I remember when the first Unplugged wave came up in music. Bands and singers were made to ply their craft or art, all without the aid of technology, automation, sequencing, sampling lip-synching or any of those things that required a socket and cord to work. You quick found out who can play, sing and perform music, and just plain couldn’t, to borrow a phrase “Who was a musician and who was just a star.”
It’s the technique of telling your customer ahead of time what questions/topics you would like to cover/ask the next time you talk with them.Example…
REMEMBER: They were not anticipating your call and were likely busy doing something else. A typical approach would be to immediately jump into your “pitch” or start asking lots of questions hoping to peak an interest, have a discussion and find a need.
You provide a basic introduction, ask a few quick qualifying questions, and then back off. Ask for permission to send them information and to call them back (preferably book a phone appt to call them back). In addition, tell them what you would like to discuss/what the agenda will be when you talk next.
Since the person you’ve contacted was not anticipating your call, their natural response will often be defensive. Using the Permission Approach, you gain trust, relax them and open the door for a better quality conversation when you talk the next time.
You’re a marketer, not a spammer. You want to continue to reach your target market via email, but – through no fault of your own – CASL issues have decimated your lists and made building, or rebuilding, a new email marketing infrastructure a costly, time-consuming headache.
Even the best sales people can struggle to stay motivated through the never-ending business development “chase”.
Here are some key ways to keep your motivation high.Don’t Take it Personally
Getting rejected is part of the game. It’s unreasonable to think that everyone will need what you offer and/or open up to a total stranger.
Remember that today, they don’t know you or need you … but how about tomorrow? Things change.
There is no doubt that social media has added to sales, and people who leverage it, along with other resources available, will usually do better than those who swear allegiance to only one method of selling, while ignoring all others. A few weeks ago, I shared my concern about some of the rhetoric and trends in sales, and the potential drag it causes on sales professionals.
I then happened to listen in on an interview with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard-trained economist, former Google data scientist, and author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. In which Stephens-Davidowitz “argues that much of what we thought about people has been dead wrong. The reason? People lie, to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys—and themselves.” The discussion looked at what people publicly project, and what their search habits reveal about them, and the frequent disconnect or out and out lie they show.
Before any 1st appointment, send the prospect the following email as your agenda:
Looking forward to our upcoming meeting. In terms of our agenda, I would like to propose the following:
- Learn about you
- Share about us
- Kick around some ideas
- Confirm that we “fit”
- Determine next steps
Then, if available, also attach a list of questions that will act as the discovery guide.
The Structure of a 1st Appointment:
The title of this post makes an unsafe assumption, specifically that many in sales are prepared for the expected, they are not. Given the surprise and outrage many sellers display when they get the most common objection while prospecting, or the slightest push back throughout the sale, suggests that they are not prepared for many predictable elements of their sale.
For many preparing for the expected seems counter intuitive. But practicing things you will likely face and execute in every sale, be it weekly role plays, or rehearsing on your own, just trains the muscle, and sharpens the nerve. Role playing an hour a week, and visualising each sales meeting before you show up, will give you a number of advantages. Not only does it bring you closer to the 10,000 hours of experience it takes to be a phenom or expert, but the more you master the core elements of a craft or skill, the more bandwidth and focus you have for things beyond the core. There is no reason sales people should not practice as much between calls, as they expect their favourite ball player to practice between games.
Tom and Joe are brothers who grew up working in the family business. Tom is conservative and, in his own words, not very creative. He chose to stay with the older, established company and continue in his parents’ footsteps, running the business as his father did for the past forty years.