Ultimate way to get your sales unstuck, even during isolation
Unstick Your Sales: Tried, Tested, and Trustworthy
About a year ago, an average day for me would often include starting at a networking or peer group breakfast, followed by email and phone lead prospecting and usually an afternoon of in-person proposals, SOWs or project meetings with existing or new clients.
Webinars. Master Classes. Video Calls. And truthfully, social selling was less than 10% of the way I was making sales. Sales were more about relationship building than product or service features. That included regular in-person meetings, shaking hands or more-often than not exchanging a hug.
Perhaps it was my environment of selling into the local community, or simply being a little old-fashioned in my desire to want to look my customers in the eye.
Today, that’s all changed.
But what is still the same in sales? The objections, radio silence, and push back, stalling of sales.
Frustrating, isn’t it? Would you like to advance every sale, no matter what? Of Course!
The following is a list of questions and techniques that I have used in my sales methodology for over 15 years and have taught dozens of salespeople:
Is the lead even a customer you want? This may seem like a silly question; however, sometimes we are chasing leads that aren’t even in our market focus simply because we want to make a sale. Becoming hyper-focus on your market, having a customer scorecard to understand what your ideal customer looks like is vital.
Identify the decision-maker. Are you talking to the right person? If you are unclear, ask your prospect: Who else will be involved in making this decision? If you don’t have the right person, ask for that individual to join.
This is where it gets tough as a salesperson. You want to make the sale, but if the person you are engaging with is unwilling to bring in the decision-maker or the decision-maker is reluctant to meet, be prepared to walk away or recommend a pause on meeting until the decision-maker is available. It’s a bold move! Yet, it also keeps you from wasting your time by not talking to the right person.
Isolate objections or push backs. When we isolate an objection or push back, reframing and reversing what we just heard with the prospect, it has a beautiful way of advancing the sale.
For example, A prospect might say: “I just had a large project come up that is now taking precedent – we realize we need your services; once this project is done, we can pick things up again.”
You might say to yourself, “Great, I got the sale (in 3 months)” and offer to circle back in a few weeks; this is not advancing the sale. It’s kicking it down the field with no real answer.
Instead, next time this happens, say, “Customer, I completely understand. So I’m clear if you didn’t have this big project start, you would be interested in my services?”. What you are doing is taking the objection away and going for a commitment. When you isolate the objection and reverse it to the prospect, you are flushing out the reality of the sale, instead of kicking out the inevitable a few weeks or months from now.
You can use this technique with a variety of objections: money, time, resources, etc.
Radio silence, in sales, this is salesperson kryptonite. You can’t get them on the phone; there’s no chance of ‘bumping into them’ at an event (due to lockdown). Your messages on LinkedIn go unanswered, and you have no idea if your email is seen among the ether of hundreds of emails flooding your prospects inbox. What now?
Most salespeople abandon if they have even made it this far.
Here is where I like to use the ‘torpedo’ method. You are launching a hand grenade into the inbox of your prospect to either force action, a possible objection reply, or fizzle out altogether. In either case, you have your answer, which is a success, in my opinion.
I have several forms of this technique based on the individual, level of interest, need and connection. Here’s one of my favourites:
Hello [client name],
When we initially met back on [insert date], we discussed the need to improve [insert product or solution]. We identified some areas of concern and provided workable solutions, for example, [add details from your call and proposal]. Since this meeting, we have spoken a few times; however, my attempts to reach you have failed most recently. This ‘radio silence’ could be due to:
3) Something I said or did
4) None of the above
Whatever the reason, you would do me a huge professional courtesy and let me know which reason applies.
If I don’t hear back from you in the next few days, I will assume that you would like me to close the project. If that is the case, I completely understand and hope that I may be of service to you in the future.
When you have the right lead, talk to the right person, address objections or push back head-on, or call out silence. Your prospect will either buy from you, or you move your focus to someone interested in buying.
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