A Game Of Chess

You’re on the sales call and as you sit across your potential client looking eye to eye, you have now walked into a game of chess.

Understand this whether you are new to the game or a seasoned veteran, before you place one foot into your prospect’s door, they have been walking through scenario after scenario within their mind. They have built a wall, loaded their cannon with every known objection they could think of and already convinced themselves to think about the offer before making a decision. Through the 23 years in sales, if I could clone a salesperson who I envision would learn how to sell a product or service and how to overcome objections…it would be a business owner. They have been exposed to salespeople since day one of opening the doors to their business and plugging in their phone into the outlet in their wall. Keeping that in mind, this would motivate any smart salesperson to implement a game plan. Never walk into an appointment thinking that your God given talents is all you need because that is the furthest from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I understand approach, personality and confidence go a long way but you attain confidence by being prepared. Failure to plan is planning to fail as we all know.

So you already planned for the objections and so has the customer. My number one rule of thumb is to remove the objections before they come up. How do you do that? As you’re engaging with your “opponent” by asking questions, you can intertwine a statement that will remove the objection. An example of this would be, “John you know as well as I do, business owners would buy from salespeople all day and all night if that salesperson brought something of value that would provide a solution right?” By doing this, you’re gaining their agreement and as long as you highlight the value of your product or service and you remind them what you both agreed upon, the objection rarely will come up or if it does later in the sales call-it’s powerless now.

I’ve learned that having answers to all the prospect’s objection is not the best advantage point. Think about you and your spouse get in a heated conversation and you seem to always try to prove a point or come out with answers at the top of your head…it rarely turns out well and the same rule applies to a sales call and that’s why you must remove the objections before you make your next move. Now the objections have been addressed, how do you get one step closer to winning the game?

Once you’ve identified the client’s needs it’s now time to unveil your solution and why they need to do business with you. The best way to position this is to always let them know based off what they mentioned earlier in the sales call, you believe you have a solution that will help them to achieve their business objectives and goals. Then I talk about the solution and how it’s helped other businesses and give them real data, share some success stories and get them to experience the potential results of a mutual partnership. A strategy I’ve used on many sales calls is I let the decision maker know that whether they buy from me or another company, the information that we’ve covered will give them a better idea on what they need to do in order to grow their business. The truth of the matter is whether they buy from you or not, they will still be in business and you will still be in business as well. This takes your confidence and conviction to a whole new level. The client buys into it and it’s something that few salespeople would ever say because most are trying to sell their product to hard while bashing the competition. CHECKMATE!

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Prospecting With A Purpose

Your weekend is coming to an end and you start to dread the break of dawn come Monday because you know what that means. The “P” word comes into play and to be honest, you are not looking forward to it at all. Whether you call it cold calling, prospecting, watering or cultivating it’s not on the Top 10 reasons why salespeople love the sales industry. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some folks out there that claim to love prospecting and it’s not that I don’t believe them…it’s just that to the 99.9% of people that are doing it on a daily basis if they had a choice to go without doing it yet still hit their new business objective then I’m sure they would choose not to do it.

How are you prospecting? Are you shooting from the hip and just rolling up your sleeves and jumping in the trenches or are you sorting out lead groups in Salesforce by street or verticals? The secret behind making the most out of prospecting is to do it with a “purpose!” What do I mean? Are you prospecting because it’s something you need to do so you can make your commission or are you doing it because you are convinced that the product or service you have to offer serves a greater purpose in solving your prospects concerns, challenges and needs? Hopefully the latter. You need to understand that prospecting even in a virtual world is one of the most important pieces to your overall success in your career or it can be the cancer in your career.

So let’s address prospecting with a purpose. In order to prospect with a purpose, you need to prep and plan. If you are working off a list of prospects or potential clients, before you step foot in their door make sure you do your due diligence and pull up information that doesn’t necessarily talk about your product but does address their business, their market and some success stories. I like to relate the prospecting to appointment setting experience as a cut or wound you get as a kid. Think about kids when they scratch or cut themselves. They are in so much pain so the first thing they ask for is a band-aid. Even though the band-aid doesn’t stop the pain, to kids they believe it makes it feel better. In order for that cut to heal, you need to tear off the band-aid and let it air out. The same rule applies to needs of a business owner. The band-aid they wear is represented as objections and in order to provide your potential clients with the best service, you need to rip off that band-aid and expose the wound.

I have spent 16 years in the digital space selling online products and services that help businesses attract new clients. One of our main products we sell are websites for small to medium-sized businesses. Now I can tell you, our industry is super competitive and business owners have many choices and many companies, small agencies and large companies they can choose from. Here is an example of how I prospect with a purpose. I will pull up an organic search for their specific product or service and see if they show up on the first page or even second page of google then I will do the same on a mobile phone since most online consumers search from their mobile device and finally I will use the Google keyword planner to show the client their market opportunity on their main keyword phrases. This is all I need to be able to give them a reason why I am there and the benefit in giving me some of their time.

Hi what’s you name? Nice to meet you. My name is Brandon. I made it a priority to stop by and introduce myself because there have been some major changes recently online which ultimately effects how this business is represented and found. Are you aware of the latest changes on mobile? Of course they might mention that they know everyone searches on their mobile phones but that’s obvious. So what I’ll do is start imputing a search in my phone and then hand them the phone. Here, let me show you something (get the phone in their hand) Do you know any of these businesses that are showing up on the page view when I put in printing companies in Orange County, Ca? Well the good news is as a consumer I have many options to choose from but for you as a business owner competing in the space, you currently aren’t an option. Were you aware of that? What you should be even more concerned about is that there are 1600 searches every month on Google alone and I’m sure this won’t shock you but 60% of those searches are derived from a mobile phone. By you not having a mobile site, you are willing closing the doors to 60% of your market potential. Think about it this way, as we speak right now there are online consumers looking for a product or service you provide and you’re not there. You agree it’s important to be an option when your potential clients are looking online correct? Great…so let’s go ahead and talk about what you would like to accomplish online, talk about some of your business objectives and then I can explain how I can provide a solution that will fit in line with your goals.

As you can see from my example above, prospecting with a purpose provides a greater depth of substance. By following this technique, you will spend less time on burning through leads and more time focusing on the quality of each prospect. To learn more about how to apply this technique to your current industry, reach out to me directly at onlineprofessional@icloud.com

First Date Failure-Sales Call

Remember when you made the decision to put yourself out there in the dating scene hoping to find Mr. or Ms. Right? I’m sure you can scroll through the dates and a few stand out whether it took place at a memorable location, you had the best food at an amazing restaurant or you had a once in a lifetime experience. Whatever it is you experienced whether good or bad…you remember and you will always remember. What stands out the most to me usually comes down to the conversation. Was there chemistry or wasn’t there? Did the conversation have a natural flow or was it forced or worse yet were you just there to observe a one-sided chat session? The infamous one-sided conversation that many of us experienced at some point in our lives. You find yourself trying to prevent the yawns and nods from happening so you force out that pain filled smile and turn your head slightly to the side like scruffy does when he’s laying on the couch and he hears you call his name.

Although we’ve been on the receiving end…some of us now have become that annoying “Andy or Angela” disaster date. Those of us who chose sales as our profession understand what I am talking about. When meeting with a qualified prospect understand that the first call will leave a lasting impression whether good or bad. I’ve been on too many calls where the sales rep is talking about all the great products and services that we offer and why they should do business with us and that’s supposed to seal the deal? Not even close. Just as we would extend the FAKE SMILE and remember the manners we were taught growing up, your prospect will do the same.

So what does this mean to you? A prolonged sales cycle and the friendly brush off which comes in many forms and fashions that leaves reps scratching their heads during their weekly forecast meetings. So what’s the secret? There is no secret. “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find!” 

The key to doing business no matter what industry you’re in is asking questions that matter. What is important to your prospect? What keeps them up at night? What are their short and long term goals? So how many questions should you ask and what are the right questions? Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Keep in mind that you are a physician in your profession. You would never prescribe without a diagnosis and commit malpractice so why do it in sales?

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