Step 1.

Stand Out

 

Be easy to understand and buy

The conversation starts here

WHO?

WHO are you

Your competitors can never copy you So promote you

 

Your website 

When people read your website they imagine you talking to them. It's personal. Does your website sound like you? Don't write things you wouldn't say in-person

Your website 'about' page

Customers want to know the real, authentic you in order to trust you. So share your photo, education, experience and interests. Stories are the oldest form of entertainment and marketing. So what's your story?

Your Point of View

Can you share your unique Point of View? One-third will disagree, one-third won't care and one-third will like you. If you try to please everybody, most will ignore you

Your Social Media

Don't outsource you in Social Media. "We're super excited you contacted us, please email us at ... " What the ? !

Be an expert - 2 examples

 

Example 1. You sell a CRM

Explain the downside of your CRM and how to avoid the downside

Instead of saying how good it is, like all your competitors. Help users by explaining typical problems businesses have when they implement a CRM. Then explain why they won't have these problems because of your, unique built-in solutions or unique training or strong support or ... Article title example; "The 3 pros and cons of a CRM, AND how we help you avoid the cons"

 

Example 2. Forget Boundaries

Speaking freely about other businesses in your industry helps make you an industry expert. People like talking to experts. If you mention a competitor, you will SHOCK the customer and be remembered forever as trustworthy; gaining a customer-for-life. Trust is the rarest commodity in Sales and Marketing.

WHO are your customers?

Can you Niche?

You don't need to appeal to everyone. Appealing to 10% of your market allows you to target a specific group (easier). And you will be perceived as an expert and stand out

WHO are your competitors?

what are they missing that you can do?

You have 2 types of competitors

1. Direct Competitors

E.g. A theater company competes against other theater companies in the same city

2. Indirect competitors

E.g. A theater company competes against cinemas in the same city

What can your theater company offer that the others don't?

WHAT do you sell?

Beware of focusing on 'Benefits'

'Features', are what you sell. How can you sell 'benefits' if you don't know what that customer values? You can't, until you ask. Be clear about what you sell

What do you sell? A product or service? Can one become another? 2 examples

Example 1. Give your product a service to make it stand-out. E.g. - Pizza Shop - "Delivered in 1 hour or it's free"

Example 2. Your service becomes a product. E.g. - All Graphic Designers in your city charge hourly. So to stand-out, sell basic websites for $1000, with SEO $1500 and with shopping cart $2000

WHEN?

When will you reply to an email / phone call? Can you guarantee it?

When are your competitors 'closed'? Can you 'open' then?

When do your customers want you 'open'?

WHERE?

 Website - 'Contact' page

We now live in a global economy so adding your physical location is important to build trust. If you have a home office have the suburb and city. Co-working spaces can provide a virtual address and rooms when you need them

Where are your competitors?

Go where they are not

Where are your customers?

Go where they are. Could they be in regional areas, craving for what you sell?

WHY?

Your 'why'. This is the deep stuff. Not essential but it helps a lot. Is there a deeper reason for what you do. Maybe it's your origin story or family story. Maybe it's your concern for social or environmental sustainability

HOW?

Do you have a unique process? This website has a 4 step process

Example - Canva is unique, easy to use graphic design software

 

HOW MUCH?

Lead with FREE

Be an expert with FREE articles, videos and consultations (limit time)

Customers don't want to be 'sold' with ads. They want to be in control with expert advice.

If you know your Industry and can answer any question, you're an expert!

Are your articles easy to read?

On the internet people don't 'read' they scan. So short is good, with headings and chunking​

Numbers in titles. '7 ways to surf better' is more scanable than 'How to surf better'.

Expressing you Point of View will filter out the bad fits

Pricing is difficult for services

Can your service become a product. E.g. - All Graphic Designers in your city charge hourly. So to stand-out, sell basic websites for $1000, with SEO $1500 and with shopping cart $2000

Now you're easy to understand and trust

your customers should be 80% ready to buy.

Time to talk ...

Step 2.

Keep

Repeats Sales, Reviews & Referrals

 

  • 'Thank You' phone calls - Keep them, with care. A 'courtesy call' post-purchase to thank them and get feedback. You will be remembered forever - powerful stuff. Then call every 3 or 6 months. Because your customers will leave if they feel underappreciated

  • Reward Loyal Customers. "Put your money where your mouth is". 

    • B2C Example - Coffee Cards (every 8th coffee free).

    • B2B Example - Parties

  • Feedback - grow stronger. Don't ask for a review - It implies you only want praise. Ask for feedback because it's neutral. How you ask is very important, here's an example. Imagine you run a restaurant. Saying, "how was everything?" doesn't cut-it. "Hi I'm James the owner. Our aim here at Jimmy's Trattoria is to be the best Italian restaurant in Brisbane. Any feedback you have would be very helpful." Then stand there and wait patiently for responses. And if they're response is lackluster, say "what would we have to do, to get you to tell all your friends about our restaurant?"

    • Negative feedback is important because it's how you improve. Apologise and make-it-up-to-them (you'll win a customer for life). Then call them a few days later to show how their feedback has helped you, to further deepen the relationship.

    • Maybe you should reward people for their feedback - Consultants get paid big-bucks for giving 'negative' feedback. Mystery Shoppers get paid to give negative feedback

    • Vague feedback like "yeah good", means there's something they're not telling you. Here's how to reply, "I'm really keen to improve my Car Mechanic Business, if you could give me any constructive feedback, no matter how small, that could help me improve, I would be really grateful?" 

    • If it's positive feedback - great, now ask for a review...

  • Reviews - 1 quirky (specific) thing.

    • Ask if there is one-specific-thing they liked (specifics are more believable). 'Specifics' are your strengths, you may be surprised what they say.

    • Feedback could be a new 'business direction' for you or a new additional service?

    • If they forget to review you, remind them 2 more times

    • When you receive the review, do not correct their grammar or spelling because authenticity is important.

    • Video reviews are more powerful

  • Case Studies - are powerful 'Social Proof'. Ask the customer if you can record / write about, their journey (words / photos / video).

    • A Case Study is also free advertising for them, they'll be flattered and your relationship will be strengthened.

    • If the Case Study is long include a 1 paragraph summary introduction.

    • Case Studies are not only for Professional Service Businesses. If you sell doughnuts you could make a video or photographic documentary of how a customer made a Doughnut-Man-Cake for her sons 8th birthday. The final scene is the boys reaction when doughnut man is revealed. Problem - Need an inexpensive crazy fun cakeSolution - Doughnut-Man! Outcome - A birthday party he will ALWAYS remember

  • Referrals - reward bothResearch shows MOST businesses don't ask for referrals AND that MOST happy customers are happy to give referrals. This is a really powerful, easy way to sell more. Promise your customer you will not annoy their friend (prospect). And if their friend buys from you then reward BOTH, with a movie pass, gift card, charity donation ... (don't skimp)

  • Raving Fans - people love to promote businesses that they love. They're volunteer Sales Reps

  • Increase Prices - this is the end result of all of the above. You have too many customers to deal with so you increase price to manage the demand

 

Step 3.

Attract

 

 

Reply to Everything

Articles & Videos create comments & inquiries

Reply to everything.

Don't 'cherry pick' and judge leads to be good or bad

It's hard for customers to find you through all 'the noise', so if they do contact you

it's important to 'work-it', for all it's worth

Customers fear contacting you, because they don't want to get L.I.A.S.

Most businesses are LIAS. Don't be a LIAS

  1. Late reply

  2. Ignored

  3. Abandoned - 1 contact then nothing

  4. Shuffled - by a Social Media Agency, "Great to hear from you please email us at ..." ? !

So be quick, clear and courteous and beat the competition every time

When you receive an Inquiry...

  • Research them. Research them online for 2-10 minutes. The more you know about them, the better you can help them.

  • Call back quick, 1st responder wins. They have probably copied and pasted their inquiry to your competitors as well. 'All things being equal' the first business to respond gets the sale. When you receive an inquiry every minute matters.

  • Call-back until you connect. Most customers want you to try a few times. And a few will want you to keep calling back, until you connect. You won't annoy them if you are warm, conversational and helpful. Use a phone / email / 'social' follow-up combo. REMEMBER, they contacted you first, so multiple call-backs are OK 

  • Her's an example of a follow-up timetable ... Let's start in January. Offer a different kind of help each time and be casual not clinical

    • January

    • week 1 - Monday - phone & emailWednesday - phone 

    • week 3 - phone

    • February - phone & email

    • April - phone & email

    • July and Octoberphone & email

    • then yearly phone & email

    • If you think this timetable is too pushy, you either; shouldn't be in sales or don't know how to really HELP others or aren't good at having conversations.

    • If the sale is 'time critical' you can contact as often as you like, as long as it's easy for them to 'opt out'

  • Be slow to say "no" Have a conversation before you say "no".

    • Can you recommend something, instead of just saying "no"?

    • Having a conversation means you will learn something and grow stronger.

    • "No sorry we don't have any cheesecakes left" = wrong answer "Yes we make 8 cheesecakes every morning, can I hold one for you tomorrow?" = right answer

    • Then ad value - "I can box it for you with a free ribbon and free birthday card and we have a colorful pen you can use."

  • Don't be an 'order taker'. Even if they are keen to buy, don't just take an order.

    • Engage them in conversation. Having a conversation sets you up for 7 sales not just 1

    • Let them tell you their stories because your 'Big Business' competitors won't listen - listening is your strength.

  • Build trust. The 'tone' you set in the first 7 seconds is crucial.

    • If you sound like you're working-through-a-list they won't be impressed.

    • There MUST be some type of WARMTH in your voice. 

    • Do you understand your industry so you can give advice? Placing you as a helpful expert, to be remembered forever!

    • Don't Blab. If you don't understand a question, seek clarity. Rephrase and repeat it back to them, this builds trust. If you guess an answer you have eroded trust.

    • There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with saying you don't know the answer and asking to get back to them. In fact doing this, builds even more trust.

  • Be Curious (and courteous). Ask questions to uncover problems

    • When we were children we used to ask a lot of questions. In response we got "stop asking so many questions!' So we became 'rugged individuals' that don't ask questions or ask for help. This is a huge problem in so many ways. Too many of us think that asking questions is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. Train yourself to be more curious. 

  • Social Media - Works best with conversations not billboards.

    • When someone comments on your Social Media page (a question, comment, disagrees, supports - anything) always use it as a conversation starter. Different people communicate in different ways, a comment could be a disguised question. Always be social on 'Social'. Every comment is a 'lead'. Reply to everything

  • Vulnerable not Clinical.

    • Being warm and open (vulnerable) is the best way to build rapport.

    • Be careful of being 'professional'. You could easily come across as cold and clinical

  • What to say on a warm-call; (returning the call).

    • Customer - "Hello?"

    • "Hello, James calling from ABC Software". You are a stranger to this customer, announcing your name and company helps place the customer at ease. If you don't announce yourself the customer will feel nervous about who is calling. This is unacceptable. They may not remember what you said but they will remember how you made them FEEL

    • "Is that David?"

    • "Yes."

    • "Hi David, I’m calling about the inquiry you made on our website ABC Software, a couple of minutes ago". You have just answered all the What, Who, Where, When and Why questions that are buzzing around in his head, and placed him at ease. Do not assume they know why you are calling. 

    • "Is this a good time to talk?" You are asking permission for their time, a respectful request that places the customer at ease.

    • "No."

    • "No problem David." Places the customer at ease.

    • "What are some good times to call back?" Do not ask for a specific time, nobody likes to be locked-in. Calling back is a positive, relationship building technique, because trust is built over time.

    • "Weekday mornings between 7 and 9."

    • "Great David (be positive and upbeat). I’ll call you back soon. Have a good day."Never hang up first. Wait until they hang up

  • Stay in touch and convert 80%. Using the above method will allow you to convert 80% of inquiries into sales, in the next few months

 

 

Step 4.

Find

Outbound Marketing. Talking to Strangers

Targeted (local & industry) B2B cold-calling

with helpful follow-up

The 5 step D.T.E.R.M. cold-call method

  • Deliver by Hand (optional)-  an in-person cold-call, for serious cut-thru. Deliver a Letter or Presentation Folder.  A hand-delivery that informs and/or entertains cuts through the 'noise' and signals your serious intention to serve. You are no longer hiding behind advertising, you have become the advertising. Do not try to engage (you're a stranger). Smile. 'Read the room'. Maybe a one-liner. "Thank you". Exit. Your phone follow-up is when you engage. 

  • Telephone - No selling. No questions. 15 second calls. The first phone call is simply a short and sweet request to introduce your Business to theirs with an email. Nothing more. Why? Because, you're a stranger. At this stage their response is unimportant. Voicemail? No problem - intro and email, stick to the plan

  • Emails - They get to know you 'in their own time'. 15 second read. The email is a balancing act - short yet comprehensive. Confident not 'salesy'. Memorable not sensational. With an invitation that's hard to resist

  • Repeat - because humans forget. Your phone/email/social follow-up will not annoy if you are constantly helping, keen to learn and looking for conversation not conversion. Your follow-up alone (emails and voicemails) may result in sales without ever talking to them, it did for me. Most sales take 5 - 20 'touches' and half of all salespeople give up after one call. And prospects secretly love being 'pleasantly pursued'

  • Meet - Events -  What better reason to phone, than an invitation to an event. No need to push, the event should be irresistible.  Attracting people to an Event is easier than chasing meetings. Casual conversations at Events are sales conversations without being 'sales conversations'. Don't try to qualify, close or control people at the event. Events should build trust and position you as an industry leader to increase inquiries. Team-up with allied industries and hold an event. It's a lot easier than you think. It just requires systematic effort

Deliver /

Telephone

Meet

Get Attention

PhoneTraining

Helping

not

Selling

Promote

Understanding

 

Emails Written

 Create Trust

Presentations

& Events

Be Remembered

Social

Media

Follow-Up

timetable

3

4

Email

Repeat

  • Commit a minimum of 1 hour a week to this method and you will see results. (5 calls with 5 emails in 15 minutes) on Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday = 1 hour weekly. Meaning 80 personal ads monthly

Step 4. continued

Targeted Cold-Calling. 

The ultimate, real life guide for Australia

  • Cold-calling is not about selling or calling people at home.

  • Cold-calling is not about trying to control a conversation.

  • It's simply one business saying hello to another business (B2B).

    • "Hi, what's the best way to introduce my business to yours?"

There's 2 ways to cold-call

  1. In-Person (the best way) delivering printed material.

  2. Phone.

How to stand-out

  1. Use follow-up calls because most don't

  2. And with follow-up, you're first call isn't pushy so you REALLY stand out

Which businesses to call?

  • By geography - call all businesses close to you (you don't know who they know).

  • By Industry - call your targets.

  • Call to create alliances  - Real Estate Agents calling Home Loan businesses.

When to call?

  • Not Monday (they're too busy).

  • 10am or 2/3pm whichever suits your lifestyle and customers better. Generally people are more relaxed after lunch

How to get started

  • 5 calls with 5 emails in 15 minutes on Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday.

B2B cold-calling is also possible for B2C businesses, here's 5 examples;

  1. A Cake Shop phones local businesses and speaks to the Social Club Organiser

  2. A Surf Shop phones local businesses and speaks to HR to sell surfing lessons as Team Building

  3. A Fashion Shop invites local businesses to monthly Fashion Shows

  4. A high-risk Investment Broker targets Extreme Sports Clubs 

  5. A Careers Coach targets libraries to hold free seminars

8 cold-calling myths busted

  1. I don't have the mindset - When you were 5 you'd talk to anyone. You don't need to learn a 'mindset', it's in you. Just remove the years of 'learned fear'.

  2. I will get rejected - No, they are just 'protecting' themselves.

  3. It's too much talking - Most calls won't be answered. And when they do, it will mostly be very short exchanges

  4. It annoys people - Not if you're relaxed, helpful and it's easy for them to 'opt out'.

  5. They're not interested - So what, I'm not interested in groceries, but I buy them.

  6. They won't answer. Great - leave a voicemail

  7. Most won't buy - So what, do you buy pizza every time you see an ad for it?

  8. B2C businesses can't call B2B - Yes they can, see 5 examples above.

6 reasons to cold-call

  1. If they’re not aware of you, they cannot buy from you. Simple truths are sometimes the most beautiful. If someone has not heard of you there is a 0% chance they can buy from you, not 3 or 2 or 1% ... 0%! If you tell someone about your business there is a chance they can buy. And the more you help / remind them, the more of a chance they buy. Cold-calling then emailing, is even better.

  2. It proves you want their business. The truth is, there are a lot of businesses that don't REALLY care if you buy from them or not.

  3. It attracts new customers. And you constantly need new customers to replace customers that leave, because of… a) new procurement practices b) digital disruption c) offshoring d) new government regulations

  4. You’ll Stand Out, because your competitors won’t do it.

  5. Once you’ve conquered cold-calling, all phone conversations are easier.

  6. If you don’t cold-call and the customer calls you, it’s because they’re in research phase (meaning, you’re 1 of many on their list). If you cold-call now, they don't need a list.

Targeting by buyer and locality

Image you sell cakes. Cafes buy 3 cakes weekly, they're your buyers, especially local cafes (more trust and less transport costs)

Locality - You can target cafes NOT in your locality if you specialise (e.g. gluten-free) because there are no suppliers in that area

Buyers - you also have secondary buyers (targets) that are NOT cafes e.g. offices that buy 1 cake every 3 weeks. If there are more offices than cafes, they could become you most important buyers?

Targeting local businesses can be done in-person

with a letter or folder

Hand deliver a letter of introduction

  • The contents of a letter is a balancing act - short yet comprehensive. Confident not 'salesy'. Memorable not sensational. With an invitation that's hard to resist.

  • Staple a business card to it. Use colored paper that reflects your brand (blue). Example - walk in and say "special delivery". Walk out, note the time, day and person. 2 days later (follow-up) phone to confirm receipt of your blue letter. Have a conversation

  • Use a Presentation Folder (cheap light cardboard) if they are a serious target.  They hold your letter and a couple of other relevant, insightful documents (articles, case studies, catalogue ...) and display a business card

Then follow-up with phone calls

Humans are curious. We all like to know what goes on in the neighborhood

That business owner next door may have a brother/mother/mate that is a buyer

Targeting businesses that have what you sell. 

Example - You build websites. A business with a website that needs an upgrade is a better target than a business without a website because they are 'in the market' i.e. they have already purchased.

Targeting individuals within businesses

  • The person that answers the phone is important. Do not try and get through them. Work with them. Treat them as a player and they'll become a player. Everybody's a prospect

  • Sometimes 'the Boss' is hard to reach. And often others, may have 'influence' or may have 'interest' in what you are selling. Everybody's a prospect

  • When you email 'the Boss' cc the person you spoke to. Everybody's a prospect

  • If you sell e.g. software, maybe the 'end users' within the business are your target not 'the Boss'? Everybody's a prospect

Preparing - mindset

  • Do not worry about what you cannot control. You cannot control what others do and say. Concentrate on improving what and how you communicate. What other people say is your guide, not your concern

  • Never call once (scammers and lazy salespeople call once). If you call once, your reputation could be tarnished. Calling again means you are creating trust.

  • Around half of all salespeople don't call a 2nd time. Not many call a 3rd time. And so it continues ... And it takes 6-20 'touches' (Phone, Email, Social ...) to sell something. Do you see the pattern here? Be pleasantly persistent and you will succeed.

  • Cold-calling is not easy. Easy is worthless. However it gets easier every time you do it. Like riding a bike.

  • Cold-calling is talking to strangers. Once you get ok at it, you will have communication skills better than most

  • Cold Calling is hard but ultra rewarding. These guidelines are not only for your success. They are also to protect you from giving out too much of your energy and time to 'non-connects'. The key is to just say a few words on the first call. They will either be receptive or unreceptive. Bottom line - you have spoken and sent an email - regardless of what you think or feel THEY are now able to purchase from you - simply because they have now heard of you

  • Rejection

When a prospect ‘rejects’ you on a sales call without listening to you they are protecting themselves. You are not being ‘rejected’.

And can you blame them, most salespeople are too PUSHY. So the prospect is 'playing the numbers' and saying NO immediately. Your job as a salesperson is to understand this dynamic and make a judgement call to disengage or continue.

Trust is built over time.

Most people are not comfortable talking to strangers.

It takes a couple of ‘contacts’ for them to be somewhat comfortable with you. Think about it from the customers Point of View.

Preparing to phone 

  • A headset will 'free' you, to be physically expressive (more confident). Dance if you want.

  • Have a pen and large writing pad (typing will sound like you're disinterested)

  • Have your go-to icebreakers ready (rapport). Mine are coffee and surfing

  • There must be warmth in your voice. People don't want to talk to robots

  • Understand some people will never buy. Embrace this fact. It will release you from the stress of expectation

  • Objections are good. Solve their problem and they'll be a customer-for-life. Acknowledge and record their objection for later. Never argue or disagree on a cold-call.

  • Don’t raise your voice - there’s no need and it may sound pushy

  • Don't sound formal - this is Sales and Marketing NOT Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Don’t interrupt - the more they talk, the more you learn.

  • Don't winge, complain, tisk-tisk or make strange noises

  • Understand the there's a .01% chance that if someone says "no", your head may explode. That was a joke - remember to NEVER lose your sense of humour. You are not about to call the flight-tower for permission to move onto the runway - this is sales and marketing - have fun!

Research

The amount of time you research a prospect, before you call, depends on the size of your target market, how 'hot' you guess they are and how local. Take 30 seconds to 5 minutes on research. Here's the steps

  1. Website scan (what do you identify with?)

  2. Website Blog & Social Media scan (their vibe and their customers)

  3. Internet search with their name

  4. Internet search with their industry keywords for competitors

Preparing your emails

So there is no chance of confusion - The subject line of your email will refer directly to the telephone conversation you just had with them "Hi John, we just spoke about ...". Then customise the first line. Then paste your short, comprehensive, non-'salesy', memorable (not sensational) email. With an invitation that's hard to resist.

Phone Scripts

Which one of these statements from a Designer sounds better?

  • Unscripted - "Yeah we can get together and talk about what you want, sketch it up and make something" or...

  • Scripted - "We build with you, from concept to creation"

Phone Scripts allow you quickly and accurately, explain anything like an expert.

Customers like talking with experts. If the customer sees you as an expert they will allow you to ask them questions. Questioning to uncover problems is key. 

You won't sound like a robot if you make the script your own

  • Scripts allow you to focus on listening, not thinking about what to say next

  • Scripts allow new staff to become operational quickly

  • Scripts safeguard your Business. If your top salesperson leaves, you have a script

  • Scripts can be stuck on your wall, so you can quickly answer FAQs

  • Brainstorming is a great way to create scripts

  • Scripts should be constantly updated

The First Call

  • Never sell, just help.

  • Start Strong. Speaking slowly, clearly and courteously at all times.

  • Only engage if they want to engage.

  • If communication becomes difficult, (because of a technical issue or because interpersonal communication is failing) you have to bail out. This is the most difficult part because if it 'goes wrong' it's almost impossible to rescue and someone will get upset. When something goes wrong we all try to FIX IT. Resist this urge to FIX IT, it doesn't get better. Interject and say "It's a bad line, I'm Fred Smith, I'll email you now". Then call-back in 2 days

The First Call. What to say

  • Depends on many factors. (Contact James for help). As a general rule...

  • "Hi, what's the best way to introduce my business to yours?" Yes this is a soft approach. Hard approaches may work in the USA, not Australia

  • Then they may ask "What's your business?"

  • Then say the name of your business if you know that would appeal to them and the Industry (if appealing) and suburb (if close)

  • If you have the slightest doubt they can hear you, say "Hello can you hear me?" because it's difficult to recover from a bad start

  • Whatever happens, email and call-back another day

  • Do not try and control the conversation. Because you're a stranger 

  • Do not be placed on hold with a "I'll see if they're available." Be happy to email and call-back

  • Do not push for anything. The business you are calling is either 'open' to you or not (for good reasons). It's out of your control. Don't worry about what you can't control

  • End with an UPBEAT 'advertisement', "Thanks Elaine you'll get an email from james@jameshaldane.com.au in a few minutes, have a great day"

Record what happened - Company Name. Suburb. Spoke with Lynne Smith 10:00am Tuesday 10/08/21. She said ...

"They won't remember what you said, they will remember how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou

The First Phone Call. What NOT to say

  • “How are you today?” Is inauthentic, you don’t care how they are. If you really want to say it, you must be specific - locate them in time and space by saying "How is your Tuesday morning in Smithville going?" AND you must be willing and able to have a authentic conversation about their response

  • “Is this a good time to talk?” On a cold-call, there’s never a ‘good time’ because you're a stranger.

  • “How have you been!?” Do not say this. It's a trick to pretend you are their long-lost-friend to get their attention. Do not trick people

  • "I'm sorry to interrupt ..." You're not interrupting! It's a business call. If they don't want to do business they should live in a tent on a beach. If you are polite and to-the-point you have nothing to apologize for.

  • “What did you say your name was?” It seems like a fair question to ask if someone mumbles their name. But they may interpret it as “can’t you even say your own name!?” Write down what you think they said, and clarify later.

  • Do not attempt to 'engage' unless you are already familiar or they engage first. Because you are a stranger and will make them uncomfortable

  • Don't go deep or talk for too long. You need reasons to call again

  • Do not 'qualify' them, see Article

How to reply when they say...

How to reply when they say 'no'

  • A 'no' is rare when you call another 'local' Business.

  • 'No' can mean "I don't trust you, you're a stranger" which is fair enough. Or it can mean "I'm moving to Hawaii tomorrow."

  • Ask why, with a genuine tone of curiosity.

  • Getting a reason why they say 'no' is important. When you get a reason you will learn something. Learning about your industry is important, it's how you improve

  • Discontinue then email saying you were not a telemarketer. They could still buy

 

How to reply when they say, "Sorry, what did you say?"

Do not repeat anything word-for-word. Switch-it-up to make it clearer. If they still don't GET IT there is a communication problem. Discontinue politely by saying you will send an email, (save your energy).Then call again another day

How to reply when they say, "We already have a supplier"

This is good news because now you know they BUY what you SELL. Suppliers come and go. Suppliers get lazy and slip-up. Most suppliers will eventually stop 'taking care' of their customers, it's human nature. That's where you come in. Stay in contact.

On a deeper level - you can research their supplier, what's their weakness? Customer service? Recontact the prospect and mention a concrete reason why you have great customer service.

Voicemail

Have a 10/15 second message ready. Do not leave your number unless you have a really good reason to (it pressures the prospect). Do not ask them to do anything. Why? Because you're a stranger

  1. Mention yourself

  2. Mention something about their e.g. website, to show you are familiar with them

  3. Offer specific, practical help

  4. Say you will email them now from (say your email) to (say their email)

Calls always going to voicemail? That's Ok. Don't give up! I've had customers buy without talking with them

Record what happened - Company Name. Suburb. Left standard voicemail with Lynne Smith 10:00am Tuesday 10/08/21.

Helpful lines for tricky First Calls

  • Be curious - "You're not interested in xxxx, I'm jealous, what's you're secret!"

  • TRUTH bombs. "It's OK if you need to hang-up on me" / "We have never spoken before"

Ending the call

  • Do not ask for a meeting on your first call, unless there's a really good reason

  • Do not push hard for a 'next step' (name / phone call / meeting). It should come organically. If you ask prematurely it could be seen as PUSHY 

  • Do not hang-up first (your 'slow' could be their 'fast')

How to Email

  • Emailing is important because

    • they can review and understand you, in their own time.

    • they can remember you, to buy later

    • you can stay in touch

  • When they agree to receive an email say "Is info@xxxx.com.au OK because I have it here, on your website?" Strangely, a lot of people will give you a different address. This is a problem because it may bounce. When they spell-it-out, just write what you hear, then research to find the correct spelling. Don't waste your time asking them to spell it again because if they don't care, they don't care

  • You have the email address. Now ask a question to better understand their business and know what information to send them.

The Second Call +

  • Follow-up is essential because trust is built over time

  • You will not annoy if you provide insights, tips, 'how to' articles, events, case studies or even something funny / entertaining

  • Most sales take 5 - 20 'touches' and half of all salespeople give up after one call

  • The number of follow-up calls will depend on conversations and the size of your target market. It will average 4-6 across weeks, with helpful information.

  • The second call is for 'setting up' the third call. Remembering this, will take the pressure off. As soon as the call gets tricky or the person gets flustered, look for ways to politely end the call. Because, once again, trust is built over time

  • If you speak to the same person on the second call say, "Hi Joan we spoke last Tuesday about ... ask about the sent email ... ask one or two questions ... learn ... help ... ask for help ...

  • If David (someone else) answers, do not refer to Joan (unless she is your sole contact) because this will shift focus from David. David is now your contact

Record - Company Name. Suburb. 2nd call. Spoke with David 10:00am Tuesday 10/08/21. He said ...

Helpful lines for follow-up calls

  • Don't talk / ask about the future (it's unknown). Talk about the past because the past is factual. For example ...

  • "What frustrates you about...?" Hopefully your solution can help

  • "What roadblocks do you experience when you...?"

  • "How are we travelling together so far?"

  • "Are you more interested in A or B?"

  • "Why do you say that?"

Record everything

  • Don't type and talk, because you need to focus on listening. And if they hear you typing they 'll think you don't care. Use pen and paper

  • Then transfer it to your in software (CRM), a calendar or spreadsheet ...

  • Your records will inform what you say on your next call

  • Generally speaking, SEO might be worth it

  • Social Media rarely is; (unless you have genuine, valuable conversations).

  • The information on this page is more important than both.

James Haldane

Selling by Helping since 2001