Inside Sales Buzz Blog

Inside Sales, Scripts & Cold Call Techniques from Michael Pedone

What Highly Successful Salespeople Do that Others Don't

by MichaelPedone 20. October 2014 10:40

SALES QUESTION:

"What do Highly Successful Salespeople Do that Others Don't? I'm new into sales and want to be as successful as possible. What's the one thing I need to do in order for that to happen?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

First thing to do is define your definition of "success". Not society's, not your parents, not your managers. Yours.

There are no right or wrong answers here, just passion. What is it that you truly want to achieve? What do you want out of life?

One of the greatest benefits about sales is the fact that the more people you help get what they want, the more money you will earn in order for you to get what you want. But you have to know what that is. You have to be able to "see it". My motto is, "if you can visualize it, you can achieve it".

Step One: Identify WHAT YOU WANT


Is it to be debt free? Live in a particular neighborhood? Drive nice cars? Afford TWO family vacations a year? All of the above? Again, no right or wrong answers just YOUR answers.

Once you've crystalized what you want - a highly successful salesperson will go after it. When you find your passion of what it is that you want to achieve, set your goals (with deadlines) and attack.

Step Two: Where Do I Begin?


A trait of highly successful people is to realize and admit when they don't know something. Average salespeople pretend they know everything.

If you thought "not knowing" something is frustrating, wait till you realize that, in many cases, you may even not know what it is that you don't know! (Think about that for a moment)

Therefore, always be willing to learn from those who have already achieved what it is that you are after.

  • Want to be debt free but have poor money management skills? Dave Ramsey is the man with the plan.
  • Have big dreams but little confidence in yourself? Tony Robins is your guy.
  • Feeling lost? Read the Bible.
The point is, even if you don't know what it is that you don't know you can find those who have achieved what it is that you want - and learn from them!

Those driven to be on top are never satisfied. There's a deep hunger and passion to go to that "next level". I don't think that is something that is taught - it comes from within. That's why it is so important to understand what it is that you truly want to achieve. When you see the bigger picture of what is that you want and believe it's possible to reach it, great things happen. You need the bigger picture.

Keep in mind that in most cases, your career is a means to an end. Yes, you want to love what you do, but as I said, loving what you do while it helps you achieve your top line goals is key. Sadly, people often forget about their real dreams and passion and settle for just a job that doesn't suck. Life is too short for that and it just isn't necessary to live that way.

So what do highly successful people do that others don't? They go after their dreams. And they don't stop till they get there. And here's the best part... Everyone can win at this game. You only lose if you give up.

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Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that helps Sales Managers, VP of Sales and Small Business Owners fine-tune their inside sales teams skills so they can perform at a higher level when selling by phone.

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Follow-Up Success: Turn Trade Show Leads Into Opportunities

by MichaelPedone 14. October 2014 05:36

SALES QUESTION:

"How can my inside sales team get the most out of trade show leads?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

It starts with understanding why both parties participate in trade shows.

The top three reasons are:
  1. Stay relevant
  2. Make new connections
  3. Generate leads
As you're collecting leads, you're meeting new people, having great conversations and making new connections.

When the trade show is over, everyone goes back to their office, uploads all of the leads into their CRM, adds the new leads to a specific email marketing campaign (I hope you are doing that), as well as assign those leads to their inside sales reps.

Now most sales managers, when they get back from a trade show, will be very excited and pumped up about all of the new leads that the trade show generated, and when they get in front of their inside sales team, they will spread that enthusiasm to be nothing short of having the Glengarry Glen Ross leads.

The team will be pumped up and hit the phones with vigor only to lose steam with each passing outbound sales call they make.

Apparently, these prospects didn't go back to work after the trade show and sit there waiting, hoping for your sales reps to call them.

So, how do we solve that? How do we turn trade show follow-up failures into viable sales opportunities?

Change your mindset from WHAT WE DO to: What's In It For Them.

Most inside sales people will pick up the phone, dial the trade show leads and say something like:

Hi (Prospect's Name) this is (Your Name) and you attended our booth at (Trade Show Name) and expressed interest in our (product / service) and I was hoping to get on your calendar for about 15 minutes (blah blah blah).

To which the prospect rejects your request.

Does this sound familiar?

Ok, so what went wrong?

For starters, do you know how many other sales reps are calling that same prospect, saying almost the exact same thing, even though they are in totally different industries?

If the shoe were on the other foot, how many of those phone calls could you take before you started to get a little less polite on the phone?

The Problem is twofold:
  • You sound like everyone else.
  • You're going in with what you offer, and not what you can do for them.
Unless the prospect you are calling raised their hand to be contacted, it's a cold call. And no, visiting your booth so they can have a chance at winning a prize pack that you offer doesn't qualify them as "raising their hand".

The Solution

Treat these leads as a cold call and approach them with the intent of piquing their interest enough to where they WANT to set a time to have a discussion with you.

For Example:

Let's say you sell a software solution that auto dials prospects for sales teams.

Instead of calling your trade show prospects and asking to get on their calendar to do a 15-minute demo, only to have them ask "what booth were you again?" followed by a blow off or a stall, try this:

Part 1: Hi (Prospect's Name) this is (Your Name) with (Your Company) Reason for my call is we help (name the prospect's title and vertical)

Example: Hi (Prospect's Name) this is (Your Name) with (Your Company) Reason for my call is we help Sales Directors within the Mobile Apps Industry

Part 2: Hi (Prospect's Name) this is (Your Name) with (Your Company) Reason for my call is we help Sales Directors within the Mobile Apps Industry reduce call reluctance and increase outbound calls by an average of _____%.

The key is to pique interest with what you can do for them, rather than use the "trade-show" as a crutch and sounding like everyone else.

Approaching trade show leads as a cold call gives you an advantage. You rely more on the objective (piquing interest) rather than using the "you stopped by our booth" approach. And once you pique interest, you're in position to have a conversation. And smart conversations lead to more qualified sales opportunities.

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Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that helps Sales Managers, VP of Sales and Small Business Owners fine-tune their inside sales teams skills so they can perform at a higher level when selling by phone.

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Opening Sales Script Template for Multiple Solutions

by MichaelPedone 7. October 2014 03:10

SALES QUESTION:

"I see a lot of opening script ideas and templates pitching a specific solution addressing a specific need. But my company offers solutions which hit on very different pain points. Am I best off opening with something targeted or trying to quickly relay all of our capabilities and hope something hits home?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

"Data Dumping" (relaying all of your capabilities and hope something hits home) on your prospect has a very low % rate of working.

To come up with the right opener, you have to start with the lead source. Where did the lead come from? Was it a trade show? A webinar? Are you prospecting in an industry that you've already done business in?

When you have a range of products / services, you can always get a clue from what the lead source is, as to what "opener" you could use in order to be effective.

Example:

Let's say the lead source is a vertical (meaning, you've sold to other companies in that same line of work... like a school district, a hospital, etc)

Your opener could be something like:

Salesperson:

Hi (prospects name) this is (your name) with (your company) Reason for my call is we recently helped (hospital name 1, hospital name 2 & hospital name 3) avoid/cut/reduce/gain [PAIN POINT / HOT BUTTON] and wanted to see if we may be able to help you do the same...

If it's a webinar lead, you want to focus on what the subject matter of the webinar would do / solve for the prospect, and not the actual webinar.

Bad Example:

Salesperson:

Hi (prospects name) this is (your name) with (your company) You attended our webinar on (subject) and I just wanted to follow up, introduce myself and see if you had any questions.

Prospect:

Nope, I'm good. Thanks.

Salesperson:

Um... Ok.

Better Example:

Prospect:

Hi (prospects name) this is (your name) with (your company) Reason for my call is I understand you're curious about how to avoid/cut/reduce/limit/gain/attract/grow [PAIN POINT / HOT BUTTON] and I wanted to see if we might be able to help you with that...

These are just a couple of examples on how to approach using a better opening value statement for when you offer multiple services or products.

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Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that helps Sales Managers, VP of Sales and Small Business Owners fine-tune their teams inside sales skills.

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In a Sales slump? 3 Action Steps to Work Your Way Out Of It

by MichaelPedone 30. September 2014 03:20

SALES QUESTION:

"I'm in a sales slump and don't know what to do to get out of it. What action steps can I take to change the situation I'm in?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

Sales slumps are never fun. A bad one can shake your foundations to the core, to the point where you fear that your lifestyle is in danger as the bills pile up with every missed quota.

Here's the good news: Every top sales rep has had a sales slump at some time in their career. Which means, you CAN overcome this.

Your biggest challenge will be to take accountability and to have the commitment to overcome your situation. If the painful feeling of a sales slump outweighs your resistance to change and accountability, do these three things to help pull yourself out of the sales slump:

1) Take Inventory:

Take an honest look at your current pipeline.

Are you calling the same old leads, over and over again? You know the kind I'm talking about... the leads that will take your call because you have a "good rapport" with them, yet they never seem to buy?

I've seen sales people dig themselves into the ground because their fear of rejection was so high, they refused to prospect for fresh new opportunities, and instead, kept calling the same old leads that were willing to shoot the breeze with them, but never buy.

Top sales people know that priority number one is to always have a fresh stream of leads coming in. It's your responsibility to make sure that is happening regardless of what your company is doing. Sure, I feel marketing should be providing sales reps with a constant flow of leads, however, with todays prospecting tools, a sales person should never have to sit and wait for the marketing department to do their job.

Top sales people don't sit and wait. They MAKE. THINGS. HAPPEN.

2) Role-play:

The only thing sales people hate more than cold calling, is role-playing, yet it is the single fastest way I know for a salesperson to see what they are doing wrong on the phone and fix it.

Of course, you will need someone with experience who can correct your mistakes (having two struggling sales people critique each other in a role-playing session is absolutely pointless). So make sure you have a top sales rep or even the owner of your company, if possible, sit in and give you advice. It will be uncomfortable at first, but you will see the pay-off in short order.

3) Effort: Skills + Output = Sales Results.

If you have a fresh stream of leads and have sharpened your sales skills, the last remaining part to the sales equation is your effort.

Time management plays a huge part in whether or not a sales person succeeds or fails. Are you spending your mornings "prospecting" and looking for who to call? If so, you're doing it wrong! Why would you spend time doing non-sales call activities during the only time you have to make sales calls? Before you walk in the door, you should already have your first 20 to 40 sales calls lined up and ready to go.

Your "output" (effort) needs to be kicked up a notch or two in order to get out of that slump, once you fix your sales techniques. Chances are, what got you in a slump was bad sales techniques and/or poor effort. You're going to have to push yourself to get out of it. But you can do this!

One final thing... Remember those times when everything you touched seemed to close? All of a sudden, deals seemed to be coming in from everywhere, with almost little effort? Almost always, that was a result of all the hard work you were doing 3 or 4 months ago. All those calls you made when you were trying to get yourself out of that sales slump. If you don't want to go back to slumpville, make sure you continue to work just as hard when you're on top, as you did to dig yourself out from the bottom and you won't have to worry about ever falling into a sales slump ever again.

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Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that helps Sales Managers, VP of Sales and Small Business Owners fine-tune their inside sales teams skills so they can perform at a higher level when selling by phone.

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How to Set Appointments that Stick

by MichaelPedone 23. September 2014 03:58

Sales Question

"When cold calling, how can our sales team make strong appointments that stick?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

Setting appointments have two common problems:

  1. Initial interest (“No, thanks, we already have someone that takes care of that” etc)
  2. Cancellations / No-Shows.
These two common sales challenges aren’t a byproduct of sales. They are a result of using improper sales techniques, methods and strategies.

In short, the sales person set the wrong goal for the sales call prior to picking up the phone, and, therefore, has guaranteed themselves a high failure rate.

When we set a goal or a “purpose” for a sales call (in this case, to set an appointment) we tend to go directly to that point to try and achieve it.

A BAD BUT COMMON example of a sales call for setting an appointment might go something like this:

SALESPERSON: Hi, this is (your name) with (your company). We provide (blah blah blah) and I’d like to see if I could get on your calendar sometime this week. Is Tuesday or Thursday better for you?

PROSPECT: Uh, I don’t think we would be interested. We already have a company that does that.


One of the biggest mistakes appointment setters, or sales people that need to set their own appointments, make is they have the wrong purpose / goal or objective of the call to begin with.

The only way to increase the odds of a prospect wanting to meet with you, and to keep the appointment once they set it, is for the prospect to want to meet with you, more than you want to meet with them. And for that to happen, they will need to have a big WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM understanding.

Baby Steps

Instead of going for the “close” of setting the appointment in your opening sales call, focus on piquing interest in order to be able to ask them a few questions to see if meeting would even be beneficial for them.

To set more appointments that stick, use an opening value statement that piques your prospect's interest and then ask a few of the right sales questions that focuses your prospect attention on an area that will uncover a problem. Do it correctly and your appointment quota will be met, if not exceeded, and your prospects will be happy you called.

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that helps Sales Managers, VP of Sales and Small Business owners fine-tune their inside sales teams phone skills so they can perform at a higher level when selling by phone.

"Michael Pedone is one of the few sales trainers that actually knows what he's talking about. Take his course. It's money in the bank." - Jeffrey Gitomer

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Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of Live Online Sales Training Company SalesBuzz.com
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