Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Importance of Following Up

Let me ask you this: If you just met with a really hot prospect, how long would you wait to follow up with them? A day? A couple of days? A week?

Here’s my experience with a couple of real estate agents this week:

My wife and I are selling our home and have begun interviewing real estate agents to represent us. I got a couple of referrals from good friends in our neighborhood, and then I reached out with an email telling them that I’m ready to list my home and want to meet. I think I’d call that a hot lead, wouldn’t you?

So Tuesday night we meet the first agents – a husband and wife team – a very nice couple who have been selling real estate in our neighborhood (“South of the Boulevard”) and claim to be the Number One agents in this area (It’s odd that the other two agents we meet with also claim to be the Number One agents as well, but that’s a discussion for another article).

We spend a nice couple of hours together, really like them, like their recent experience and success on the next block and also love their strategy. We tell them that we’re meeting with another agent referral the next night but that we will get back with them the following day.

O.K., so now comes the test. When would you, if you were them, get back with me?

The right answer is 9AM the next morning. If I were them, I would have sent a quick email saying it was so nice meeting me, that I enjoyed and really liked the house and that I was confident that I could sell the home using the strategy I outlined. I’d say if there was anything I could do, just reach out to me, and that I look forward to speaking with them (me) very soon.

No brainer, right? Well, here’s what happened: Because I’m a Top 20% closer, it was ME that sent them an email thanking them for their time and how nice it was to meet THEM! I sent it at 9AM and hadn’t heard back from them by NOON that afternoon! How do you think that made me feel in terms of how they would represent me?

O.K. So the next night we had the other agents over – a team of two “Number One” selling agents in our area (they really used that term as well!). We really liked their pitch also and were impressed by what they wanted to list our house for. In fact, when they left, we were leaning towards hiring them! How long do you think it took for them to follow up with us?

We’re still waiting to hear from them two days later!

I’m still stunned because as we told them we’d have a definite answer by the next morning. Did we get a follow up email? No. Did we get a follow up phone call? No. Now two days have gone by and have we heard from them?? NO!! YIKES! What’s wrong with these sales people??

In the meantime, the first couple emailed us the next day wondering what happened with our other meeting and expressed their strong desire to work with us. We then spoke on the phone and negotiated a bit. Now they are coming over tonight to pitch us some more. They’ve redeemed themselves a bit and will probably get our business.

By the way – the other team? We still haven’t heard from them, and I’m thinking I never will. And that’s too bad for them because when we woke up the next morning, we were completely on the fence, and we decided that whoever got back to us first would probably win our business. We figured we’d wait and see who was more of a go-getter, and who would be more aggressive overall and that this would (hopefully) translate into who would be more aggressive in selling our home.

So here’s the lesson for all you sales reps and business owners out there – Don’t wait days or weeks to follow up prospects! Especially the hot ones or the ones you’ve either met with or spent quality time with over the phone. A simple email that thanks them for their time, acknowledges how much you learned and how excited you are to help them will go A LONG WAY to earning you their business. Especially since not many others have this kind of urgency.

By the way, I usually send a quick email right away when I get off the phone with a prospect and include something of value in the email – a white paper, an article – something that will help them and also help them think about me.

So start thinking about what you can send to someone when you reach back out to a prospect. And follow up more often and sooner than you think you should. Based on what the majority of other sales reps apparently do, it will mean more business and referrals for you…

How to be the Winning Quote

If your clients and prospects are getting several quotes to determine who to buy your product or service from, then I know you’re frustrated. When what you’re selling is essentially the same (and even when it isn’t but your prospect “thinks” it’s the same), it can be maddening to lose business to the lowest bid. Here’s what to do.

Since your prospect wants the best deal regardless of who provides it, then you need to show them that by providing you with the other leading quotes, you’ll be able to either validate they are getting the best deal, or you’ll be able to beat it. The point is that either way, your client will win. And that’s what they want anyway.

Use the following script the next time you find yourself in a bidding or quoting war:

“__________ whenever you have options, price is usually the first and easiest thing to compare. But the problem is, in comparing price what usually gets missed is comparing the actual service and value you’re getting. Tell you what I’ll do. Go ahead and send me over the other quote you have, and I’ll compare it directly to what we’re offering you now.

If I find that you are truly getting a better deal, I’ll tell you so. If I find that we can match it and even give you a better price and service then I’ll do my best to give you a better overall deal. Either way, you’ll win – how does that sound?”

Once again, this works because it gives your prospect or client what they want – the best overall deal. Plus, they love playing one vendor against another, and this way you can see what you’re up against. Hopefully, once you know that, you can offer them the best deal to win their business!

Six Ways to Handle the “I’m Not Interested” Blow Off

Today you’re going to get six ways to handle the “I’m not interested” blow off. Did you notice that I didn’t call that an objection, but rather a “blow off”? The first thing you must recognize about blow off statements – things like “Just send me information” or “We don’t have the budget” or “I’m not interested” etc., is that these are not objections. Instead they are simply resistance statements meant to blow you off.

You use blow off statements all the time. Think about your response to a sales rep at a department store who asks you, “Can I help you find something?” Your typical response is probably something like, “Oh, I’m just looking.” That is not an objection (because the sales rep hasn’t pitched you anything yet), but instead it’s simply a resistance statement designed to blow you off.

The key to handling resistance statements is NOT to try to overcome them, but rather, to simply acknowledge and then move past them. And that’s what the following “I’m not interested” rebuttals listed below teach you to do.

As with all scripts, adapt these to fit your product or service and your personal style. Once you have, then practice, drill and rehearse these until they become habit. Here are six ways to handle the “I’m not interested” blow off:

“I’m not interested”

(Remember, your goal here is not to overcome an objection – but instead to acknowledge this initial resistance and qualify for interest.)

Response #1:
“That’s fine _________, and many people I speak with tell me the same thing as well. And as they learn more about this and see what this can really do for them, they were glad they took a few minutes to listen.

One thing that would be a good fit for you is….” (Continue on with your pitch, briefly, and then ask a qualifying question like, “Do you see how that would work for you?”)

Response #2:
“I didn’t expect you to be interested ________, you don’t know enough about this yet. But like me and everyone else, I do know you’re interested in (provide a benefit here – saving money, increasing production, return, etc.) and that’s why I’m calling.
Let me ask you a quick question: if I could show you how you can (provide your unique benefit here) and even save you (time, money, etc.) wouldn’t you be happy you took a few minutes to find out how?”

Response #3:
“I know that _______, heck if you were interested you’d have called me! (Say this with a smile in your voice 🙂 But seriously, I know you get a lot of calls, and every now and then it makes sense to listen to the right call, and this is it.” (Continue on with your value proposition and then ask a question like, “Do you think that would help you, too?”)

Response #4:
“________, you probably get a lot of these calls, don’t you? You know, I get them, too, and believe me, I don’t like getting them any more than you do. But every now and then I listen because sometimes there is information out there that will benefit me. And this is that kind of call for you. Let me ask you a quick question…”
(Ask how they would like to improve, save, make more money using your product or service.)

Response #5:
“Believe me, I’m with you. But the good news is that taking just 30 seconds with me right now could change the way you do business, and could help you (achieve your quotas, save thousands of dollars – whatever your product or service will do for them). In fact, let me share briefly with you how we’ve helped hundreds of companies just like yours…”

Response #6:
“That’s no problem, __________. I have a drawer full of clients who told me the same thing when I first called them as well. In fact, I’ll put you touch with some of them if you want. But the point is this: if you’re like most people I speak with, you’re having trouble (list the problems your product or service solves) and in a couple of minutes I can share with you the solutions to those problems that my other clients are enjoying right now.

Let me ask you – If I can show you how you can (give benefit here), would it be worth a few minutes to find out how?”

Remember, the top sales producers in your company and industry have proven responses to the objections, resistance and blow offs they get over and over again. And that’s how YOU’RE going to move into that elite group as well.

Three Things You Need to Have to Be Happy

Are you happy?

I mean consistently, get out of bed, enthused about another day happy?

Or, do you wake up and wonder if it’s the weekend yet? Or worse, if it’s the weekend already, do you still wake up and wonder when the weekend is coming?

I was talking with a client the other day and he told me about a psychologist he heard being interviewed on the radio, and the psychologist had a very simple three-step process to being happy. He said that if you examine all the happy people in the world, they generally all have these three things in common. Here’s what they are:

#1) Someone to love. This is an important ingredient for happiness for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that it gets you thinking of someone else other than you. Let’s face it – the quickest way to feeling miserable is to think only about yourself all the time. If you don’t believe me, just try it for a few hours.

When you have someone to love, however, you spend much more of your time thinking about their welfare instead of your own. Also, you now have someone to share life with – both the good and the bad. You are no longer in this thing alone. You have someone on your side and someone who knows you and cares about you. This someone to love can be a spouse, a partner, or someone you are dating or in a relationship with.

The person can also be a son or daughter, or even another family member. In some instances the bond with a pet can be strong enough for awhile. I remember once I got a cat and told my chiropractor, and she asked how long I had been without a pet. I told her over 10 years and she said, “How did you go so long without unconditional love?”

John Lennon said, “All you need is Love.” It turns out there are two more things you need to have:

#2) Something to do. Boredom is a killer. It can kill a relationship, a vacation or just a weekend. In fact, compare how you feel when you don’t have anything planned for a weekend to how you feel when you wake up with a list of things to accomplish or enjoy. It’s a different experience, isn’t it?

Mark Twain said “To be busy is man’s greatest happiness,” and I agree. That’s one of the reasons I love sales. In sales there is always plenty to do. There are people to call, deals to close, clients to work with, and sales reps to train. I have a thousand things to do in my business, and I love them all.

After work I fill my time with the gym, with writing, with friends and, of course, with spending time with my wife. Together we make plans to get together with friends, find ways to help others and then engage in one of our favorite activities – planning vacations and trips together. And that leads to the third thing you must have to be happy:

#3) Something to look forward to. The other day, I was looking at an email from a travel site I subscribe to (travelzoo.com) and they had just sent out their weekly travel specials. I almost deleted it because I have a very busy second quarter coming up, but I opened it at the last moment.

When I went down the list of travel deals they had, I was amazed to see a deal to Honolulu for five nights that included air for two and a five night stay at my favorite hotel on Waikiki Beach – the Mona Surfrider. It included airport transfers, breakfast for five days and even two cocktails each evening. The price was amazing. Ten minutes later my wife and I were booked!

What’s amazing about this is how I felt immediately after I paid for our reservation. Before it I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the work I had to do. But the moment I got off the phone with Pleasant Holidays, I was a changed man! There was a lightness in my step, and all I could think about was getting there and sitting on the beach watching the sun set the first night. I could already feel the soft trade winds blowing and the Hawaiian band playing there under the Banyan Tree. Heck, I get excited by it just writing this!

It was at that moment I realized and remembered how important it is to have something to look forward to.

As I listened to my client describe the three things you need to be happy I smiled to myself when I realized I agreed. In that moment, happiness was simple. And when I hung up with him and thought about it some more, I realized that I was indeed happy.

And that made me smile some more….