How to Make Selling Easier
How many times do you need to contact a prospect before you close a sale? The average is twenty-three times. If you didn’t need to call twenty-three times, would that make selling easier?
40% of salespeople say that prospecting is the worst part of the sales process and 33% of their day is doing just that! 37% of the sales people said that getting in touch with prospects is one of their biggest challenges. We have found that working with an appointment setting/lead generation firm helps shorten the sales process and cuts the time spent on prospecting.
Appointment setting companies, such as EAS LeadGen, cut through the chase of cold calling and prequalifying prospects. In fact, our clients typically make seven calls to prospects, which is 70% less than companies that do not use appointment setting/lead generation firms. Focusing on closing the sale instead of prequalifying and cold calling speeds up the sales process.
Using a professional appointment setting/lead generation firm speed up your sales process, introduce more prospects to your sales pipeline and save your sales team from their least favorite activity – cold calling. Removing this challenge lets your sales team hone in on what they do best – selling.
Top 25 Ideas to Stimulate Sales
Save your job. Increase your commission check. Stimulate sales. Lead generation. The buzz words of the moment. While scouring the web for the best sales ideas – a “Top 25” list was created.
Follow-up on old leads – Emails, calls, business cards – anything that would be considered “old” could still be converted into a sale. Now is the time to follow-up.
Increase online advertising – If you have the type of business where e-commerce will work, now is the time to increase your online advertising dollars. Online sales are less costly than hiring new sales people.
Blog, Blog, Blog – Grass roots marketing is a great way to increase your exposure. Pay attention to bloggers – they are a great way for free exposure.
Give clients more – To retain your clients – you may want to offer them more. Warranties, customer support, anything extra that will help you stand out from your competitors.
Give back – Give back to your loyal customers. Offer a discount, sponsor an event, offer marketing support for a newsletter – reward their loyalty.
Protect – Protect your current customers by offering a deal for a long term commitment. This will help you retain sales.
Increase service ¬ – Increase your level of service, not only to your existing clients, but also to potential clients. Understand what they are looking for and add that service/product.
Social media – Use social media for prospecting – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace…
Understand – Understand the process and buying decisions by your current and potential clients. Know the cash flow and who is involved in the process.
References – Use references/examples when prospecting to demonstrate how you can benefit the prospect’s company.
Stay close – Competition is on the prowl; stay close to your customer base.
Customer loyalty – Make sure you have the right approach, products, and solutions for your customers to keep them loyal.
Extra care – Take extra care of your existing customers while prospecting. Your current customers are the ones providing you with sales; they should not be ignored in the prospecting process.
Build your message – Identifying your customers wants and needs will help you show your value in the market place.
Expand – Offer new products and services to help you expand your customer base.
Stay together – Sales and marketing should work together, switching focus from branding to lead generation.
E-newsletter – Happy customers are a great source for advertising. Keep them connected to your business by using an E-newsletter.
E-newsletter one better – Feature a customer in a newsletter. The customer may link themselves to your website – or post the newsletter on their site – which will serve as another outlet for advertising.
New clients – Take the road less traveled, find new prospects.
Your message – Define your message using various tools to spread it: presentations, speeches, testimonials and press releases.
Your message (even better) – Post your message online to expand your reach. Presentations, speeches… should all be online.
Back to school – Commit to learning; you will serve clients better by learning more. Knowing your client’s/prospect’s competition, what is happening in the market place, and new products and services offered.
Value proposition – Sales people should know their value proposition. They should be able to convince prospects how they can help them to meet their goals and overcome challenges.
Repurpose – Market or repurpose your product or service.
Think outside the box – Now is the time to get creative. If what you were doing before is not working, change, try something new.
The Greatest Sales People
With EAS LeadGen being a business-to-business lead generation organization, our main focus is to generate leads for you to turn into sales. We found this article really interesting and thought we would share it with you. A complete article about these “Top 10 Sales People” can be found on www.inc.com.
Top 10 Sales People
Mary Kay Ash
John H. Patterson
Each of these people has a very unique story. One of them found 1-800 Mattress, and another was the leading Steinway piano sales person with over $40 million in sales. They are pioneers in the sales industry.
Can you think of any other sales pioneers that should be listed?
Open the Door for Sales and Don’t Get Locked Out!
How many times have you received a call from someone trying to sell you something – and you say “take me off your list” or “I’m not interested”? More times than you can remember? Now – envision what your sales team goes through when they cold call prospects. That must be rough. Even worse is that they need to do it day in and day out.
Over 60% of sales professionals say they like cold calling the least about their jobs – but yet they still need to do it to achieve the ultimate goal of selling. And of the cold calls they make – only 2% of them result in a meeting. Now that is depressing.
At EAS LeadGen, a professional business-to-business appointment setting firm, we work with companies that want their sales team to sell. Can you imagine that there are people out there that like to make cold calls? There are – and they work for LeadGen. They work as an extension of your sales team – cold calling prospects with the ultimate goal of making appointments. During their relationship building calls with prospects – they gather great intel on the prospect.
Some of this intel has helped LeadGen’s clients expand who they thought their prospects were and even create new services/products. And here is the best part – LeadGen’s call to meeting percentage is higher than 2%!
Open the door to more appointments and sales for your sales team and outsource with a professional appointment setting team.
Are Your Sales Goals on Target?
Mid February marks the midway point of the first quarter. Where do you stand with sales? Are you on target for this years’ numbers? Hopefully you are on or exceeding your targeted goals for the quarter. If you are just missing or looking for something that will help push you past your target, consider outsourcing some of your lead generation.
Outsourcing your lead generation process will remove the cumbersomeness of prospecting while funneling more leads into your sales pipeline. The best part about these leads is that they are warm leads. They do not need as much cultivation as a cold prospect would.
Using an executive appointment setting firm, like EAS LeadGen, we are able to hone in on prospects that are ripe for your company. We just don’t send you a list of companies that show some interest in you from a mass email that was sent out. LeadGen knows that to satisfy their customers, we must present you with prospects that have the need and want what you have to offer.
Think again, are your sales goals on target? If not it might be the time to consider using an appointment setting firm.
How to Close More Sales this Year
I just read an article about how to close more sales, and the key point of the article was to become a “trusted advisor” to the prospect. It gives tips on the art of relationship building with sales prospects and how you should show genuine interest in them. By doing this, you will be able to close more sales.
But here’s the thing, shouldn’t you have more prospects to close more sales? Granted if you have five prospects and you work them, and listen to them, and take every call – giving advice on what to buy their mother-in-law or where is a good place to stay in Cabo San Lucas; you should be able to convert most of those prospects into clients.
What if a company handed you appointments with 40 prospects? Would you be able to convert more prospects into sales? The relationships will already be established, this will give you more time to hone in on your sales skills, and demonstrate how your company will benefit the prospect by using your service.
It seems like a no-brainer. More appointments with prospects will lead to more sales.
Which will you choose this year?
What Every Sales Professional Needs Right Now
There are so many lists online of things that every sales person should have – from skills to technology. Some of the lists are quite humorous – listing motivation and selling skills as things sales people need. Nothing like having an unmotivated sales person! Here’s some of the “must haves” from various lists:
ability to work from home
CRM mobile app
various apps for paying, tracking & note taking
There are many more lists that contain information about the latest technology and how it will benefit a sales professional. Did you notice anything missing from the list? How about an updated CRM or a prospect list? Or a list of industries that use or need your product or service? Developing a prospect list can be done by you or an outside resource. During your meeting with prospects is the time to unleash your gifted selling skills. Your knowledge, motivation, Google Maps, presentation and gift of small talk will help you close the sale with those prospects.
What’s missing off of your sales “must have” list?
Sales Presentations - What do people remember?
This has been posted several places on the web – and I found it interesting when thinking about the sales process.
Do remember, during a sales presentation, people typically comprehend:
11% of what they hear
32% of what they see
73% of what they hear & see
90% of what they hear, see & discuss
It's Time to Get into Sales Shape
Many people make resolutions about getting in shape for the New Year, but what are they doing about sales? Last year is over – done – past – it is time to think about the future – 2019 and beyond. What are your plans to get your sales back on track, to turn them around?
Hopefully you created a sales plan – similar to your exercise plan – with goals of dates and sales figures (instead of pounds). If you haven’t – there is still time. Did you remember to include changes in the sales climate from last year?
Has your competition changed? Unfortunately some companies did not make it through last, others have streamlined their businesses. Some of your competitors may not be there or they may not be offering what they were before. Some may have taken advantage of the economic climate and diversified by expanding their offerings. Research – get the picture of what is going on with them.
Has your company expanded or modified products/services? If this has changed – it is important to find out if there is new competition. Do your current customers know about the changes? How are you going to relay information about any expansions?
Has your pricing changed? Many companies changed their pricing to keep customers, to become more competitive or to keep profits the same. What did your competition do? If you made changes are they remaining or are there more changes on the horizon?
How has your company support changed? If there were cuts in personnel – this may have made a difference in ordering or customer service. What are you going to do to make sure clients feel that they are getting the same quality of service/product from you?
What are the new avenues for marketing? It should be safe to say that 2017 was the year of social media or an electronic form of guerilla marketing. What is the buzz for 2018? Print media still seems to be on the decline. Events such as seminars and trade shows may be picking up – they don’t create business unless there is follow-up. SEO is very important – but what do you do with the leads that come in? You can tweet, email, call and mail. Marketing dollars should be spent where you are going to get the best returns.
These pieces are important for your plan. But, if you are in sales – you strength is in selling. Will you be the one gathering this information? Is marketing doing it for you? You can outsource a firm to do this for you as well as marketing your product or service to prospects and making appointments for you to meet with them. This would put you in the field instead of gathering information. Choosing a firm that can do all of this will enable you to stay in the field and sell to the new prospects that are now in your sales pipeline.
6 Ways to Avoid Hearing "No" In Sales
What to do when a prospect says “No!”
The most dreaded words that a sales person hears are “no” or “I’m not interested”. All of their sales efforts suddenly come to a halt. All of the time and investment that has been put into the lead is wasted. There are a few things to do to avoid coming to this point, and if you do come to this point, do not look at it as a dead end.
Avoid “Yes or No” Questions – The simplest way to avoid a “no” is not to ask a question where that is a possible answer. Example: Are you interested in this service? Vs. Which way is the best way to integrate this service into your current program? You still may receive a reply that the service will not fit into their program – but then you can follow-up with a “Why” question.
Buy In – Have the prospect buy in to the product or service before trying to close the sale. Show the benefits that they will receive. Have cost justifications prepared before going for the close. You should be prepared for any flags that may arise when asking for the sale. Example: Why don’t you want to increase your sales by 25% this year?
Research – Just when you think you are ready to close, the prospect will tell you that they are very interested but they want to look at other providers for the same product or service. Know your competitors and save the prospect some leg work. Provide them with what their competitors offer and differentiate your company from theirs by showing your positives. This is not a time to criticize your competitors – but you can demonstrate how your company offers better products or services and the philosophy/benefits they will receive.
Up Front Contract – At the beginning of the sales process with the prospect, offer to them what the results will be for the sale. Example: We will supply you with service for one year, which will result in a 20% savings and a sales increase of 10%. Would this service be something that you are interested in and what other benefits would you like to see as a result of this service? By doing this – you are laying it out there from the beginning. You are giving them the “wow effect” from the start, and then going to the nitty-gritty of negotiations.
Make Friends – The gatekeeper for your prospect does more than just gate keeping. They can be a wonderful resource; so it is import to build a rapport with them. They may give you some clues on projects that are being worked on, who else may be involved on the decision process…even what type of coffee the prospect drinks. Use this information to help you formulate your approach to the sale. A gatekeeper can be an assistant or another team member. Gatekeepers can be instrumental in getting you to the right place.
Exit Interview – Companies often give employees exit interviews when they decide to leave for another opportunity. They gather information that may help them retain other valued employees. If the prospect says “no” and you are not going to be able to close the sale, use this time for your own exit interview. Ask: Are you not going with our company? Are they going with another company? What would have made you choose us? What could we have done better? Some of the responses may not be what you want to hear, but it will help you with your next prospect.
It is easier for a prospect to say “no” than “yes”. By using these techniques you will be able hear “yes” more often.
Is Your Sales Plan Already In Place?
Six Ways to Generate New Leads for the New Year!
The New Year is upon us and your sales plan may be in place, but it is not too late to add new lead generating activities to your plan. There may have been some that you have missed. There is not a better time than now to look at your marketing and sales plan. Take a look at these six surefire lead generating activities to make sure that nothing was overlooked.
Cleanse – When was the last time that each company in your database was contacted? The New Year doesn’t mean it is just time to change your batteries in your smoke detector, it also means it is time to clean up your database. Each company/contact in your database should be contacted, not only to verify that their information is correct, but to make an appointment so you can sell to them. This is for both current and past clients as well as prospects.
Expand – It is time to expand your prospect database. Purchase a list. If sales are lacking in a particular geographic area, focus on that area. If your product/service has been a hit with financial advisors, purchase a list of CPAs. Using the new list, call or email potential prospects. Even better – do both!
Offer a Reward – Develop an incentive program to offer your current clients rewards for referring you to new clients. Gift cards, tickets, lunches...promote the referral program through email. Get the word out there – you will be surprised on what you will receive. In addition, you will be able to use the name of the referrer when contacting the new prospect.
An Event within an Event – Think of the trade shows that you are going to, whether you are walking it or are an exhibitor. Schedule an event that coincides with the trade show, such as a golf outing or cocktail party. Pre trade show, send out invites to the event. This will give you an excellent opportunity to talk one-on-one.
Crash a Conference – Well, not exactly, you shouldn’t crash a conference, but you should register for a conference that potential clients will be attending. You may have no interest in the subject being discussed, but it is a fantastic opportunity to be surrounded by prospects.
Make a BIG Announcement – You may not have anything to announce, but giving a name to a product or service that is not named, or rename a product/service with an additional feature and sending the word out about it. This gives you something to talk about to prospects.
Are these included in your sales plan for next year? It is never too late to interject lead generating activities.
4 Helpful Tips to Reinvent Your Company
Get out of your sales rut by reinventing your company.
Falling into a rut is all too common for companies. Ruts often cause a decline in business which results in a sales slump. Rejuvenate your company and make it standout in a saturated market by reinventing your company and the way it does business. Use the four examples below to jump start the process.
Offer bundles. Bundling products or services saves you from trying to make an additional sale to your clients, otherwise known as cross selling or add-on sales. Offering complimentary products/services will make it easier for your customer. Think of fast food chains and value meals or computer packages with printers and software included.
Resegment your customers. Instead of looking at your target market specifics such as industry, net sales or company size, look for other commonalities that your prospect or clients have in common.
Target the chain of buyers. Go beyond your target customers and look at the chain of buyers. Novo Nordisk was an insulin supplier that sold their product to doctors. The insulin was sold in vials that had to be placed into syringes to inject diabetic patients. This process could not easily be done by patients. Knowing the chain of buyers – Novo Nordisk created NovoPen which could easily be used by patients.
Customer interface. What are your communications channels with your clients? How easy is it for clients to contact you? Review your sales process to make sure there is not a communication breakdown. Consider these segments of the sales process:
Are there any gaps? If so, look at your channels of communication and see which avenues will fit the process the best. If there are still gaps, it is time to look at alternatives on how you communicate during the sales process.
Need a Sales Infusion?
The third quarter of 2011 is upon us. Are your sales on target? The better question is, are you surpassing your sales goals?
It’s time to look at getting a fourth quarter sales infusion. Contacting EAS LeadGen, a professional lead generation firm, can help you increase your sales pipeline by providing you with qualified leads.
It’s time to amp up your game. Trade shows may be coming, email blasts are being sent out; what are you doing to follow up? To optimize the leads, hire a pro at optimizing. It is a very simple process:
Agree to a trial
Provide us with a list or we will create one for you
Attend your appointments
(There is also some paperwork that needs to be completed.)
The Merry-Go-Round of Selling
Have you ever been stuck on a merry-go-round that just won’t end? Thrilling isn’t it? You go up and down and spin in circles? Do you feel that way when it comes to selling? Cold call one, two, three… the same prospect before you hear the words “I’m not interested”. And then you do it over and over again with other prospects – until you finally get the one who agrees to meet with you. But the cold calling process continues. When does it end?
EAS LeadGen has found that working with trained business-to-business appointment setting professionals has stopped the sales merry-go-round from spinning and given our clients a chance to climb. We make the cold calls, you sell at the appointments. By the time your sales team needs to call a prospect – they know all about your company and what you have to offer. They are warm and receptive to what your company has to offer.
Let your sales team stop spinning and start climbing by doing what they do best – selling. Leave it to professional appointment setters to spin prospects your direction.
Psychologists say “A restless mind is 40% less likely to accomplish something compared to a focused one.” Think about how that parlays to sales. Sales conducts numerous actions with the end goal of a sale – cold calling, prospecting, presentations, meetings, follow-up calls, emails, selling, closing a sale… How can a sales person focus on selling?
Maybe the same psychology applies to sales – with a person being 40% less likely to close a sale because they are focused the many components to selling. Taking out the prospecting, cold calling, and the numerous calls it takes to get a meeting/presentation with a prospect could alleviate the “restless mind” and have you focus on selling and closing sales. Specializing in this skill set will be most beneficial to your company.
Outsourcing your prospecting, cold calling and appointment setting is a good way to accomplish “focused selling”. Alleviating the burden of these activities will give you more time to focus – and maybe you will be 40% more successful!
The “No” Avoidance
There is one word and one three letter phrase that sales professionals do not want to hear – “No” and “I’m not interested”. There are tactics and prompts that will help you avoid hearing those words when speaking to a prospect.
Too much info
The more information you give – the more confusing a prospect will become and the less likely that they will convert into a customer. When pitching to a prospect – tell them only what the need to know. Be precise and don’t leave out what they want to know.
Over selling is something you should not do. Think of the bad reputation of a used car salesperson. Don’t make that you. Being too pushy is a turnoff. Giving an incentive or a date to close by will help you close the sale. “I can deduct 20% off your first purchase if you can commit to me by July 1.” Or “If you would like to work together – I only have one date available next month – and you will need to sign a contract before then to secure that date.”
Once you get a commitment and are in the process of converting a prospect into a client – stop talking. You have a greater chance of ruining the sale by talking too much. This is the point where you need to stop selling.
Let me check with…
This is an easy out for prospects – they need to check with a manager or partner. Find out what their concern/objections are that not letting them commit to you. Be prepared to meet with the manager/partner to go over the concerns and alleviate them.
I need to think about it…
Be prepared for the common objections. Restate the benefits and have answers to the objections. Ask the prospects open-ended questions to find out what objections they may have.