Fearless Selling

How to Get Your Prospecting Email Deleted in 3 Seconds or Less

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Fearless Selling | 0 comments

 

Last week I received an email with a very good subject line so I opened it. Then, I groaned as I read the salutation, “Hi Patrick…”

It was obvious the sales rep was cutting and pasting her emails and that she had forgotten to change the salutation. I replied and said, “Addressing a prospect with the wrong name is quick way to get your email deleted. Regards, Kelley”

A few minutes later I received this reply, “Kelly, thanks for pointing out the typo.”

This time she spelled my name wrong!

Imagine making these mistakes with the CEO of a fortune 500 company!

The senior executives I know and work with would delete her email in less than 3 seconds. A simple blunder like this will cause you to lose credibility and respect which means you will have to work much harder to engage that prospect in a sales conversation.

Connecting with hard-to-reach prospects is tough at the best of times which means it is critical to properly execute every single point of contact. This includes fundamentals such as correctly spelling your prospect’s name and addressing them properly in your emails (and phone calls).

BTW: The third strike against this sales person was the length of her email. 826 words! Effective prospecting emails should be 100 words or less.

 

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7 Keys to Integrating E-prospecting with Tele-prospecting

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Fearless Selling | 0 comments

Interested in improving your telephone prospecting results? Reaching more decision makers? Setting more appointments? Selling more?

The trick is to integrate e-mail into your calling efforts. A well-crafted e-mail combined with a solid telephone follow up strategy can double and even triple results.

Here are 7 keys to making the most of your e-mail and telephone prospecting efforts:

Key #1: A Hell’uva Subject Line

The first key is to create a subject line that catches the eye of your prospect; something that is different and unique; something that makes him or her curious enough to open the e-mail rather than delete it. And that’s the challenge. Most people have never been taught how to craft a subject line that screams “open me.”

Key #2: An Intriguing Message

An intriguing prospecting message is a one-to-one message, not an e-mail blast. This is a targeted approach, not a shot gun approach.

It is also one that poses a problem that the prospect might be experiencing; something that picks at a ‘scab’, so to speak, and agitates the reader. It then goes on to offer a possible solution (your product / service) but without the details. In other word, it teases rather than sells. It makes your prospect want to learn more.

Key #3: Timely Follow Up

Prospecting e-mails have a short shelf life. You must make your follow up call within 24 hours of sending your e-mail; not a week or three days or even two days later.

Key #4: A Gatekeeper Strategy

You can use the e-mail proactively or reactively to get past the gatekeepers. Your e-mail gives you a legitimate reason for calling and this increases the odds of reaching more decision makers.

Key #5: A Superb Opening Statement

A superb opening statement is the key to a good prospecting call. A good opening statement cleverly leverages the message in your e-mail. In effect, it creates a one-two punch by combining the power of an audio message with the power of a visual message.

Key #6: A Compelling Voice Mail

You can leverage your e-mail with your voice mail, much like you can with your opener. Again, the key is to leave a voice mail message that echoes the message in your e-mail. This increases awareness and interest and it increases the odds of a return call.

Key #7: Persistently Polite Follow Up

Finally, the seventh key is to politely but persistently follow up. A combination of a voice mail and e-mail can help stimulate a response. Send an e-mail and then make a follow up call the next day like you did with the original e-mail. Leave a voice mail message if you don’t reach your prospect. Direct the prospect to the e-mail. If you don’t get a reply, wait three business days and then repeat the process.

Putting these seven keys together is not particularly difficult but it does require some planning and implementation. Learn EXACTLY how to put these ideas into practice here.

Today’s post was provided by Jim Domanski of TeleConcepts Consulting.

 

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Why Prospect’s Aren’t Returning Your Calls

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Fearless Selling | 0 comments

sad telephone

 

Cold calling is still a widely used prospecting tool and sales strategy. Whether it’s an initial cold call, a subsequent follow-up call, or a “keep-in-touch” call, sales people still rely on the telephone to connect with busy prospects.

 

However, making that call and getting a return phone call are two different things.

 

Here are seven reasons why prospect’s don’t return your calls.

 

1. Your voice mail message is too long. The majority of voice mail messages decision makers receive are far too long. Decision makers are too busy to listen to a long, rambling, and disjointed message. That means you need to get your message across in 30 seconds or less. In fact, I suggest that you try and limit your message to a maximum of 20 seconds.

2. Your voice mail message is too cryptic. On the reverse side, a short, terse voice mail with no details will not likely motivate someone to call you back. You MUST give a prospect enough information to capture their attention and say, “I need to talk to this person.”

3. You leave the same voice mail message. It is important to keep trying to connect with your prospect which often means leaving multiple voice mail messages. However, if you want someone to call you back you need to leave a different message every time you call. Plus, it must be compelling (see the next point).

4. Your voice mail message is not compelling. Most voice mail messages do little to motivate someone to pick up the telephone and return your call. A compelling message MUST demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s industry, situation or circumstances and portray that you might have a solution.

5. Your voice mail sounds like every other sales person. The average executive receives dozens of sales calls a day so if you want a busy executive to call you back, your message MUST stand out from every other call he or she receives.

 

I once sat in a Vice President’s office as he listened to his voice mail messages on speakerphone and was fascinated how similar every sales call sounded. I was equally intrigued by how quickly this person deleted the messages, too. His finger hovered over the delete button, and in most cases, he erased the message in the first few seconds.

 

6. Your product or service does not interest them. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs your solution and when you call companies that are not the right fit for your product, service or offering, you are simply wasting your time and that of your prospects. Improve your results by more closely targeting your prospecting calls to companies who can actually use your product or service.

7. Your prospect is simply too busy. Most sales people fail to realize exactly how busy executives are. A client of mine once said, “I’m so busy right now I can’t possibly take on any more projects.” This sheer volume of work often prevents decision makers from returning your call because they don’t have the time to talk to you and because they can’t fit another project into their schedule. Unless your product, service or offering is something they desperately need right now, they probably won’t return your call.

 

If you are serious about increasing your sales and improving your sales approach it is essential that you give prospects a reason to call you back. Then, and only then, will your telephone prospecting methods be effective.

 

 

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Can This Little-Known Trick Improve Your Cold Calling Efforts?

Posted by on Feb 11, 2014 in Fearless Selling | 0 comments

cold-calling-tricks

I recently came across a strategy that can improve your cold calling efforts. A surprisingly simple concept, yet an effective one. I shared it with a colleague who has been working with telesales reps for more than 20 years and he agreed.

Here it is…

Focus all of your calls in a specific time period on one vertical.

Rather than making several dozen calls in one morning to companies in a range of industries, concentrate your efforts on one industry or vertical. Here are the benefits of using this approach.

You can fine-tune your message so it will resonate with your prospects.

Your message will get stronger the more you recite it (and develop it).

You will hear the same objections so you can respond to them more effectively.

You will be able to give relevant examples of the results your solution has achieved.

Most sales people make calls to a wide range of companies every day. This means they have to adapt their message to each person they call. However, when you call companies in the same industry, you can use the same approach, stories, and examples. Plus, it gets you in the zone and gives you the opportunity to speak to the specific challenges your prospect’s face in their particular business.

If you plan to make cold calls this week, group them so you are calling similar companies during the same period. I am confident you will quickly see better results.

 

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You’re Asking the Wrong Question

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Fearless Selling | 0 comments

wrong question

Asking key questions during a discovery call or conversation is critical if you want to move the sales process forward.

One of the most commonly asked questions in the B2B world is “Do you have a budget?” or “What did you budget for this?” or something else that is similar in nature.

This is a good question; however, there is a more important question that you might not be asking and this could be costing you valuable sales opportunities.

If you don’t ask this question, you could end up wasting time spinning your wheels in an opportunity that has little or no chance of coming to fruition even if your prospect is motivated to use your product, service or solution.

Here’s the question…

“Who controls the budget for purchases of this nature?”

This single question quickly determines who else you MUST speak with before agreeing to send more information, create a proposal or conduct a demo.

It is critical to engage that other person in the sales process because otherwise you end up relying on your key contact to manage the sales process from that point forward. And let’s face, it even if they can sell your solution as effectively as you can (which they probably can’t), you have no idea what the ‘budget controller’s’ objectives are and IF they are even interested in considering your solution.

I know from personal experience the cost of neglecting to ask this question. Save yourself time, aggravation and frustration and find out who controls the budget for your proposed solution.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Prospecting Results

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Fearless Selling | 0 comments

sales prospecting

Prospecting is the key to long-term success in sales and the top sales people invest a significant amount of time on this activity. In fact, if you allocate 80 percent of your schedule to prospecting, you will seldom, if ever, experience peaks and valleys in your results. In addition to consistent efforts, here are seven other ways to improve your prospecting results.

1. Develop a killer call opener. You have less than 20 seconds to capture a prospect’s attention so skip the BS about your company, your product and your service and focus on what is important to them.

2. Conduct the appropriate amount of pre-call research so you can speak directly to your prospect’s potential pain point. However, be careful not to develop “paralysis by analysis”.

3. You stand a better chance of connecting with senior executives by calling them early (7:00-8:00 AM) or later in the day (after 6:00 PM).

4. Never open a cold call with “Hi, how are you today?” Contrary to popular belief, prospects don’t view this as a rapport-building question or an effective way to open a cold call.

5. Get directly to the reason for your call. In fact, you can say, “Mr. Prospect, I know you’re busy so let me get right to the point.” It may sound abrupt but your busy prospect will appreciate the directness.

6. Be persistent. It used to take 7-8 touches to connect with a prospect but now that number has doubled. That means you need to be persistent when trying to connect with a new prospect.

7. Use a variety of prospecting methods. Networking, social media, cold calling (telephone, face-to-face), asking for referrals, direct mail, email, trade shows, newsletter, and conferences are just some of the prospecting strategies to consider.

BTW…I have just posted an updated version of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales.” Sign up for my free newsletter and get your copy.

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