24. Response to “We are all set,” or “We have a vendor we love.”
Two short sample answers. There are longer options. “That’s fine. Does this mean you are never going to look at new options or could you suggest a better time for me to call in the future?” Or, “That’s fine. I don’t want to be on your back, but we do an awful lot of this. Could you suggest a time I should call in the future?”
25. Your “Plan B.” Where most of the economic value of prospecting is found.
You must set appointments to convert to worthwhile closed deals. But you must also have a “Plan B” to capture the highest return on your sales prospecting and appointment setting efforts. 1. With “major sales” the odds of initially contacting someone at exactly the right time is low. 2. Many of your targets are excellent longer term prospects (3-12 months). They must be identified and nurtured cost effectively. 3. Your costs are up front. Most of the profits are in the group that doesn’t immediately agree to meet. 4. The best prospects call you. You engineer that result.
Your Plan B is a permission based automated multi-touch follow-up system that communicates value consistently to high worth higher probability prospects. When you call them back, they know you and trust you. When they have a need they call you.
26. Never try to “get through” the gatekeeper. That’s nuts.
Gatekeepers can only do two things for you. Provide info that helps you determine the potential worth of the target. Provide info that increases the chance your target picks up the phone in the future. That’s it. I set 2,000+ C-Level sales appointments and never tried to convince a gatekeeper to put me through. I would have rather ripped out my fingernails. Same level of pain. You need to know how to extract worth info and direct dial/extension numbers from gatekeepers. Never try to sell a meeting to a gatekeeper.
27. You are selling a meeting, not your product or service.
Big difference. If you try to sell your service over the phone you get fewer meetings. Get good at selling meetings and you get more opportunities to sell your service. Much of what you say to effectively sell your service is self-destructive when trying to sell a meeting.
28. If you would rather eat glass than prospect–DON’T!
As long as your other options deliver up to you sufficient quantity of high-worth prospects that convert don’t bother calling. But if you need to speak to qualified prospects now, pick up the phone. Cold calling isn’t for everyone, but if you are going to do it, do it right. Don’t do it all wrong then complain it doesn’t work. It can be your “volume knob” to crank up the opportunities to meet your income goals. And remember, what begins as a cold call is just the beginning of a total system of prospecting effectively to gain entry to high worth prospects and build relationships at the top level.
29. If you are not using a contact manager, you are not really in sales.
Would you win a race carrying a bowling ball? Swim fast with weights on? If you are trying to sell without using a contact manager that is exactly what you are trying to do, and you are doomed. You only need to know about 5 basic functions to prospect efficiently and code, sort, profile, schedule and follow-up like a champ. But the real world is that if you don’t use a contact manager you simply can’t work efficiently enough to win. Too much wasted time. Plus, you can’t use the coding and segmenting and easy group followup strategies that vault you into the highest level of effectiveness.
30. More dials is never the answer.
Do you believe in “whipping them harder?” More dials! More dials! You are an idiot. If your process and scripts are not working, making 10% more calls gets you nothing. The most successful appointment setters do not make the most dials. I never measured dials. I teach emphatically not to measure dials. There are three things you must measure that bear a rational relationship to the results you seek, but dial activity is not one of them.
31. You are more likely to sell a monster account if they call you.
You can engineer that response. Is it easier to sell when you have to break the door down to get in or when you are invited? Years ago, light dawned on marble head with the realization that closing percentages skyrocketed when potential accounts initiated the contact. Not only did closing percentages increase but those accounts tended to be the most satisfied and profitable. You can engineer that response with your prospecting system. You code and segment appropriate to your business and follow up consistently with a cost effective mix of marketing tools so that when your target is ready THEY WILL CALL YOU.
32. You are fighting gravity.
The normal natural knee-jerk reaction to a request to schedule an appointment is “no.” Your target’s immediate thought when they realize they are being prospected is, “I am not going to do this.” For you to achieve the purpose of your call, you must reverse gravity. In order to break free from gravity, you must project a force more powerful than gravity. What you say and how you say it must contain enough energy to overcome a decision maker’s normal natural reaction to not schedule a meeting with you. You will only do that if you use winning formulas, take calculated actions, are prepared and practice.
33. You must always maintain control of the conversation.
Once you lose control of the conversation you will be caught in “maybe land.” Once the conversation drifts away from your agenda, which is to book a meeting, you can only lose. Why? Because at best you will conclude with a send-me-info, call-me-back or put-together-a-proposal- or-quote type result. That is a very low productivity place to be.
34. It is not only what you say but how you say it that counts.
When you think and plan out in advance what words you will use to achieve your objective and you deliver those words naturally and confidently without hemming and hawing, without hesitations, without uh, uh, uh, without needless and meaningless words, you greatly increase the odds that people will conclude that it is worth their valuable time to meet with you. When you seem to be searching for words, hesitating and not quite sure of yourself on the phone, what do you think is going through your prospect’s mind? “Well, if this person isn’t quite sure of what they want to say on the phone, how worthwhile would it be for me to meet with them?”