
Therefore, even the fact that the first meeting has already been scheduled does not mean that we are dealing with a potential client. This is still an opportunity, candidate or contact.
A potential customer is someone who goes through all stages of the trading process.
There are many methods for creating contacts.
The most important tool you have for this is called a wireless telegraph – each of your acquaintances has an average of two hundred and fifty acquaintances. Therefore, you must be aware of how important it is for you to tell others what you are doing.
The problem is that most of us do not know how to tell our interlocutor what we are doing during a meeting.
To the question of what you are doing, most sales representatives answer: with trading operations. Of course, this does not mean anything at all. You must compose a clear, detailed description of your business that you could use for promotional purposes.
Cold Call Mechanics
The first call to a stranger consists of five components:
- Grab the attention of the interlocutor
- Introduce yourself and your company
- Explain the reason for your call
- Say a question or an evaluation statement
- Schedule a business meeting.
Take notes – this will help you develop your own cold-call scenario.
Cold Calls – Six Extra Tips
Below are six specific tips to help you more effectively negotiate over the phone. For the successful application of this program, you should familiarize yourself with them and use them in your practice.
It is very important to apply all six techniques, although each of them alone will already help you achieve great success in making business meetings.
- Use a mirror. A great investment for one dollar and seventy-nine cents. Go to the store and buy a small pocket mirror. Put it in front of you and look at yourself when you start calling. During the conversation, you should smile. What for? When you smile, the muscles responsible for the smile affect your larynx and your voice sounds better. Your voice will be better than voice a competitor who does not use mirrors. This will give you an edge.
- Use a timer. Calculate how much time you need to have a successful conversation. This is important because there is no need to have a conversation longer than necessary. If in order to arrange a business meeting, you may need two or three minutes, these two or three minutes should be limited. Here’s another important rule: Estimate in advance how much you intend to talk.
- Train! Having finished reading this book, spend at least three hours honing the principles that you met, it is necessary for successful work. Training is repetition. Ask your other half or your friend to help you. Ask this person to work with you until you have a perfect call technique. Practicing on a potential client is pointless!
During a real conversation, you think of too many things; your attention is focused on communicating with the interlocutor, and not on understanding the basics of the conversation.
- Keep a record of your calls. In other words, learn to work with your indicators. A successful sales agent not only knows their indicators but also knows how to use them, analyze their relationships and set appropriate goals based on these indicators. Take the habit of tracking that key indicator: the number of sets, the number of completed conversations and the number of scheduled business meetings. Determine for yourself what indicators you need to achieve. Calculate how many business meetings you should have each day in order to conclude the required number of transactions by the end of the year.
- Record your conversations on a tape recorder. In many places, recording conversations on a tape recorder and listening to them for personal purposes is considered quite legal. I would recommend that you listen to all your phone calls for one week. Pay attention to both interlocutors. How does what you say sound? What kind of answers do you get? Listen to 75 percent of your conversations next week, 50 percent in the third week, and 10 in the fourth week. I guarantee you that in this case, your scores for appointments will improve by one third.
- Talk while standing. Get up while you talk! If you make cold calls while standing, your voice sounds more lively (especially if you do not wait for the moment when you are completely exhausted). And you yourself feel better. Your voice will sound more pleasant, and this again will give you the competitive advantage that is so necessary for success.
Put it all into practice!
How to leave a message that will give a positive result
In the age of voice mail, you need to know how to leave a message in order to increase your chances of a callback.
I am going to offer you two specific, very effective ways by which you can leave the correct message on the answering machine. The first method provides 65-75 percent of the return calls. The second is much more effective – up to 99 percent of the people to whom you leave messages will answer you!
If you still do not call back …
I do not insist on the need to call people after a certain period.
My approach is simple: having called, I expect a callback. If I haven’t been called back within a week or so, I assume that the potential client hasn’t received my message and will call you back.
As a rule, within one month I make no more than four attempts to get in touch with those who make decisions in this company. You should adhere to this rule.
How to deal with “hung” contacts?
Failed phone contacts are “God’s punishment” for all sales representatives. We call someone again and again, they call us, but we just can’t talk. How to be
Sales representatives face this obstacle every day. We are unable to contact about a third of the people we are trying to reach — they do not answer the phone. Either they are busy, or they are not in place, or they are at a meeting. You call and call, but a little sense. It is depressing.
My own approach to making business meetings is based on the assumption that a potential client and I should meet with each other. After all, why should I doubt it? And I use the same assumption when encountering a “hung” contact. I call a potential client, say that I am interested in the meeting and try to organize it.
The potential customer also shows some interest. Maybe this person does not say directly: “Yes, it interests me”, but he does not say: “No, I will not meet with you” or “No, and do not call me anymore.” Perhaps one or two times in your entire career you will hear a similar answer, but let’s consider possible options.
What is the question, that is the answer, and therefore most people either answer: “No, this is not the right time,” or they agree to a meeting. How do “stuck” contacts occur?
The problem is that in practice you do not come into contact with a potential client. By contacting you can make an appointment. But do you really need to mess with him? Maybe you will be able to arrange a meeting using existing resources?
Principles of a successful sale
The only thing that worries me about the courses I teach is whether they help people make more deals? If not, then these courses do not bring any benefit. The goal of my program is to help people do what they do – that is, to sell goods – better, that is, to conclude more transactions.
And now let’s remember this and consider some basic principles for achieving success in the sales process.
- Each stage leads to the next stage. The sole purpose of a cold call is to obtain consent to a business meeting. The sole purpose of a business meeting is to move to the next stage of the sales process. The next step may be a second meeting or a deal. This should be aware. The goal of each step of the sales process is to move to the next stage. If your actions do not help you move forward, act differently.
- You must anticipate all objections and answers. All that I have created in the field of trading theory is based on the fact that I know in advance the answer that the potential client will give – that I can learn to anticipate the interlocutor’s response during a cold call or in person.
- The repeated call is an integral part of the sales process.
- You should know what the potential client is doing. Find out what exactly this person does! Ask him what he does, how he does it, when he does it, where he does it, with whom he does it and why he does it this way. Your job is to help him do it better.
- What is the question, such is the answer. The answers you receive are similar in all respects to your questions. I have repeatedly emphasized that if you ask: “Do you need my services?”, Then there’s a great chance to hear just “no.” If instead of this question, you tell a person how you can help him do his job better, you will succeed.
- Be sure to ask for a meeting. One of the greatest mistakes sales representatives make is that they do not ask for a meeting. I heard them ask for anything except a meeting during a business conversation. And what do you think they get? Certainly not consent to the meeting!
The Final Words
From success to failure there are only 72 hours. I think any person came up with great ideas that were never implemented. And after half a year or a year, we learn that someone else has brought our idea to life.
What is the matter?
Yes, that this man not only thought but did.
You can read this book, but if you do not start applying the concept that we discussed within 72 hours, and then do not continue your activity for 21 days, you will not succeed. React immediately!
See what you can start applying now! Act without delay!
Changing sales techniques within 72 hours is the real key to success.
Why You Should Read “Cold Calling Techniques”
- To become a much better salesperson
- To be able to turn cold prospects into loyal customers
- To drive sales and revenue to your business
This book is available as: