Inside Sales Buzz Blog

Inside Sales, Scripts & Cold Call Techniques from Michael Pedone

How to Get Referrals from Your Existing Clients

by MichaelPedone 27. January 2015 05:51

Sales Question:

"What’s the Best Way to Get Referrals from Your Existing Clients? Our sales team is calling and asking the “WHO DO YOU KNOW?” question but we aren’t having much success."

SalesBuzz Answer: By Michael Pedone

I’m not a fan of the “Who do you know?” question for two reasons:
  1. It puts your client on the spot when they weren’t prepared for it;
  2. Even when you get a few names, in most cases, they are just about an inch above the quality of opening a phone book and randomly picking out a name.
Your clients may be a great fit, but that doesn't mean they know what your ideal target looks like. In many cases, you end up with a few random names that come to their mind in the heat of the moment, yet they aren’t qualified.

Now, of course, you’ll always have a time or two where it pans out in your favor, but if that was happening often enough, I doubt you’d be asking me this question to begin with.

Something else to think about… even if it does work on occasion, at what price? How many clients are you willing to have “fear” your incoming call because they know you’re looking to squeeze a referral out of them? Just something to think about.

Of course, when prospects start to refer you to their connections all on their own, those leads are worth their weight in gold. But that’s a different “referral” altogether.

A Better “Referral” System

What I’ve found to be the best system for generating warm referral leads is to do the following:

1) Create a 20-minute webinar that SOLVES A PROBLEM for your core audience. This webinar is NOT a company commercial nor a 20-minute DEMO of what it is that you offer. In fact, when the webinar starts, SKIP the 5-minute who you are, what your company does BS and get right to the problem at hand and then show your audience HOW TO SOLVE IT.

For an example on what a SOLVE THE PROBLEM WEBINAR looks like in action, see our webinar on: Voicemail Strategies – How to Get More Prospects to Call You back, TODAY!

2) Let Email Do the Work. Once your 20-minute HOW TO SOLVE A PROBLEM webinar is created, send out an email to your client list letting them know that you would like to invite them to attend the session and if they would simply forward the email to some of their business or Linkedin connections they feel would also benefit from it.

You could even suggest they “tweet” about it. If your subject line (the title of your webinar) is strong and on point with your targeted audience, you could generate anywhere from 50 to 500 fresh new leads, with one well crafted and managed email blast.

Now, which would you rather call on… 2 or 3 names that were coughed up in a pressure situation, or have 50 to 500 fresh new leads to call on that attended your webinar and now see you as an industry subject matter expert on helping them solve their problems?

For more ideas like this, register now for our upcoming 8-week phone skills improvement workshop series.

- Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!

Tags:
Categories:

When Prospects Go Silent, Try this to get a response...

by MichaelPedone 19. January 2015 19:01

Sales Question: 

"How do you get prospects that go silent to re-engage with you?"

SalesBuzz Answer: By Michael Pedone

I’ve found that using a little humor will go a long way into getting your “missing in action” prospect to call you back.

The key is to have your message stand out and separate yourself from the rest of the sales pack that is calling and leaving messages with your prospect. If you’re calling with the “just wanted to touch base” or “just wanted to check in and see if you had any questions – give me a call back - blah blah blah,” your message is going to be ignored like the rest of them. Try adding a little humor into your messages and watch your callbacks increase.

You’ll want to call and leave a voicemail first, then send them an email that references your voicemail.

Here are a couple examples that I personally use that have worked well:

VOICEMAIL:

EXAMPLE 1:

“Hi (PROSPECT’S NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME) and I wanted to see if we’re still on the short list, if we got kicked off the short list, or if the short list went up in smoke. Either way, would it be ok to ask if you would shoot me an email or give me a call to let me know where we are and what needs to happen next? You can reach me at (YOUR NUMBER). Again it’s (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY) and you can reach me at (YOUR NUMBER)."

EXAMPLE 2:

“Hi (PROSPECT’S NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME) I’ve tried to reach you a few times but haven’t heard back from you. Not sure if you’ve been abducted by aliens or have entered the witness protection program - Either way, would it be ok to ask if you would shoot me an email or give me a call to let me know where we are and what needs to happen next? You can reach me at (YOUR NUMBER). Again it’s (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY) and you can reach me at (YOUR NUMBER)."

These are just some example that can help break the ice and get a reaction that you can work with.

WHAT’S THE ROI? HOW MANY CALLBACKS CAN I EXPECT?

What if it’s only 10%? What if leaving a “creative” message 100 times only gained you 10 more responses than what you currently get now out of those same 100? Would that be a bad thing? Any technique that can help you improve your response rate will help you put more money in your commission checks.

WHAT IF THEY RESPOND BUT SAY TIMING IS BAD?

OK, so you’ve got a response but you don't like it. The bright side is you’ve got them re-engaged, even if it’s only via email. You now have something to work with. Handle the objection. And if the end result is that a deal isn’t going to happen, at least you know and you can stop wasting your time calling a prospect that isn't going to buy. It's better to drop them back into a drip marketing campaign and replace them with a new prospect than it is to waste time calling on prospects that aren’t ready to move forward!

- Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!

Tags:
Categories:

When NON-Decision Makers Reject Your Price

by MichaelPedone 12. January 2015 16:33

Sales Question: "How should I respond when a NON decision maker asks me about pricing? Every time I answer them after they press me for a price, they say “Oh - my manager would never approve that” and the call ends. What should I do?"

SalesBuzz Answer: By Michael Pedone

To answer this correctly, we are going to reference those sales situations when indeed you are truly speaking with a NON-decision maker. This is a common scenario when a “warm lead” is involved. Typically, a lead comes in from a non-decision maker, and the sales person contacts the lead in order to qualify and set an appointment with the actual decision makers.

During that process, it’s not uncommon for the prospect to inquire about price, even though they aren’t the decision maker. And if you give them your price, it’s almost always a disaster.

The reality is, non-decision makers aren’t AUTHORIZED to say NO. It’s not their call to say “THAT’S TOO MUCH / THEY WON’T APPROVE THAT”. Yet, that’s often how they respond.

DANGER ZONE

If you give a non-decision maker your price, they no longer need you. You no longer have any power in the sales call. You are in effect, at their mercy.

With all of that said, one factor we cannot overlook is getting the prospect’s commitment to solving the problem. Getting agreement from the prospect that a problem exists and that they are committed to making it go away is a key step in the sales process. Do that first, and you’ll create an ally that will help put you in front of the decision maker.

Here’s one way that I’ve found to be successful when responding to a non-decision maker’s pricing request:

“Pricing will depend on a few factors. I’ve seen it as low as $_______ and I’ve seen it as high as $_______. My job is to see if we would be a good fit at helping you to have a higher success rate at (HOT BUTTON) and, if so, set up a meeting with you and your (boss / manager / supervisor) with one of our (sales reps / advisors etc)."

By giving a low and high price range, you’ve given them an answer yet there is still a need for you to be involved in the call. You’ve also given your prospect a valid reason as to why it would be in everyone’s best interest in setting up a call with all the right players.

- Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!

Tags:
Categories:

Sales Call Not Going Your Way? Do this before hanging up!

by MichaelPedone 6. January 2015 04:09

Sales Question:

"What should I do when a sales call isn’t going the way I had hoped and I feel like I’m running out of time or losing them?"

SalesBuzz Answer: By Michael Pedone

When a sales call isn’t going your way, tension builds quickly as you scramble to find some last second Hail Mary question to keep the conversation going. The problem with that strategy is it often pisses the prospect off even more, which makes them even less likely to want to take your calls in the future.

Here’s what I’ve found that works best in these situations...

Plant a Seed

Planting a seed means 1) you’ve recognized that this call needs to come to an end and 2) you want to leave them with something that causes them to keep bringing their thoughts back to you, every time a “trigger event” happens.

Trigger Events

A “trigger event” is when something causes your prospect to feel a pain that you can solve for them. It’s their HOT BUTTONS. It’s something that makes your prospects stand up and say “HELP ME SOLVE THIS PROBLEM – AND I’LL PAY YOU FOR IT”.

So for the “Plant a Seed” play to work, you need to know what problems your primary prospects must have that will cause them to become your best clients!

Here’s an example of how the “Planting the Seed” play works...

Let’s say the sales call hasn’t gone the way you had hoped and you can sense the call needs to come to an end in order for you to live to fight another day. Instead of trying to keep them on the phone (only to annoy them even more) try this:

Salesperson: Mr. Prospect, it doesn’t sound like we have anything at the moment that would be a good fit for you.

This is only the first sentence in the “plant the seed” play. But let’s stop here and analyze why this is so important:

IT LOWERS YOUR PROSPECTS GUARD!

Once they hear you say “it doesn’t sound like we have anything at the moment that would be a good fit for you” they sense you are “backing off”.

Now that their guard is down, they are more open to “hearing” you. So here’s one example of what you could say next to plant the seed:

Salesperson: "Mr. Prospect, it doesn’t sound like we have anything at the moment that would be a good fit for you. We specialize in (HOT BUTTON 1, 2 AND 3) What I’m going to do is this, I’ll send you an email with my contact info and if (HOT BUTTON 1, 2 AND 3) become a concern for you, you’ll know who to reach out to, fair enough?”

The prospect will A) have their guard down and B) hear what you said and C) if you are truly speaking to a real prospect, your “hot button” messages will “grow” a little more every time one of those issues pop up. Hence the term “plant the seed”.

Full Example:

Salesperson: "Mr. Prospect, it doesn’t sound like we have anything at the moment that would be a good fit for you. We specialize in helping inside sales people who are struggling to hit their numbers due to constantly being rejected by gatekeepers, leaving voicemail message that don't get returned and frequently hear “we’re all set / no budget / already have someone that does that” responses. What I’m going to do is this, I’ll send you an email with my contact info and if any of those issues become a concern for you, you’ll know who to reach out to, fair enough?”

Prospect: Umm OK. That sounds good. Thanks for the call.

I can’t tell you how many times I would come in the next day and have a voicemail from that prospect, or an email from them asking me to call them or a phone call from them saying “You know, I thought about what you said… I have a few questions for you…” and now you're right back in the game!

Word of Caution

If you find yourself having to run the “plant the seed” play way too often, that’s an indicator that your sales call process (what you say in your qualifying / needs analysis stage) is off the mark and needs to be corrected.

- Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!

Tags:
Categories:

How to Set More Appointments in 2015

by MichaelPedone 29. December 2014 17:40

“What can my team do to set more appointments that convert to sales, in 2015? We get warm leads and feel our appointment to close ratio should be higher. Any advice?”

Here are three steps to getting higher quality appointments that will lead to more sales:

1) Start with a goal of seeking to understand your prospects reasons for raising their hand in the first place.

Prospects that have already recognized a problem and are actively seeking a solution are WANTING to tell others their situation and problems. The more they talk about their concerns, and the more you sincerely listen to them, the greater chance they will do business with you.

2) Identify their role in the process.

Once you understand the reasons why they are looking for a new solution, identify that persons role in the decision making process. All too often, a sales reps will jump at the chance to set an appointment to demo a product with a willing prospect only to realize after the demo, the prospect is an info gatherer and will take that info to “their boss”. This lowers your close ratio while prolonging your sales cycle. Which is the exact opposite of what you want to have happen.

3) Uncover their time frame.

Once you understand what problems they hope your solution will solve and what their role in the decision making process is, find out their time frame for implementing a solution once they find what they’re looking for. When it comes to selling, all companies have a “strike zone” of an average time frame it takes for a prospect to make a decision. If you know that on average, it takes 30-days or less from the time a prospect raises their hand, to when they sign the PO, and you have a prospect that says they are looking for a solution in “6-months” you will want to address that before doing the demo. Don’t proceed and just think “oh – well – we will just bedazzle them with our presentation and they will buy sooner!” Seek to understand why the said 6-months. You may have missed a hot button, misdiagnosed their true role in the decision making process or maybe they have a real reason for waiting 6-months that you could have helped them solve, in order for them to close sooner rather than later.

Finally - Let the closer qualify on price. Unless you’re a strong closer and have the numbers to back that up, let the closer handle qualifying the prospect on price.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have better success at getting prospects to WANT to meet with your reps, go through your demos and buy from your company.

Michael Pedone -

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!


Tags:

SIGN-UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Upcoming Workshops

8-Week Outbound Phone Skills Improvement - Online Program

Request Pricing Here

Free Sales Webinars

Get quick and easy on-demand solutions to increase sales now! Get Instant Access Here.

Follow Michael Pedone

Free Consultation

Get a Free Consultation & Proposal to see if our live, online interactive sales program is right for you! Request info here.

About the Author

Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of Live Online Sales Training Company SalesBuzz.com
Copyright © 2014 SalesBuzz. All rights reserved.