The difference between cold calls and sales calls

When calling prospects in any field you have three basic type of “sales calls” you can make. You can call leads, lists, and cold calls. There are a few basic differences between them that you need to be aware of before you start the conversation so that you don’t lose a potential client. Continue reading

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Call your leads

You would think that as a self-employed professional you would be excited to get new leads, as excited as a child on Christmas morning. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, too many professionals are putting off calling their leads and but the time they do the leads have cooled off. Continue reading

The why and the why now

Sales is an art, an art of finding the right product for the right people. Many people who work in sales are not real salesmen, they think that forcing someone to buy or manipulating them is considered sales. In order to find the right product for the right client, you need to understand everything you can about the product. When I was working for 4chef a high-end kitchenware retailer I was the top salesman in the entire chain. Was I better than anyone else? No. I just took the time to understand how the product work.

To be a real salesman you only need to answer two unasked questions for the client, why and why now.

Why

Most of the time the client doesn’t know that he needs a certain product, he just knows he has a problem. It’s your job to know what product can solve his problem. The better your product fixes the problem the better the chances that the same client will come back to you when he needs something else.

Remember the first time the clients enters your place of business you had to get him there. whether you paid for advertising or give him a discount. Your real profit starts from the second time the clients comes to you and his referrals.

Why now

Why now, is the closer. While knowing what can solve the problem is an effective way to match the product with the client, why now is the most effective closer. People have a hard time making up their minds, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your pitch it’s jus how it is. That’s why the most common answer is “I have to think about it”.

Giving a reason to take action now is the most important part of the sale otherwise, why would the clients take action at all. The why now differs from business to business. Find a reason for the clients to take action on the spot, a discount, supplies running out etc.

The “way now” also helps you with clients that just can’t buy on the spot. You could give them an extension of the sale or whatever it is you offered them. For a limited time of course.

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

 

Your team doesn’t need you, but you need them

 

Most managers make the mistake of thinking that they are the most important chess piece. But no General has ever gotten anything done without having soldiers on the ground.  Thinking that you are above your team is one of the stupidest mistakes you can ever make.  It’s a mistake that might cost you your business.

The wrong way to do it

A team of ten salesmen, one of them is promoted to manager.  This manager wants to prove himself to the owners and his way of proving himself is increase the sales. Of course, this guy goes for the shortest route possible, meaning instead of improving the quality of the sales he decides he wants to improve the quantity.

He starts pushing his team to be more aggressive with their clients,  not to take “no” for an answer.  He notifies his team that he already spoke to and met some of their clients.  This pisses off the entire team,  five of them quit on the spot.

I don’t know about you but I think it’s going to be very difficult increase volume of sales  with only 40% of your team.

doing it the right way

For a business owner, the most important thing is profit, and profit can be achieved in two ways. One way is increase in volume of sales, another is increase in quality of sales. While increasing volume of sales might require aggression, Increase the quality of sales requires finesse.

Instead of pushing a client to make a decision on the spot you’re brainstorming with him to find the best solution.  by doing that you gain his Trust his loyalty.  I for one don’t see the point in having  thousands of clients who are only with you because they need you right now and will bail soon as they get a better offer.

I would rather “save game”  with the amount of clients already have knowing that when I get new ones they will be added to my cash flow instead of just filling up holes of clients already left.

Conclusion

The new manager had a good plan but he executed it poorly.  As a cog in the system he didn’t distinguish between the number of sales  and the total profit.  I’ll say it again, the business owner doesn’t care if he has a hundred clients or 10,000. He cares about how much money is flowing into his business. If he can achieve his goal with less clients  he will gladly do that.  Less client means less people to satisfy.

The bottom line will always be the money.

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

Your ahhhh is too long

We all have a filler when we talk everyone uses their own variation, bottom line we all feel like we need to make some kind of sound when we get stuck. And the times we get stuck the most is when we’re making stuff up.

How would you feel if you asked me for something and my first response was “ahhhhhh”. It’s clear that I’m thinking of an answer and buying time. If you pay attention you can hear people use their filler when they talk and depending on how long it is you can understand how truthful they are.

Is not that important what other people do, you have to pay more attention to yourself. If you’re making sales calls you have to cut those fillers as much as you possibly can. To do that you have to learn everything you possibly can about the product you’re selling. When you run into a question your hearing for the first time write it down, you will screw up from time to time. The point is not to make the same mistakes again and again.

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

Get a grip on reality – a call center fail

I was just in a meeting with a very nice old woman who has an online tutoring business. The professional side of the business is handled very well. She has teachers working from her offices (something that can save her a lot of migraine in the future). The one thing that doesn’t make sense is her sales department.

Her sales department consists of two people (from what I saw) and she’s trying to recruit salesmen aggressively. But something in her pitch doesn’t make sense.

She claims to have so many leads that a full call center of 12 will always have leads to call. She said the leads are never more than three days old, and she said that she pays more than $50 commission per sale. I don’t get how her call center is not packed with salesmen making millions of dollars.

When I asked her how this happened she explained that she doesn’t accept anyone for the job. She expects that a salesman will close two out of three leads. That will never happen! I don’t care how good he is. 

Understand that when you’re talking to a lead he might just want to get more information, he might be asking for a relative or a friend, and he might be one of those people with way too much time on their hands and nothing better to do with it.

In addition, the leads that will buy won’t all buy right now.

Potential problems

She’s clearly paying a lot for each lead and she doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. Meaning that if leads are not handled properly she can’t afford the loss. She also sounds like she doesn’t have a lot of sales experience even though she said she has been in sales for 20 years. Even worse there has to be something else I can’t see right away, otherwise, that call center would be crawling with salespeople.

How can you avoid this issue?

When first starting out try to do everything yourself. When you start hiring employees you have to know the business like the back of your hand. You have to understand where the root of the problem is before you can fix it. And never put the future of your business in the hands of your employees (at least till you get to know them).

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.

What is your client’s retention rate?

How long do your clients keep buying your products or use your services? If they do stop did you ever ask yourself why? We sometimes forget that for a client to spend money he has to get some kind of payoff. Did he get all he can out of your business after just three months? Six months?

Customer value

When you first get a client you spend money on advertising, you pay your sales department commission for the sales. So much money is flowing out of your business, it’s time to pump some money back in. A customers value is the profit you make off him after deducting all the costs.

Let’s assume you paid $1,000 for an ad campaign that brought you 10 new clients and that you paid a $10 commission to your sales team for each new client. That means the client start off at -$110 before you make any profit you have to cover the expenses. So unless your product profit is more than $110 you’re still losing money.

But then the clients buys again and you made more profit, but you didn’t have to pay for ads or sales. Each sale you make to that client increases his value. By the way, that same client can refer his friends and family to you and you will start making profits off the first sales.

Once you know what your average customer value is you can set goals for your business.

What do you do if the client doesn’t buy a second time?

There are many approaches, but the easiest is just calling him. Ask what he liked about the product and what he didn’t. Offer to compensate him if he feels that the product didn’t meet his expectations. And if you run into dissatisfied clients often try to redirect your ad campaign. You might be attracting the wrong clients.

Running a business is just making small corrections when needed. As long as you keep your finger on the pulse your business will grow.

I hope you found this post helpful, if so like it and share it with your friends. And while you’re at it, check out my ebook ‘level up your business’ a guide to starting your own business the right way.