Monthly Archives: November 2015

Too Many Options? Narrow It Down to Get the Sale Now

If you sell a product or service with many add-on’s and options or choices, then it’s easy for your prospect to get overwhelmed and want to “think about it.” Many sales reps actually make it for harder for buyers to decide because they keep pitching (instead of closing) and so complicate the sale even further.

If you find that you’ve “talked past the close” as I like to say, then it might be time to un-complicate the sale and make it easy for your prospect or customer to buy something now, rather than putting the decision off.

Here are some ways you can do that. As usual, take some time to customize these to fit your product or service:

Option 1:

“Now _________ I may have made this harder on you than I should have. Let’s look at the basic package again, the (restate the easiest offer), and let me ask you: will this do most of the things you’re looking at this to do for you?”

Option 2:

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices and combinations, so let me make this easy for you: most people in your position go for our X package because they find it does everything they need it to do. And, of course, you can always upgrade later should you have the need.

So let’s do this….”

Option 3:

“I’m getting the feeling we’ve gone over too many options, and it would probably be easier for you if we just took half of these away. Which features don’t you feel you need?”

Option 4:

“I know it’s easy to go back and forth on some of these combinations, so let me ask you: is this a toss-up decision, or are you leaning towards one more than the other – and if so, which one is it?”

Option 5:

“__________, let’s step back here for a moment. You don’t have to get the package that has all the bells and whistles – unless you really want to, of course…. – so tell me, which one of these are you leaning towards?”

Option 6:

“You know, going through all the possible options and combinations could take you hours and hours. You don’t have to do that now. Instead, let’s break this down to your absolute essentials: which features can’t you live without?”

Options 7:

“If you had to pick one package/combination over another, which would it be?”

Option 8:

“With all of these options you’re going to get our (warranty, performance, delivery, etc.), so any package you pick is going to be fine for you. Tell me, what are you leaning towards right now?”

Option 9:

“__________, let’s make this simple and get you started with the basic package for now. That way you can see how this works for you, we can get into a relationship, and later, down the road, if you want to expand your coverage, you can. At least in the meantime you’re not missing out on these results….”

Option 10:

“Let do this: let’s take the premium package so you won’t have to worry later that you’re missing out on something you wish you had gotten in the beginning. With this package, you’ll get everything you need….”

Having these closes handy when you feel your prospect slipping away or having a hard time making a decision could very well save the sale for you.

“I Want to Think About It” – Ten New Ways to Handle it!

I know, we’ve already been through this objection, but sales reps always want more input on it so here it is:

The bottom line is that when someone says they want to think about it, it means they aren’t sold yet. And it could very easily mean that they aren’t sold on your solution, and they never will be because they have something else in mind.

Your job is to either get to that hidden objection and learn what you need to do to overcome it, or get your prospect to reveal why they aren’t going to go with your product or service.

And that’s why you must get your prospect talking. Now here is why this is so hard for sales people: They don’t want to ask because they don’t want to know! Most sales reps would just prefer to let the prospect “think about it” hoping they will somehow convince themselves and buy at some time in the future.

How often does that happen?

What usually happens is that the prospect then disappears at this point, never to be heard from again. And that’s why sales reps dread this objection.

But top producers know that getting their prospect talking at this point is crucial to find out one of two things (and both of these things is a successful outcome):

1) What the hidden objection really is, and so find a way of dealing and overcoming it, or:
2) What the reason is they aren’t going to move on it, and so be able to hang this up as a learning experience and use the lessons to qualify the next lead better.

Let me repeat – BOTH of these outcomes should be considered a success. The first because you’ll learn what you need to do to get a deal, and the second because you won’t start chasing an unqualified lead that will never buy, and you’ll learn how to not create another one in the future.

So the following ten rebuttals to “I want to think about it” are designed to get your prospect talking – and then you’ll be able to decide which category they go into…

[Note: I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize again that you should have avoided this objection from coming up in the first place by asking this type of qualifying question during your initial call: “And if you like what we have to offer, what would be your timeframe for getting started?”]

Objection: “I want to think it over”

Option 1:

“I understand. Just out of curiosity:

• “Do you understand how the (explain the benefits of savings or making money here) work right?”
• “And do you understand what we mean when we say, (stress any warranties guarantees or customer service options) here, don’t you?”
• “Then while we’re on the phone together, what other questions do you have?”

[If None]

“Then just to clarify my thinking, what part of this do you need to think over?

Option 2:

“Are you going to be thinking over the (name two or three benefits) we spoke about today or about whether or not this solution is the right fit for you?”

Option 3:

“I know I’ve given you a lot to think about today, do you mind me asking what part of this you’d like to think over?”

Option 4:

“I understand, and I’m sure you’ve got other options to consider…do you mind if I ask how we’re stacking up to what you’re also looking at?”

Option 5:

“__________, it sounds like you’re probably considering other options as well – do you mind if I ask who else you’re looking into?”

Layer:

“And how do we stack up compared to them?”

Option 6:

“__________, besides yourself, who else would be weighing in on this?”

Option 7:

“I totally understand, many people I speak with want to consider all their options before making a decision. Tell me, who else is in the running for this?”

Option 8:

“That’s no problem. Level with me, if you would, what would be holding you back from saying yes right now?”

Layer:

“And is this even a realistic option for you?”

Option 9:

“And as you think about it right now, what would be the major reason for not moving forward with it?”

Option 10:

“I understand – not everyone I speak with is ready to move forward with it right away. Quick question:

“What would you need to see here for you to say yes to this?”

As you can see, all of these responses are geared to get your prospect to reveal what it’s going to take for you to get the sale – and some are also geared to get your prospect to reveal why they will never be a deal.

Again, either way you win.

How to Use Tie Downs to Build Momentum

I don’t know why tie downs aren’t used more by sales reps selling over the phone. They serve several crucial functions, including:

Getting confirmation that the point you just made was understood and accepted by your prospect. This is especially important when selling over the phone as you don’t have the physical clues that tell you how it’s going.

Using tie downs is also instrumental in building that all important yes momentum. If the prospect keeps agreeing with you, then you can feel confident at the end in asking for the sale.

Tie downs also give your prospect a chance to engage with you – when you use one, you actually have to wait for them to respond.

Using tie downs also gives you control over the flow of the call. Remember, whoever asks a question is in control.

There are many other value reasons for using tie downs, but let’s look at some of the most effective, and go over in what situations they work best:

#1: Whenever your prospect asks you a buying question (and any question a prospect asks you is a buying question), after you answer it you must use a tie-down. Examples:

If a prospect asks you how much something is, after you give them the price, you can use any of these tie downs:

“How does that price sound?”

OR

“Is that what you were looking to spend today?”

OR

“How does that compare with what you are paying now?”

OR

“Is that within your budget?”

OR

“That’s a great value today, and I’d take as many as I could at that price – how many should I ship you today?” (O.K., that’s a close, but I couldn’t help myself! Do you see how tie-downs can lead to a close :–)

If a prospect asks a question about a feature or a benefit, use any of the following:

“Do you see how that works?”

OR

“Does that make sense?”

OR, better:

“How would you use that?”

OR

“Do you understand how that works?”

OR

“I think that’s a great benefit – how about you?”

If a prospect makes a statement that seems negative, use:

“How did you come to that?”

OR

“Compared to what?”

OR

“What do you mean exactly?”

OR

“How does your current vendor handle that?”

#2 Use tie downs throughout your presentation. Most sales reps power through their presentations and use far too few tie downs or check-ins. And when they do, they are usually closed ended which lead their prospect to reveal little. Use these more open-ended tie downs to engage AND learn crucial buying motives:

“That’s how we drive the leads….now tell me about how you would get the most out of them?”

OR

“That’s one of our biggest selling points….tell me: how would this impact how you’re currently doing things?”

OR

“Do you see how this works?” – And then: “How might this work for you?”

OR

“Are you with me there?” – And then: “What questions do you have?”

OR

“That’s a nice feature, don’t you think?” – And then: “How would that work for you?”

OR

“Is this sounding like it might work for you?” (O.K., there I go again! Do you see how after a few tie downs, it’s just natural for you to start closing?)
#3: General tie downs are useful at any point of your presentation. Customize from any of these to fit your product/service:

“What do you think of this so far?”

OR

“Would this location work for you?”

OR

“How many locations would this work for?”

OR

“How many departments would want one of these as well?”

OR

“That’s pretty special, isn’t it?”

OR

“Do you see why this is so popular?”

OR

“Tell me, would that fit into your budget?”

OR

“Most people like this – how does it sound to you?”

OR

“Will that work?”

OR

“What else do you need to know?”

OR

“What other area are you interested in?”

OR

“Would that be a deal killer for you?”

OR

“Would that be enough for you to move forward with this?”

OR

“Tell me: how close are you to wanting to move forward with this?” (There I go once again!)

Let me reiterate that using tie down’s gives you the intel you don’t have because you can’t see your prospect’s reaction (because you’re selling over the phone). Therefore, it’s critical for you to begin using more of the above tie downs during every conversation. Remember, the more you can get your prospect talking, the more you’ll learn what it will take to close them…

How to Make Cold Calling Easy

Anyone who has to cold call as part of their sales career knows how hard it can be. Many sales reps cringe as they dial a number and wait for the receptionist to answer:

“Who’s calling?”

“Will he know what this call is regarding?”

These and other questions create such call reluctance that it’s no wonder the programs that claim “Cold calling is dead!” are such big sellers.

Unfortunately, if you’re in sales, you know that cold calling is NOT dead and you have to do it day in and day out to keep your pipeline full.

So how can you make cold calling easy?

By attending this free webinar: “The 5 Secrets to Effective Cold Calling,” held on Wednesday, November 18th 2015 at 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific, Register Now

In addition, here are a few simple tips to help make cold calling easy for you:

Tip #1: Use a script. You absolutely must script out what you’re going to say and the questions you’re going to ask. Doing so will give you the confidence to overcome the gatekeeper’s interrogation and help you eliminate the um’s and uh’s that make you sound unprofessional.

Tip #2: Be prepared for the brush offs and blow offs you’re going to always get like: “Just email me something…” Instead of asking for their email address and ending the call, say:

“I’d be happy to. I’ve got several different things I can send to you, let me just ask you a couple of questions so I send you the right one. Now how are you currently handling….”

Tip #3: Learn how to quickly engage the decision maker by asking them a question as early as possible. Most sales reps start by delivering a much too long monologue on their product or service and this just turns off the prospect.

Tip #4: Change your attitude to begin expecting the no’s. Believe it or not, most sales people actually expect everyone to love what they’re selling. That’s not going to happen (as you’ve found out), so expect it! When someone tells you no, be prepared for it and end the call with the “Next In Line” script:

“No problem, but let me ask you: If you ever find the need to look for a different supplier in the future, could I be the first in line you reach out to?”

Then get their contact info and email them yours. This allows you to end each call with a success which makes it easier to keep calling…

Tip #5: Pick up the phone. Although this may sound obvious, the way to make cold calling easy is to stop putting it off. Instead, make it the first thing you do in the morning, and then stay on the phone until you hit your call numbers for the day. You’ll find that as you get into a rhythm, it gets easier and easier to make those calls.

If you’d like more detailed scripts and techniques on making cold calling easy, you will benefit from learning these “5 Secrets to Effective Cold Calling”:

1) How to avoid getting screened out by the gatekeeper
2) A better opening that will set you apart and get your prospect to engage with you
3) How to build rapport in 5 seconds
4) How to overcome brush off objections
5) How to qualify for timeline and interest

Register Here for this FREE webinar on Wednesday, November 18th 2015 at 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific. Space is limited, so sign up today!

Always Have This Close Handy…

How many times do you get the objection, “Well, let me talk to my (partner, boss, manager, spouse, etc.)”? In any kind of sale, this is one of the most common objections or stalls prospects use. And they use it because sales reps don’t seem to have any effective come back to it. Variations on this objection include:

“Let me run this by…”

OR

“I’ll have to get with….”

OR

“Let me check with…”

OR

“I’ll show this to my boss and see what he wants to do…”

I’m going to give you the right rebuttal to this and give you a real life example of how I used this – and what I learned – just this week while I was closing a prospect on one of my training programs.

I was speaking with a customer who had recently purchased one of my book of phone scripts. I had never spoken to her before, but decided to call her and see how the scripts were working out for her.

During our conversation I learned what her company was about, what they sold and how many reps they had. I established that she was one of the owners.

After listening to exactly what she was trying to accomplish, I suggested helping her by writing customized scripts and having her record those sales presentations so I could revise and perfect her scripted sales approach.

Then I asked how that sounded.

And that’s when I got the objection above. She said: “I’ll run this by my partner…”

Now this is where 80% of sales reps let the prospect go with, “O.K., when should I follow up?”

That is the wrong thing to do.

Instead, the proper technique is to isolate this objection by taking the other decision maker out of it so you can gauge how your prospect truly feels about it.

Because let’s face it: if your prospect isn’t sold, the other decision maker isn’t going to be either…

So here’s the close you need here: I told her: “That’s great, definitely show it to your partner. Let me ask you: If you’re partner says it sounds good, what would you do then?”

And this is where this technique really pays off. If she had said, “I’d do it!” then I would have set some coaching times (nothing in stone; just set some tentative dates – another form of a trial close), but if she said what she did, then I would know exactly where I stood.

She said, “I’d then go back to my reps and tell them to use the scripts I just bought and see how it goes. I’d tell them I’d already spent a lot of money on them and they needed to produce before I’d be willing to spend more.”

How’s that for a good answer?

Now you’re probably thinking, “Good answer? Mike, it doesn’t sound like she’s going to buy!”

But that’s O.K. Some will, some won’t, who’s next?

You see, what’s so good about this technique, and her honest answer, is that she revealed that she isn’t going to be a deal. That means I get to move on…

Compare this to how most sales reps would just schedule a call back and then begin chasing her?

How many of these types of unqualified leads currently clog your pipeline?

When I say this is the type of close to always have handy, I mean it. Every time you find yourself in this situation, always, always, isolate this objection/stall to find out where you really stand.

It will save you tons of time (and frustration); time you can spend prospecting and finding real buyers…

Positive Statements that Help You Sell

When I began my sales career all those years ago, I was told that at the bottom of all successful sales was a transfer of emotion – my manager told me that I was either transferring my positive feelings about my product onto my buyer, or he/she was transferring their negative feelings about it to me. Whoever was able to transfer more of their emotion and feeling won.

Now that may seem a bit simplistic to you now, but if you look at the essence of it, there is a lot of truth to it. You’ve probably heard some of the sayings like, “Enthusiasm sells!” or, “Whoever has the strongest reasons to buy or not buy usually wins,” and things like that. My question to you is: “Are you enthusiastically presenting your product or service on every call?”

I’m sure you know the difference between having a good day and having a bad day, right? Have you ever noticed how on fire you are right after a big sale? You’re positive, on top of the world, unstoppable, right? This is why good sales managers tell their reps to “get back on the phone while you’re hot.” Have you ever noticed how objections aren’t quite so bad when you’re in such a positive mood?

And the converse is true as well, isn’t it? Have you ever noticed how, when you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to be put off when cold calling and how you don’t pitch with quite the same level of power? Have you even given up after being put off or after an objection, only to then say something like this to yourself: “Well, this just isn’t my day. Maybe I should just stop calling today and try again tomorrow?”

If you’re in sales, then I bet you can relate to both of those scenarios, can’t you?

What I’ve found over the years is that most sales people let their prospect’s mood affect and lead theirs rather than the other way around. After listening to thousands of calls over the years, I can hear how a sales rep’s voice drops or slumps as soon as a prospect cuts them off or tells them they don’t have much time, or worse, that they don’t really see the value in their product or service.

Top reps, on the other hand, have a different approach. They know that it is their job to transfer their belief and attitude to their prospects, and they stand ready with a list of “Power Statements” that help get their prospect into the proper mindset. They then overwhelm them with their positive attitude and don’t give up until they get the sale.

Here are a few statements you should have ready at all times when you’re closing or cold calling. Any one of these can mean the difference between who catches whose attitude and who sells who:

Positive Statement #1
“________ once you truly understand how this works, you’ll be as impressed as I was during my interview here. Let me take just a moment to fill you in…”

Positive Statement #2
“_________, I guarantee you’ll be 100% happy you took just a moment with me to show you what this can do for you….”

Positive Statement #3
“Are you ready to be amazed today? – because after I show you the changes we’ve made to this (product or service), you’ll be more than surprised. Go ahead and open that…”

Positive Statement #4
“________, virtually nothing that you know about this (product or service) has remained the same – in fact, we’ve made every part of it better and added some features that you’ll soon never be able to live without. For example…”

Positive Statement #5
“I’m sure you wouldn’t mind learning why we’re the best selling (your product or service) in the marketplace, so let’s do this – go ahead and open that email and let me point out just two things that make us number one…”

Positive Statement #6
“_________, you do want to go with the best company you can for this with the best customer support and loyalty program, don’t you?”

Positive Statement #7
“________, I couldn’t wait to speak with you today. I’ve just had an update that will knock your socks off! Do me a favor and grab that brochure…”

Positive Statement #8
“_________, I couldn’t wait to speak with you today! So much good news has happened since we spoke last that I don’t even know where to begin. Tell you what, let’s start by reviewing that email I sent you…”

Positive Statement #9
“_________, there are three things that make me excited to come to work every day, and they also make all my clients excited to sign up with us. The first is….”

Positive Statement #10
“_________, are you ready to finally get the best (your product or service) on the market today? If so, then grab a pen and get ready to take some notes: I’ve got some exciting things to tell you today…”

If Prospect is Negative:

Positive Statement #11
“If that were true I wouldn’t be representing this… The fact is, most people don’t fully understand how this works, but once they do, they understand why we’re the number one product on the market. Let’s do this…”

Positive Statement #12
“Let me tell you just three reasons why we’re the number one brand in this industry, and if you still aren’t interested after that, then we’ll part friends. The first is our world class customer support…”

As you can see, by using these kinds of statements you are the one setting the tone of the call. Never forget that enthusiasm does sell, and always check your attitude before you pick up the phone – and have these statements ready!