Let's Chat | Call us: 212-502-3066

3 Strategies for Effectively Developing the Right Calling Approach

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Feb 23, 2017 8:19:00 PM

Whether you’re new to sales, or an experienced pro, developing the right approach to making sales calls is a strategic advantage.
 
As a salesperson, oftentimes the first impression you make is over the phone. Whether that’s talking to a new prospect, building a client relationship, or maintaining contact with long term clients.
 
Developing an effective calling approach and phone persona is essential to your sales success. But how can you develop an approach that will consistently drive results?
 
Consider these 3 strategies as you develop, refine, and optimize your calling approach: 
 
sales call approach ideas


1. Personalize Your Message

Think about who you are calling and why you are calling them before you pick up the phone.

First, we must consider what kind of leads are you calling and what’s the right strategy for each?

For example, let’s say you were just assigned a new lead. This lead came in through the website as an inbound lead who downloaded your newest eBook. What’s the approach for this type of lead?

To start, we must do our best to research who the person is, what company they work for, why they might be interested in the eBook, and whether they’ve downloaded any other resources from your website.

Why are these things important?

Because each piece of information helps you paint a picture of who you are calling. The more you know about the company, the person, or the industry in general will set you up for success because you’ll be able to tailor your message by saying something that resonates with the lead.

In this inbound lead example, you could personalize your message in a simple, yet logical way by helping them identify the key takeaways from the eBook they just downloaded and offer ideas about how the information applies to their job, company, or industry.

Taking this approach helps you position yourself as an expert, presents your company/offering in a positive light, and lets you take the role of the helpful salesperson who is educating them on new information and solutions.

 

2. Build Your Sales Story

 Identifying the right approach for each type of lead is only part of the game. The next step is to build your value proposition by crafting a compelling sales story.

We often think that facts and figures are what motivate people to take action. But the truth? Facts and figures aren’t nearly as effective as telling a great story.

Let’s say you’ve got a prospect on the line and they want to learn more about your solution. Instead of rattling off numbers that will mean nothing to them, consider walking them through the story of how you’ve helped other companies, maybe even mention a competitor of theirs, and help them visualize how your product and/or service delivered results for that company.

For example, you could say something like: “We’ve had a lot of success with companies like yours who have experienced some of the same challenges you may be facing, so I’d like to learn more about what you’re doing, tell you how we’ve been implementing solutions for businesses like yours, and see if there’s a match.”

You’re not only going to get their attention fast, they’re going to want to know how they did it, when they started doing it, how far behind they are, and what they need to do to catch up.

 

3. Understand the Rhythm of the Call

Listening is the key to a great conversation. So when we are speaking with prospects and clients over the phone, we must listen to the rhythm of the call and make certain decisions based on the rhythm.

If you ask a question and the other person responds as soon as you finish speaking, this probably means they’re tuned in. On the other hand, if there’s a long gap and their response doesn’t really relate to the question you asked, they’re probably not connected to the conversation.

As sales professionals, our goal is to ask 2nd level questions in order to create a more substantial conversation. 2nd level questions, asked in the right context, encourage the customer to share relevant information needed to understand their true interest in our business solution as well as their motivation to help their organization acquire it.

This is the type of conversation when the customer reacts to the salesperson’s interest and capabilities by sharing relevant information about their background, biases, plans as well as their power, influence, and motivation to buy.

The best way to help them make more sales is to maximize their time with people most likely to buy and minimize their investment in time with the rest.  At the same time, sellers need to dig out opportunities that are not immediately obvious but lying just below the surface waiting for a skilled salesperson to uncover and close.

 

Conclusion

Remember these 3 strategies the next time you’re ready to pick up the phone, and you’ll be on your way to building a connection with your prospects and clients while creating a more open sales dialogue.

manager_HowMuchCoachingShouldIBeDoing_Vlog.png

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated.

Read More

Topics: sales, tips, selling, sellers, prospecting, value, skills, sales tips, sales training, digital media training, cold calling, call, small business, improving, marketing, strategy, phone

7 Strategies for Selling Search Engine Marketing

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Dec 29, 2015 9:30:00 AM

1. Start with a Great Target List

If you observe veteran search marketing salespeople, you will see that they receive inbound calls and email inquiries quite frequently from potentially ready-to-buy advertisers. Unfortunately, half of the calls will be less than optimal and shouldn’t be considered real prospects, but the other half will be first class opportunities.

Watching those veteran sellers, you may wonder what sort of magic makes them so effective. What is the real magic? The seller and his/her company have been prospecting for years.

The odds of cold calling someone today and reaching the final decision maker is low. But you can sow the seeds today- make sure they already know about you, and make them impressed enough to remember to contact you when they are ready.

So if you want a successful career, think ahead to the advertisers you want to be working within the next 1-3 years and begin pursuing them, without appearing desperate. Each day, given that you will have to make about 10-30 calls (especially if you are in your first year of SEM sales), you should be having at least one good conversation with a decision maker/advertiser.

writing-checklist-list.jpg

2. Prospect Every Day

Although this seems obvious, especially given the point mentioned above, it can sometimes be difficult to carry it through. Since you sometimes actually reach an interested advertiser, you lose some prospecting time.

The "interested" calls can easily go on for about 10-45 minutes. Those calls often result in the promise to send something. That something can take an hour to 3 days to prepare. Managing your time so that, despite these needs, you still find time to prospect enough, ideally, you should aim for a call to be only a few minutes long that results in a face-to-face meeting.

3. Prepare for Each Meeting Like an Investor

Before investors will put their money into a company, they want to know everything about that company. Therefore, apart from the information you will glean online and from various databases, etc., you need to make sure you understand how big the vertical is, how big a share your target-prospect has and what their plans (ideally budget) and timing needs are to grow that share.

This level of information can only be acquired through conversations with the prospect. You may even need more than one good conversation before you can learn enough about this advertiser.

Remember, you are also trying to determine if this advertiser is a good fit with your own agency. Given your competition, you may never get a second chance at getting that advertiser back.

4. Create a Presentation that Tells Your Agency's Story

The normal flow of events leading to a sale with a new advertiser goes either through the RFP process or through a process led by the search agency. The RFP process gives the customer total control while the other gives the agency total control.

Either way, you are likely to need two presentations. The first is either the RFP response or your agency's initial presentation; the second will include the agency fee structure.

If you are involved with an RFP, you will likely be presented with a variety of categories (for example Proprietary Technologies, Bid Management Strategy, Service Team Structures, etc.) with a series of detailed questions below each. Your answers should tell a story about how your agency services accounts.

If the sale is outside the RFP process, then the focus still needs to be on telling that story: the story of how your agency's philosophy of servicing accounts is a superior fit for that particular advertiser.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Assuming the advertiser is trying to improve the ROI of their search campaign, the seller needs to be specific about the advertiser's timing for those changes. Even if the advertiser's goal is to increase their SOV of search traffic (and conversions) to their vertical by the following year, the good search seller will be able to build up a sense of urgency in the client.

How does one do this?

By building a backward timetable.

Let's say it's currently January, and the advertiser wants to take advantage of the Q4 traffic increase. By describing each and every step leading up to October/November/December along with the amount of time needed to test and optimize each step (including keywords selection, creatives, matching strategy, landing page, etc), you can easily show the advertiser that starting in January may not even be enough.

6. Involve Your Team of Experts Pre-Sale - Without Wasting Their Time

If the seller is the smartest person in their agency, then the advertiser will suffer having to work with a not-as-smart service team. On the other hand, if the service team is a bunch of rocket scientists that the advertiser never meets, then the advertiser may have trouble visualizing the benefits of working with them.

Make sure you as a seller appear well-informed, but then top yourself by introducing the advertiser to at least one additional member of either the management or the service team - ideally both. Consider the introductions of other team members a great "next step strategy."

7. Stay Involved While Handing Off Campaign to Your Account Management Team

Some agencies ask their sellers to stay involved after the sale - some even insist that the seller joins weekly Account Manager calls. Other agencies ask that the seller cleanly hands off the advertiser, turning to focus on the next sale.

Either way, the seller is well advised to make sure they schedule a conversation (or 2, 3 or 4) during the first week/month of the new advertiser's campaign with both the Account Manager and the client. The last thing a search seller wants is to learn - too late - that the advertiser was unhappy and unable to get resolution through the account team.

How to Transition into Digital Ad Sales - eBook

Read More

Topics: training, sales process, prospecting, value, sales tips, sales training, marketing, strategy, phone, account manager, agency's story

How to Eliminate Anxiety During a Sales Call

Posted by Kevin Kiriluk on Aug 26, 2014 1:27:46 PM

The daunting task of picking up the phone and actually calling someone can be frightening to some, heck it may even be terrifying. But, why let your nerves get the best of you? Eliminating anxiety is a common problem for salespeople who are faced with budgets, pricing, legal, marketing, and a slew of other things.

How can you conquer your anxiety and become the sales superstar you were born to be?

1. Be the man (or woman) with the plan

What would you say you do here?Preparation is a key element to creating and developing essential conversations that will enhance your deal flow. The best types of conversations are organized into parts so that the listener can fully comprehend the material being presented. This gives both parties the opportunity to fully take in the material being presented.  

How should you start this plan? Make a list of the questions you need to answer. A great way to do this is to have a series of questions which lead into another; a domino effect. One question like “What kind of challenges do you face with your sellers?” may lead into “How often is this challenge faced?”. Soon enough you will have all the answers to the questions you need to know.


2. Breathe!

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6wusg6ppI1rziwwco1_400.gifWell you should already be doing that, but incase you’re convinced otherwise this can have a major impact on your voice tonality while over the phone. Relieving your shoulder muscles and clearing your throat is vital to ensure you get off on the right note.

Hesitation in your voice will lead to hesitation from your prospect. This could lead to early warning signs and red flags to why your prospect may not want to further the conversation with you. Your confidence is vital towards grabbing their attention and closing sales!

 

3.  Make a Case & Point

I-love-you-man-awkwardIdentify why you’re contacting them for this sales call. Validating this will help ease awkward introductions and follow-ups. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are: Where are they in my sales pipeline? Am I nurturing them through the sales funnel? How am I building next steps into my call? This will help remind both the prospect and yourself of why this conversation was initially started.

But what is the point you are trying to make? The point is to get your message across, effectively. By asking yourself the questions mentioned earlier, you can identify material, tactics, and strategies for them depending on where they are throughout the sales funnel. Your sales funnel will help identify next step solutions for a prospect.  

 

4. Bring in the Backup

bbb

When the going gets tough, it’s time to call in backup. You may want to bring your Sales Manager in or a coworker who would be willing to help you out in a jam, in order to make delicious jelly of the situation. Having a “3rd wheel” to fall back on absolutely makes sense for both parties. A coworker on a call could provide reassurance, and further explain some parts of the product you may not fully understand. From the prospect’s point of view, it shows them you are really interested in their business and encourages mutual engagement towards finding a solution that best fits.

Follow some of these tips and you’ll be sure to conquer your anxiety and get to sales superstar status in no time! How do you eliminate your sales call anxiety? Please leave a comment below!

4 Steps for Improving Your Time Management & Sales Skills - Download eBook Now

Sources:
Image: Tumblr, guh-gifgarden
Image: hyperventilating into bag

Image: http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/bbb.gif
Image: http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/say-you-do-here.gif

 

 

Read More

Topics: prospecting, sales tips, cold calling, closing sales, selling tips, phone, sales advice, sales meeting

How To Present 1-On-1 (Part 2)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Jun 6, 2013 11:20:00 AM

3. What is the information you really need to gain in order to properly position this?  Clearly you need to understand what the lead’s goal is, and whatever he or she tells you about his needs and wants. But you also want to go beyond that.  What is his role?  And what has his role been in similar purchases?  Has he ever bought anything like what you’re selling before?  How did he do it last time?  Did he involve other people? Learn his buying patterns, and discover how likely he is to make a decision going forward.  But let’s also look at the timing.  Has the company been looking for a while?  If so, why?  Has he spoken with other companies that they are no longer considering?  If so, why?  Why have they rejected some things?  Is there an internal bias?  Have they realized that certain things will work and certain things won’t? 

detective_pipe_magnifying_glassHere’s a question: How come they’re even looking?  How come they aren’t using last year’s solutions again now?  Did something change?  Did something develop in their company?  Are they new?  Are they reacting to some competitive landscape issues?  By understanding their timing, understanding how they arrived at whatever budget, and timetable, you’ll know what you’re up against. Check to see if the company had one of their individuals look in and spearhead the effort of finding a solution. Why was that particular person the one chosen to be in that position?  Is that typically the way their process begins? 

So let’s go beyond simply his or her title.  Usually the salesperson says, “Does his title include the title of my product?  And if so, he must be the right person.  And he must be thinking about it in one kind of way.  Now, I need to go way beyond that with the information that I gained.”

4. And finally, reaction.  What is the reaction we’re looking to get, and what is the feared reaction or anticipated reaction that they have when they consider telling somebody else about your sales.  There are many cases in selling where there are other decision-makers who we never get to meet.  The customer says to you, “Okay, this is interesting, but I’m going to have to talk to my boss.” 

He might be thinking, “If I tell my boss this, my boss is going to think that I’m wasting time, or I’m an idiot, or I don’t get something.”  Well, if that’s the case, then he’s not going to tell his boss.  On the other hand, if he thinks the boss or the other people in the company are going to think that he’s a hero for introducing this great new offeringtwo_thumbs_up_good_job-1 that you’re presenting, then HOORAY! That’s precisely the reaction that you want to achieve.  So let’s understand what his reaction is likely to be.

Will he tell others in the organization about you and your service?

What is his reaction going to be in terms of helping you get exposure in their company? What is the reaction you’re looking for?

 

clap_applaud_successKeep in mind that a smiling, happy, nod is not the only kind of reaction that’s going to work.  You may be presenting something that introduces a brand new emerging technology or a new way of looking at something, in which case you’ll need to educate them and possibly challenge them. Don’t be afraid of them momentarily going, “Wait a minute, I don’t know that that’s going to work.”  This could be what it’s going to take for them to be able to see that what you have to offer is of great value.

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

 

We want to speak with you! Please leave a comment down in the box below.

Read More

Topics: sales strategy, phone, presentation, presentation strategy

How To Open Up an Inbound Telesales Call (II)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 5, 2013 9:15:00 AM

Thanks for staying tuned. In today’s post, we will be covering the final two considerations to have when successfully opening up a call.

3. Our “First Questions.” 

This breaks down into two components.  The first is to “qualify.”  In other words, not everyone that you speak with is going to be able to be serviced by you.  They may have called the wrong number, wrong division, wrong department, but aside from that, what you should aim to do each time is to engage them in a conversation.  Do not just find out why they’re calling and give them an answer because that would be giving up the opportunity to engage

The second is to explore the possibility that before the person ever called you, a change took place in his/her life.  This could have happened anywhere from a few minutes to perhaps months ago.  Maybe he’s thinking about going on a vacation or about to commit to a purchase.  He is thinking that something needs to be done now or in the future because something is changing or will change.  He has either been looking into solutions for some time now or will begin his quest to do so.  The only things you can assume to be certain are: (A) something has changed and (B) however long it has been since he began his quest, he hasn’t found anything yet (lucky for you!). Why not explore this territory of opportunity while you are talking to him and ask,

  • “Have you looked at anything else?” 
  • “Why haven’t you already made a purchase decision?” 
  • “How long have you been doing this?”
  •  “What was the reason you called me?  What was the reason you called me today?”

red_phone_receiver_call-1

 As you begin to ask these kinds of questions, you will have a better conversation. 

4. And finally, consider the “First Answer.” 

If someone were to ask you to explain something and gave you all the time you needed, utilizing all the media help in the world, you could probably fill an hour or more answering questions about what your company does and what makes it outstanding.   

What we are faced with is the more difficult task of relaying the benefits in the fewest number of words possible. 

one_more_call

You  must alert your ears and listen to why the person is calling and clearly explain the benefits, not the features of what you are selling.  How will the benefit absolutely translate into what the individual needs that day?  The more easily the prospect can see the connection between what he is looking for and what you are selling, the more often you will successfully close sales.

 

 

 Remember to reinforce the 4 necessary things to consider when opening up a telesales call: 1. The Blend of Qualities  2. First Words  3. First Questions  4. First Answers

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

Read More

Topics: training, tips, selling, prospect, sales training, client, call, strategy, phone, telesales

How To Open Up an Inbound Telesales Call

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 4, 2013 8:30:00 AM

How do YOU open up an inbound telesales call?  Let’s focus on four things:

  1. The Blend of Qualities
  2. First Words
  3. First Questions
  4. First Answers

1. The blend of qualities.

Consider the call, and put on the shoes of the caller.   How does the call sound from the customer’s point of view? What is the customer’s ideal model person that he would love to be speaking with?  Wouldn’t it be someone who sounds like he really wants to be there, and who is genuinely eager to help? Wouldn’t you want to speak with someone who is well-informed and has the ability to provide you with a tangible solution? Isn’t that what you you’re looking for when you call that number?  Well, we need to recreate that sound consistently with every call.  But, how do we do that throughout the day with our natural ups and downs? 

Think like an actor.  How would the actor play the part of this character we need?  That character has a blend of four kinds of qualities.

Happiness is the first, and this shines through in the actor’s voice and the smile on his face.  He will sound like he wants to be there.  That smile will create that desirable sound you need. It’s key to be able to blend that with professionalism, which urges you to be careful about the words you choose to say.  Be careful not to offend anyone.  Also, be careful not to use words that may not be understood or initials that are not likely to be known because you wouldn’t want to sound like you’re trying to fool them or be confusing.

You also need to blend in energy.  When I get on the phone and I ask somebody a question, he or she says, “Hi. How can I help you?”

Customer Representative: “No, sorry. We don’t have that.”

 Me: “What about…? Well, couldn’t there be another option or another version of this?”

Customer Representative: “Yeah, well maybe there is one other way.”

***

All of a sudden, I realize that I had to think of the solution myself.  This person didn’t even have the energy to develop another solution for me.  I want to speak to someone who sounds like he is not only energetic, resourceful, creative, but who really wants to help me with my problem.

Add confidence into the blend. If you are simply all about energy, you are going to be speaking too fast, but if you are also filled with confidence, you will be able to slow down and choose words that clearly convey your message and ensure that it is understood.  You know much more about the subject then the customer does. You are in a position of authority, so embrace this and sound like you are.

2. Now, onto the “First Words.” Typically our first words are very simple, aren’t they?  We say, “Hi, this is…” and you say your name of the company and perhaps the name of the department.  This line is actually more important than you think.  The more of something we say, the faster it tends to come out. We say nothing more often during a call than the greeting and our own name, and so at the end of the day, the whole “Hi, this is Kevin from the Sales division at ABC Co.” all comes out as one speedy blur. 

Make sure that you are speaking slowly, so that the person on the other end of that call is absolutely syncing up with what you are saying.  You will want to use both your first and last name because that makes you sound more professional. Remember that what they have to say is more important, so do your best to keep your sentences short and simple.  Try saying, “Hi, this is [first and last name], from [division and company]” and then proceed to “The First Questions" (please stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post).”

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: sales, tips, selling, sales tips, client, call, business, phone, leads, deals, consultant, contacts, telesales

How To Approach a Winning Sales Call (II)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Apr 3, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Yesterday, we discussed why it was pivotal to know who you’re calling, the reason for the call, and how to feel for the rhythm. Let’s now look at the final two components.

3. Don’t sound like a telemarketer.   

one_on_on_interview_clip_1600_clr_6951

When you’re explaining what you do, that’s great!  But when somebody asks you to explain what you do and you’re unable to unbundle this point from your sales pitch, you’re not being helpful.  Not only do you have to sell it, you have to explain it effectively.  Know the difference between these two things.  The more refined you are at explaining, the more convincing it really becomes. 

There are some people that just can’t get a clear explanation out without turning it into a commercial that makes what they’re selling incomprehensible.  That’s what telemarketers do.  They may neither understand the questions nor follow the conversation.  They’ll say to a customer, “Well, let me get back to that.  But right now, what I want to tell you is” – let the customer lead and ask the questions that they need to ask. 

4. And finally, go in with a plan or multiple plans. Have Plans B, C, and D ready and dressed to accompany Plan A.  

next_steps_crossword

If you go and can’t reach the person, then what next?  If you are able to reach the person but he can’t meet with you, what’s the alternative plan?  What’s the plan if you get him on the phone, ask for an appointment and you give it your best shot, but he makes an objection?

What’s the plan when you find out that he or she is not the right person to reach out to and he doesn’t assume the type of authority you had expected?  Therefore, what do you do?  Knowing what to say for all of these various situations that come up predictably and quite frequently in telesales will help you outperform your competitors.

 

There are 4 things to keep in mind:

1.  Know who you’re calling and why. 

2.  Feel the rhythm of the call. 

3.  Avoid sounding like a telemarketer. 

4.  Go in with a plan.

When you have all four of these ready in your front pocket, then you’re ready to make those winning calls.

 

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

Read More

Topics: sales, training, tips, selling, sales process, skills, sales tips, digital media training, call, difficulty selling, opportunities, phone

Why Sellers Lose Deals (IV)

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Mar 26, 2013 9:00:00 AM


There are 4 main reasons on why sellers lose deals that they’ve invested their precious time in.  They are the following:
  1. No outreach was made prior to the issuance of the RFP/ Tender.
  2. Lack of understanding in the role your contact plays within the buying process.
  3. Lack of initiative in gathering insight on the buyer’s history and thought process.
  4. ***Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem.***

Welcome to the final installment of this series. Today, we will look at the importance of painting a picture for the client as to how our solution really solves their problem.


4. Failure to provide a very concise picture of how the solution you provide solves his or her problem. Let’s take a look at a typical sales process. In the first meeting (in-person, on the phone, by email or combination of all 3), the seller learns about the customer’s needs and shares the details of his own offering. Customers generally ask “How much?” and we respond by sending them a proposal. A proposal usually looks more like a legal document than a persuasive essay. Giving someone a proposal does not obligate them to decide and often does not convince an on-the-fence customer to decide right away in the seller’s favor.  What’s missing?

The story. The biggest proof that your products and services really work is that others are buying them. Sellers need a story version of the explanation on why similar customers have bought from them. The best stories are data-backed and include the details of how urgently another customer was looking for a solution and how happy they are now. That story works best if the seller can provide a “drill-down” of details such as:

  • The customer’s real goals – What was the seller’s approach to due diligence to learn their customer’s real goal? 
  • What research data and other pre-meeting preparation did the seller conduct that not only helped them close the deal but helped the customers better understand their challenges and their options?
  • What did the seller learn that resulted in the development of novel, original solutions?
  • How did the seller and customer work together to define benchmarks and KPIs and multiple paths to success?
  • How did the seller become a trusted partner throughout this experience?
Most sellers need about 10-12 of those stories:
  • why a very big customer bought
  • why a small company bought
  • why a company that was already buying from the competition bought
  •  why a company that had previously never bought from anyone and only solved their problems with in-house resources finally bought and continues to buy today
  • why a company with a very similar challenge - and particularly a contact within that firm who is a counterpart to the your prospect - bought

one_more_call

Sellers can make their stories more engaging and impactful by personalizing them.  Show the prospect that you/your team have personal experience and measurable success working with clients with similar urgency…who shared the same challenges and frustrations in looking for a viable and affordable solution.  Your story should build credibility. 

This is particularly important since the number one reason customers don’t buy is lack of reassurance. Sellers can enhance their story with details of how their own company was born out of a desire to solve these problems. Specifically, the story should include details of how your contact’s counterparts – that is, people in similar roles with similar responsibilities at your other clients, have felt before and after they bought from you. The better the story demonstrates empathy with the prospect, the better the customers begin to visualize how this seller and his/her offering may really be what they’ve been searching for. 
 Also, if your contact has to tell others – and win them over – you must teach your contact the story so that they have a way to effectively communicate your story to the influencers that the seller never personally meets. 

About the Author:
Steve_Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.
Read More

Topics: sales, training, tips, affordable, sellers, sales process, prospecting, value, skills, network, sales training, managing, team, digital, client, micromanaging, call, business, consumer behavior, difficulty selling, improving, competitive, buying process, marketing, strategy, advertising, phone, leads, marketer, deals, closing, RFP, consultant, buying, contacts