Month: October 2020

Sales Follow Up is Where The Money Is

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The Money Is In The Follow Up

How do you know when no means no in a sales’s situation? 

It’s so true. Sometimes when we get objections or a prospect says no, we get a little bit frustrated and flustered and we don’t know what to do next.

Start to look at objections as requests for further information,

because a lot of times when people are saying no, they’re really giving you an objection. They’re asking you for more information because they don’t understand something you said, they don’t know exactly what your offer is, they may not see how it’s going to help them.

That’s what it’s really all about…them. Isn’t it?

“Treat objections as a request for further information.”

Brian Tracy
In Sales, The $ Are In The Follow Up
In Sales, The $ Are In The Follow Up

 So, how will you help your customer?

Maybe they’re really saying this isn’t the right time right now or, they don’t understand something you said. 

Maybe they’re saying they don’t have the money right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to have it in two days or in a week. 

There have been many times when someone told me they didn’t want to make payments on what I was offering to them, and I would think to myself, that’s it! We’re done. Then I would stop talking and not say anything – because I didn’t know what to say.

After waiting about 30 seconds, the prospect would say to me, “So I’m just going to pay it in full”. 

And that’s how I learned to stop talking after I present a dollar amount.

It’s surprising, but that’s exactly what they said! Some people just don’t like to make monthly payments – make sure that you understand what your customers’ objections really are.

It helps when you spend that time before you start to talk about what you’re selling to them, or what your offer is.

Take the time to learn about your sales prospects. 

Learn what their desires are and what makes them tick before you get into the main conversation. 

Sometimes people tell me right from the beginning that they’re not going to buy anything and I tell them that’s okay. I just want to share the information, or do whatever they wanted to see me for it to begin with. 

I actually find that those people are the people that will spend money with me the fastest. So again, no doesn’t always mean no.

Let’s assume that you’ve gone all the way through your presentation and you can tell your prospect is just not getting what you’re saying to them. You’ve lost them at this point. So ask them why they feel that what you’re offering them is not a good fit for them at this time.

Because if you don’t ask the hard questions, you’re never going to get the answers,

and you might be surprised with their answer.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised more than once. In sales, you have to ask questions so you can understand how to better help your prospects.

“Why don’t you feel this would be a good fit for your company or are you?” Listen to them and let them talk again. We have to be quiet and allow that uncomfortable silence. Sometimes 30 seconds can feel like 10 minutes.

Let them think about their answer. It’s really important to both of you that they take a minute to think about it.

They may say, “This isn’t the right time for me”, or “I don’t understand how this fits into my plan”, or “I don’t have enough money.”

Or, “I have enough money, so I don’t need this life insurance protection.” My company already has someone they’re working with and they’re doing a really great job for us. I don’t understand why I would need to switch.”

You have to go back and show them

how it would make them look better in front of their bosses, their co-workers, or their friends. You have to explain it to them again. It’s OK to go back to the part of your presentation where you lost them and start again – this time asking them questions as you go along.

And if you really do get to a standoff point, say, “I understand completely. You need some more time to think about this.  Would it be OK if I give you a call again in a week?”, Or two weeks,  depending on the situation – maybe even a month? I hate to say it, but sometimes it’s actually three months depending on what their contract is for and how long it’s for.

If they say yes, then you know it’s not a no. 

Make sure you put this sales follow up call on your calendar or in your CRM and then you remember to call them, especially if this is someone that you’ve never talked to before and you’re meeting with them for the first time. 

We’ve all heard that it takes seven touches before someone will buy from you.

They might just not trust you yet. Prospects have to gain that trust in you before they’re going to spend their money with you. 

After our meeting, I follow up with a handwritten note. It’s old-fashioned, but it’s something that not a lot of people do anymore. But it’s definitely noticed. It goes a long way to show them that you are trustworthy and that they are important to you. You also may want to send them a follow up email.

Or even a text, if you have that relationship with them. Text them the next day or later that afternoon to say thank you. “Thank you so much for your time and for meeting with me. I really enjoyed getting to know about you and your needs or your company’s needs.”

Put them on a weekly email list to let them know what’s going on with you and your company. Refer it back to what they are looking for, new things that your company is doing, something that you feel would be beneficial and valuable to the prospect.

Then make that sales follow up phone call when you promised them that what you were going to call. I think there’s so much business that is lost because we tell people that we are going to call them in a week, and then we get busy and we don’t. 

No sales follow up equals opportunity lost.

I always make sure that I have a list of people on my CRM to call and follow up with every day.

It’s like having my own personal assistant and then it pops up with the calendar reminder telling me to call and follow up with someone. So, before I leave the office at night, or even in the car on the way home, I will make that phone call.

I’ve been known to set some great appointments while driving in my car. When I leave the office, I don’t have an appointment. I go back the next day and I have the appointments that I need. It’s important to just follow up when you say you’re going to. And remember to put that appointment that you set in your car also on your calendar or your CRM so you don’t forget it.

It takes seven touches before someone will buy from you — that’s a trust issue.

Just like I’m sure you have when someone presents an idea to you for the first time, you may have to go home and think about it because you don’t understand how it’s going to work for you at first. But that seed is planted.

The more you think about it, the more it makes sense to you. Your customers and prospects are the same way. Even if they feel they want more information, they’re thinking about what you said and you. 

Bring that back to the top of their mind. That’s where your sales follow-up call works.

It’s all in the sales follow-up — don’t loose the sale. 

One of my favorite sayings is don’t work on step two until step one is finished. 

It would be like going right from the first hello on the phone with the new prospect to starting right in with your sales pitch and the asking for a sale. I guess that might work sometimes, but my clients and prospects seem to take a little bit more warm up.

In Sales, the Money Is In The Follow Up
The Money Is In The Follow Up

You have to plan your sales and sales follow up strategy

— and today preparation is more important than ever. 

● Having your materials ready on your computer, ready to share on a virtual call.

● Emailing quotes and proposals to people in a timely fashion.

● Being on that virtual call early so you can greet your prospects when they get on, so that they know they’re in the right place. 

Step one is the preparation, before you go to step to the virtual sales call

When I’m on a virtual call, I want to make sure that I’m sharing my screen so that my customer and I are looking at the same thing. Otherwise, they’re left wondering what the heck I’m talking about, and they may be too embarrassed to speak up.

We’ve all had to adapt to selling virtually and taking credit card information over the phone. Your prospects have had to adapt, too. 

I’ve also had to change my never sell over the phone mentality to how can I effectively sell over the phone?

I talk to my prospect on the phone, find out their needs, email them my recommendation and a price quote. Then I schedule a follow up or virtual sales follow up meeting, so they can approve or tweak the agreement with me. It’s how I’ve been doing it lately and I think it’s how I’ll be doing it for a long time to come.

How we sell may be changing, but selling will never go away. And if you’re not selling your product or serving someone else will be. 

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How To Qualify Prospects and Increase Sales

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How to Qualify Prospects and Increase Your Sales

Have you ever been in a meeting with the client, only to find that someone else needs to be in on the buying decision? What are the odds of closing that sale today? 

What, if anything could you have done to make sure that all the decision-makers were at the meeting?

This is called “qualifying the prospect”,

and there are three main things that are important in the initial qualifying of the prospect. Some of this information you may be able to find out during your initial discovery call, and save both you and your prospect the time of either scheduling a meeting or not.

Now, I can already hear some of you disagreeing with me. “But if I don’t meet with them, I might miss something they still need, or a referral” or whatever… But I am here to show you how to maximize your time and sales, and spending my day cold calling for referrals is not the best use of my time.

So, ask questions and/or do research before you call. Do they even need anything I have to offer? Will the client be a good fit for you and my company?

One of my favorite questions is—on a scale of 1 to 10, how committed you are to ________ (the result you’re trying to help them to accomplish)?

Get the right customer in – someone that needs what you have, and you are much more likely to close them, and close them faster.

Eliminate the non opportunities quickly.

The faster you can eliminate the clients that don’t match your criteria, the faster you will be able to find the right ones.

And if someone does sneak past your qualification process, and you meet with them, once you realize they are not going to be able to do anything with you, move them out of the meeting quickly, so you can free up your time to find the right customer.

How and Why to Qualify Your Prospects
How and Why to Qualify Your Prospects

When you first start in sales, you will probably have many meetings where people don’t need what you offer. 

You will get to a point where you will get tired of this, and quickly begin to qualify… It happens to everyone, so don’t be frustrated. It just depends how soon you get tired of these meetings, and wake up and start to better qualify your prospects.

Ask questions and offering solutions to fit their situation and needs.

There are two reasons in the qualifying process that I will continue on with the prospect, even if it’s a “not now” answer. 

One is timing – for a number of reasons. The fit is not right now, but there is a potential for later. So I asked the qualifying question, “when do you think you were looking to make the decision or a change?”, and I add them to my “call in the future list”, and I put the date to call them in a month, 3 months, or even 6 months in my CRM.

The other is money. Sometimes, people have money coming in later, and I try to determine that during our conversation. 

Of course, I can offer a payment plan. But I am amazed by the amount of people that don’t want to take on monthly payments. There have been times I’ve said, “well, you can pay it in full” – and they do! 

Or, “you can earn points or miles if you put this on your credit card”, and that excites them and they pay in full. 

Ultimately, you are looking for people that want to accomplish a particular result, and who are willing to pay you to reach their desired outcome. Your job is to create an urgency for them to do that now.

When you qualify your prospects, you free up your time for the customers who want the results you offer and who are willing to commit.

Is there a particular “ type” of person that you close more of?

If you look at your previous or existing customers, you may see a pattern in age, male or female, personality type or the location they live. 

Or if you sell business-to-business, is there a particular type or size of the company you close more of?

This would be your “niche”, and if you focus on more of the clients meeting these qualifications, you will find more people or businesses to sell to.

How and Why to Qualify Your Sales Prospects
Qualify Your Prospects

By asking qualifying questions, you will be able to determine if you and your potential client will be a good fit for each other. 

You will find you can easily separate people into yes’s, maybe’s, and no’s as you conversationally work your way through your list of questions.

However, you don’t want to make your potential customer feel like they are on trial. So, be conversational, and interested in their answers.

For your yes’s, you want to schedule appointments to meet with them as soon as possible. Give them your top priority and fill in the gaps with your maybe’s.

For the no’s, you want to quickly answer any questions they may have, and move on.

When you are first starting out in sales, and have more time, you will filter out fewer people then you will after you are more established and have less available time.

The three things you are looking for when you qualify your prospects are:

Need, means, and the decision maker. Don’t jump into a presentation unless your potential client meets all three.

Need — determine yes or no through questions.

Means — there’s a difference between being able to afford what you offer, and thinking you charge too much. 

If someone says your product or service is too expensive, you need to work on creating more value for your client.

Decision maker — make sure that everyone that needs to be involved in the decision is available in the room before you begin your presentation.

Set the agenda.

When you set the appointment, make sure that you let the potential customer know about how long the meeting will take, so you will have their undivided attention.

There’s nothing worse than having a prospect show up and tell you, “I have 15 minutes before I have to _____.” Stop it before it happens. 

It’s no news to you that we as sales people have had to adapt and adjust a bit in 2020.

This includes how we  prospect and how we qualify our prospects.

I find it easier to reach people over the phone and email, and I am getting more responses. However, I am also finding that more people respond because they have more time on their hands, and are thinking more. 

Which is good, but – there’s always a but, right? I am finding I need to be extra careful about qualifying the prospect.

Are they talking with me because they had a real interest and need in the product or services I offer? Or are they doing research because they have that extra time on their hands? Or even – are they looking for a job?

So, I ask a lot of questions. Even more than usual.

These “prospect qualification calls” take a bit longer than they used to, like everything else in 2020.

But after the call I have the information I need to either: 

Schedule a virtual meeting and put together a solution for them, or 

● Figure out where or even if they’re in a buying process, and put a reminder in my CRM to follow up with them, and when.

Because everything seems to take longer right now, I have to find a way to be more efficient than ever, or work a lot more hours.

I’m seeing two distinct types of buyers these days:

✔︎ those people that need and want help and are open to solutions, and

✔︎ those that really need help, but are certain, that they can figure it out on their own, if they can just pick your brain a little. The “do-it-yourselfers”.

The key with the second type of person is that you can take that opportunity and create the value of how you are able to help them.

Find out what their biggest struggle is. Are they looking to take action quickly? Is there a serious misconception you can see and their ability to solve this on their own? 

With these people, plant seeds and follow up. Some people will never be open to help, and others will come around – and you will be there.

Follow up with this person is super important. Don’t get discouraged, just be creative in your follow-up.

Another trend I’ve seen in my own sales is:

My closing rate has increased, and the average dollar amount of my sales has increased.

I better qualify my prospects by spending more time on prospecting qualification calls.

I am taking more time during a presentation to learn and understand what is most important to them. 

Because of homeschooling constraints

and coordinating their own work schedule during the week, I find more  people are looking for Saturday appointments. In fact, Saturday has become my biggest selling day!

Yes, I’ve had to adapt from a two – day weekend to maybe taking a day off during the week. But that’s sales.

So, when you qualify a prospect, ask them if perhaps Saturday might be a better time for them to meet?

And if you have children at home right now, adjusting your schedule so that you will work some Saturdays will help you manage the schooling scheduling.

Parents and Grandparents and Aunts, Uncles and even friends are all jumping in to help parents with the work – school challenge.

And more people are available on Saturdays.

Something for you to think about until a better solution is found and we can find some normalcy again, right?

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Non-Negotiables In Your Sales Presentations

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Non-Negotiables in Your Sales Presentations

or Every Customer, Every Time

Non-negotiables – what you do for every customer, every time, and why that is so important in your sales process. To your success, and your sanity.

You may not even recognize that you already have your own non-negotiables that you use in your sales presentations, but you do. Think about that. Because once you recognize your non-negotiables, you will be able to keep your client presentation “fresh” every time, while making sure you always fit in those non-negotiables in your sales presentations.

Non-negotiables are the things I do or say every time with every client.

There are two reasons I do this. 

👉🏻 Number one is because I want to know my clients are getting the best possible, consistent information from me.

👉🏻 And number two is, I hate to say this, but to cover my butt. How many of you have heard “Well, Nancy told us that , or “Nancy said this”. I’m talking here about what happens after the sale and during the delivery of your product or service, when you might not be in the room. 

I never promise things I can’t deliver. I increase the delivery time (or stretch it out) so that when it does arrive before the promise day, they love me. 

Keep Your Sales Presentations Fresh and Effective
Tips for Effective Sales Presentations

For example, when someone asks for a “ballpark” quote, I always put a little high, so when they get the actual quote for me, it’s lower than the number in their head and they’re happy. I guess you could call this “wiggle room”

I was taught to give your customer more than they expected. Better delivery, better benefits, better quality, better pricing. And the “wiggle room” helps me to do this without backing me into a corner. And it’s a great way to make the client happy, and get referrals.

Certain non-negotiables I used in my sales presentations —

Always give the customer what they asked for and told you they wanted when they meet you. Whether it’s a review of their files, a piece of literature you’ve promised them, … whatever they originally requested.

Do what I promised them within the time frame you promised, or call them to let them know that you haven’t forgotten, but you don’t have any answer yet. (that goes a long way).

Give the same sales presentation to every customer, every time.

You can reword the questions a little, and tailor it to the customer’s needs, but once you find what that is, make sure you explain all the benefits of your company, how they can use what they are buying from me to accomplish their goals, pricing, payment plans… Every customer, every time. 

You can keep it fresh while still covering what you need to.

I’m in no surprises kind of girl, and I actually say that to my customers. “Once you do this, I want to help you set everything up so there are no surprises”. And I will go to the ends of the Earth to make their experience the best possible experience for them.

I make sure I give them all of the information they need to complete as well. I even call it homework! Just like on my podcast. 

Giving homework in your sales presentations makes them interactive.

It keeps them thinking about me, and gives me a reason to contact them after the sale. “Have you completed your homework I gave you the last time we met?” “Do you need any help getting that information?”

Now, don’t ask them to write an essay or anything. Just something simple to help you help them better, and to reinforce that what they are creating with me is important, to both of you.

Non-negotiables keep yourpresentation, or demonstration, consistent. They allow you to come across as knowledgeable and an expert as what you do. Because you are.

And if someone comes back later and says you never told me that or you never told me this, you will know in your heart what you really did and said. Because it’s what you do every time!

Another way to do this is by having an agenda for each meeting.

This allows the customer to know what to expect from your meeting and keeps you on task, while making sure you give the same information, consistently, every time.

The art comes in saying it every time with the enthusiasm as if you were saying it for the first time.

The more you practice this, the better you will get at it, and the more “fun” you will be able to add in. Yes I actually have something I call the “game show portion of my presentation”. 

It sounds crazy, right? But it’s fun, I learn about the customers, and they learn a little bit about themselves. We laugh and have a good time, and they buy.

How To Create An Effective Sales Presentation
How To Create An Effective Sales Presentation

Another non-negotiable to have in your sales presentations,

Actually three more —

✔︎ be engaging, 

✔︎ interactive, 

✔︎ and entertaining. 

That’s why people call it “the art of sales”.

If you do it right, it’s an art.

I’m not saying you won’t ever sell without doing those things, because trust me sometimes people sell despite themselves.

But if you want to sell consistently, month after month, follow me…

What “non-negotiables” do you practice? Do they lead you closer to your sale, or down a bunny trail where the customer leaves informed and entertained, but not one step closer to a sale?

Which leads me to my next non-negotiable. Always ask for the sale. 

Three times at least. 

Your sales presentation should be peppered with “mini close” questions.

● Which product do you think would work best for you, this one or that one? 

● Which one do you like better, this one or that one? 

● What would you  like a price on, this one or that one? Which color do you like, this one or that one? 

Get the idea? Have them whittle their choices down until they’ve made the decision just by answering your questions.

And my last non-negotiable today,

when all else fails because they can’t possibly make the decision today – set the next appointment. “I understand you need a little time to sleep on this. Can you come back Friday at 10? Or would 2 be better?”

Let them know the next step! It seems so simple, but if you don’t tell them, they may not know. 

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