I don?t have to tell you that times are hard for companies these days. And that means hard on you, the sales rep, too. Now when companies tell you that they don?t have the budget, you really believe them, don?t you?
Well not the Top 20%.
Top 20% producers are still making 80% of the sales because they know how to adapt in a changing market like the one we?re in today. They also know that companies are still buying their products and services, and what they are doing is adjusting how they sell so they can be more efficient with their time and energy. And one of their top priories these days is improving their phone skills.
Whether you only prospect and set appointments by phone, or if your entire sales cycle is conducted by phone, learning to use the phone more effectively is going to be crucial to your success in today?s economic environment.
Here are 5 Secrets of Top 20% producers and 5 critical phone skills you need to master today:
Secret #1: Use the phone to disqualify prospects rather than qualify them. With prospects taking longer to make a decision, the last thing you want to do is set a bunch of unqualified or so/so appointments and then spend your time, energy, and gas running around accomplishing nothing.
So do what the Top 20% do: when they get an answer that gives them that feeling in their gut (what I call a Red Flag), stop and qualify it! Ask the tough questions. For example, if your prospect says you can drop something off if you wish, ask:
?I?d be happy to. And let me ask you, after you see the information when are you planning to make a decision on it??
?I?d be happy to. What do you need to see in it to move forward and put my company to work for you??
Don?t be afraid to throw away the non-buyers! Remember: Leads never get better!
Secret #2: Be prepared with solid scripts to handle the common brush offs you get ? especially the, ?We don?t have the budget now?. When you get this, you should reply with:
?I completely understand. Like most companies, I know you don?t have extra money to throw around these days. But I also know that you still need to advertise your business and drive customers in the door. ________, let me ask you – if I could show you how advertising just $1,000 with us this month could bring you back $2,000 or more in business, isn?t that something you should know more about??
(Adapt this script to fit your product or service)
Secret #3: When closing, learn how to cut through smokescreen objections and find out what is really holding your prospect back ? and whether they are ever going to be a deal or not!
To do this, start questioning and isolating objections rather than answering them. If your prospect says: ?The price is too high,? say:
?I can understand that. Let me ask you ? if the price were right where you wanted to spend, is this something you would go ahead and order from me today??
Any answer other than yes means that this is just a smokescreen and answering it will get you nowhere.
Secret #4: Start recording your phone calls and make it a habit to begin listening to them and finding ways to improve.
This is without a doubt the most important thing you can do but, surprisingly, it?s the last thing 80% of sales reps will ever do. You will learn and improve more in a week than you will in 5 years of sales training. In fact, I?ve literally doubled my income in 90 days using this technique. Try it ? it?ll change your career?
Secret #5: Make a REAL commitment to improving every aspect of your phone calls and of your sales presentations. I call it Practicing Perfection. You?ve heard the saying that practice makes perfect, right?
Well that?s wrong! Only practice of perfection makes perfect. If you keep adlibbing your way through your qualification calls and closing presentations, you?re going to keep getting poor results.
But if you commit to finding and then using proven skills like the ones above, then you?ll improve on each call and you?ll make more sales. Just like the Top 20% do right now!