sales prospecting

Make Your Sales CRM Work For You

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DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Let’s be honest with each other here. There are two types of salespeople: those that feel that a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) is a way for your company to keep track of what you’re doing – am I right?

And there are those of us that understand that while the first answer may be true, you can adopt the mindset of “I’m going to take this and use it and make it work for me”.

Just like we all know ,if we go out in public, we are probably on camera, but we go out anyway, and know we may have an extra protection that comes with security monitoring public areas — that’s a bit awkward! But it’s true.

When you enter information into your Sales CRM properly

(and daily), and keep up with it, daily – you will gain so much Insight from that information.

For one, I always have a list of prospects (people who have not bought for me yet) to call or email or follow up with.

How great would it be to never have to wonder who to call, because your Sales CRM, that you set up properly, will show you that!

The second biggest benefit I have found, I am all over.

Because I am a big believer in getting off of the sales roller coaster and learning how to predict your sales and your income, every month.

As commissioned or bonus-based sales people, it can be hard knowing what your paycheck will be from month to month. With the sales CRM, there’s a report that predicts your sales for you!

I work diligently to keep up with that, and can predict my monthly sales and income within 20%.

That Sales CRM report is also another great place for you to see who you can focus on this month!

I talk about this a lot and go into more detail in the Sales Transformation Roadmap and Program, especially for those of you that are in stages 2 and 3.

For me, and hopefully for you, if you adopt the mindset of how can I make this work for me? The benefit is great.

I was once a non-believer, but who has time and energy to keep track of that yourself?

When you use your Sales CRM properly, you should see a jump in sales of at least 20%

— just by spending the time daily (about 30 minutes), to keep up with it.

I think your “input” and follow-up time will be even less, but I am on Salesforce all day long. Because I use it as a personal assistant. It reminds me about what I need to do and who I need to contact all day long.

A Sales CRM also improves your prospect’s and client’s experiences with you

because you have a great way to remember everything you have ever talked about with them, including proposals, when you spoke with them last, how many kids they have and what they are ultimately wanting to accomplish.

I’ve shared this quote from the late, Wayne Dyer with you before, because it is such a foundational quote for your sales success.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

What do you do with all of those things that you know would help you grow your business, but…

where do you put that information?  

There’s also room for that in your Sales CRM!  There are still some things I like to write down on paper.  Mostly planning and ideas.

So, I have two legal pads — and I have a hard copy planner to keep track of my monthly, quarterly and yearly goals.  And a quarterly sales planner. You can get 15% off the one I use by clicking here.There’s something about putting a pen to paper that makes things happen faster.

Anyway, one of the legal pads one is for things I want to implement right away. And the other is for all those great ideas that I just can’t get to right now. Obviously that pad has more stuff in it. Every so often I’ll look through it, take a couple of all the better ideas, and move them over to the “work on now” pad.

I find it’s a great way to write down all the ideas I have so I don’t lose them. It’s kind of like when you have a really good dream and you don’t want to forget it so you write it all down.

Usually when I read it again a few days later it makes no sense at all, and my legal pad of good ideas can be the same way.

So,  I will occasionally go through it and prioritize my “great ideas” list, too.

One, two, three with one being the best.

I do the same thing when I’m planning my sales CRM for the month –

Number one would be the top prospects I am sure will close with me this month

Number two are the prospects that have potential but may need a little more time or work,

And number three are those people I keep in touch with occasionally

with a call or an e-mail, because you never know when they will have a trigger event in their life and they will need you.

Over time you will have developed a relationship with them. They trust you, they just aren’t ready to spend money with you yet.

Sadly, when they are in need of your services, it’s usually when something has gone so bad for them that they are ready to make a change. 

I tell people – when the pain of staying where you are is greater than the pain of moving on, you will move on. I don’t know who said that. Probably Wayne Dyer. I think Tony Robbins gets the credit for it, but I’ve been saying it for about 12 years now. 

Think about it. And my number 3 category prospects are those people. The ones that you know need you… Someday.

Most of my time I spend with my number ones, not because they’re easier to work with, but because they are the closest in the buying decision. They almost always start a two or even at three, and they have moved through the process of making the decision.

I am just their expert guide – answering their questions,  … asking questions to encourage them to think.

When I know I already have ten good, qualified prospects going into a new month, it takes the pressure off the money side of things and allows me to just work with them to help find the right solution for them. The money always comes when I look at my prospects as individuals making important decisions.

This prioritizing and setting up your month is where your Sales CRM comes in.

This week, take some time to go through those old prospects that you haven’t looked at in a while. Call them just to say “Happy Holidays”. Usually the last two weeks of the year can be a little quiet. I will be working and taking that quiet time to do the things I don’t normally have time to do – like reaching out to people I haven’t talked to her heard from you in a while. 

You will probably have some people that say, “I was just thinking about you”, or “I’ve been meaning to give you a call”. Do it, and tell me if I’m wrong.

Sales is a systematic process of moving people through a systematic process.

Sales is what you do in a behind-the-scenes process to meet people to put them into a process. And you control all of it.

It’s what the Sales Transformation Roadmap is all about. Helping you with the process of what to do step-by-step, to find prospects, connect with prospects, understand those prospects and their needs, and show them how to go from where they are now to where they want to be. 

Almost any good sales book will tell you that. It’s the implementation that falls short. The how to do it, efficiently and effectively, month after month, until you’re so good at it that it’s like a second nature to you. 

Like driving to work in the morning or home at night. You probably don’t even think about where you turn, or where you stop or even how fast you drive depending on what road you want you’re on. You just do it

Sometimes you may get to work and not even remember anything about the drive, because you were so good at it.

And that’s what I want sales to be like for you, too. Where you know exactly what you need to do, and you have the journey or process you’re going to guide your prospects through in place, and you know that it works.

A proven system for finding clients and a proven system for leading them through a sales process.

Because when you have those processes in place, you will be able to focus on the person, the relationship, and what for then. It’s a great place to be, my friends.

A place of confident interaction where you will get up every morning with something to look forward to, and you will go home every night knowing that you have served your prospects well and made enough money to guarantee a good paycheck for your next pay period. 

It’s a good feeling. 

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Creative Ways to Find Sales Prospects

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DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

One of the biggest challenges in sales that I know —  whether your direct sales, online sales, or business-to-business, is … how do I find sales prospects and get in front of more people? And my answer is – find an online outlet where you can share what you do with more people than you ever thought possible.

Social media has helped immensely me to find sales prospects.

And I started off with nothing, with a “side-hustle” podcast and a dream of online course creation.

Whether it’s a blog, or a podcast, or on social media site like Facebook or Instagram live videos- meet your sales prospects where they are hanging out so you can let people know what you do.

The larger real estate companies provide you with your own website, where agents can post valuable information about their communities and available listings.

If you own your own business, you can do the same thing to find sales prospects. You can use Pinterest pins to drive traffic to your website, your blog or your podcast.

Pinterest, if you don’t know, it’s a search engine like Google.

You can “pin” there, which is kind of like a sales page for what you do, and actually add a  link there to the website where you want your audience to go! At no cost to you! 

And it’s not just for interior designers, scrapbookers or recipes. You can even use Pinterest for local audiences if you’re a real estate broker or an insurance agent.

On Facebook, you can currently put a link to your blog or podcast within your post, or in your header if you sign up as a business (for free).

Are you a real estate agent, an insurance agent, travel agent, are you selling a product, service, supplement, fitness program, coaching or online classes? Do you already have a blog or podcast of your own so that you can share with people about what you do?

Using the power of a blog or a podcast to find new sales prospects is incredible, even if you don’t have a following yet.

And isn’t that really what you want? Followers that come to know, like, trust and love you – I think this is sounding like an easy way to find sales prospects!

How much faster could you close a sale if your potential client already felt like they knew you, before you even met them?  How much easier would it be to connect with that person if they already knew who you are and what you can do to help them accomplish their own goals?

Let’s recap:

A blog or podcast, where you can share information about what you do.

Explain to people why you do what you do is important. Let them know what you have or do (you’re offering) does, and how it can help someone… How is this not better than making phone calls, knocking on doors, sending out endless letters to strangers to find sales prospects?

With a blog or a podcast, there are ways to help them to find you instead of you “prospecting” to find them!

Think about your own buying habits.

We have our weekly groceries, cars, clothing, makeup, whatever delivered to our door. So you have to find a way to get into your potential clients online buying habits. Meet your prospects where they are.

How do we do that?

By popping up in their search engines, like Google or Bing.

Let’s say you sell insurance or real estate in the local area. You can started a small, local podcast where you speak each week about the different types of insurance you offer. To help people become knowledgeable and educate them. 

You can sign up on Instagram and started as a local business account (for free). Then drive people from your Instagram to your podcast, where you educate them, and they get to know you. 

Eventually, you start to pop up in their search engines on Google as a local business.  When they are looking for insurance, or a new house, they will find YOU – do you get where I’m going with this?

And it will work for anyone with the product or service –

From dog walkers, to artists, to dentists. Why do you think podcasts are so popular right now? Because they can drive traffic to you and your business, while educating prospective buyers in their own space and time.  WIN-WIN.

Obviously there is a time of start-up and growth here. But what if you were to start as an additional way to find more sales prospects and get in front of more people? Continue to use the traditional ways you are using now, while you are starting up the online or social media part. Because, let’s be honest here, how well have the traditional ways been working for you lately?

With more and more people being socially connected online, and finding goods and services online, doesn’t it make sense for you to create a bigger online presence for yourself?

The cost is minimal.  I use Simplecast for $15 a month.  It does take me about 4 hours a week to publish the podcast, but I have over 1,500 downloads a month.  That’s almost 400 people a week who are listening to my message and allowing me to help them increase their sales. My listener base grows every month and allows me to expand out into even more areas.

There’s no way I could see 400 people a week, without even leaving my comfortable chair!

We can’t keep using the same old ways of direct mail and cold calling over the phone.

There are so many other avenues to use, where the people are more receptive and are already hanging out. Try something new and add it into your regular mix of prospecting tools.

Tell me — are you really seeing many of those “company-generated” internet leads? Or are they going to other people?  What if you could generate your own?

You don’t have to sell on your podcast or blog.  Just let people know what you do and how they can reach you!

Here are some statistics that may help you understand the potential of starting a podcast to find sales prospects.

According to music.com based on studies conducted by companies like Nielsen and Edison there are currently 1,000,000 active podcasts and 30 million episodes.  This is up from 2019 — 700,000 active podcasts with 29 million episodes and 2018 with 550,000 active podcasts with five million downloads.

They are growing because people are listening. Think about that, and listen to these statistics before you shake your head and tell yourself this can’t work for you.

55% of the US population has listened to a podcast. 37% listen every month. That’s a hundred and fifty million people. 24% listen weekly, that’s a hundred and three million people. 6% are Avid fans.

Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours and 39 minutes listening to podcasts per week.

People listen to my podcast, the Sales Made Simple podcast, for about 67 hours a week. For 4 hours a week of input from me! That’s like hiring a full-time assistant or two for $15 a month.

Podcasts attract wealthier and better educated people. 80% listen to the entire episode!! Where else does this happen? Do 80% of your prospects listen to your entire conversation? Check out these statistics here for yourself.  

Weekly listeners of 103 million people spend six hours and 39 minutes a week listening to podcasts.

If you would like more information on getting started with a podcast of your own, fill out your information and below and I’ll send you a free how to start your own podcast checklist and guide to help you get started with finding more prospects easily. 

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How To Qualify A Sales Prospect and Increase Sales

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DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

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 sales prospect”,

and there are three main things that are important in the initial qualifying of the sales prospect. Some of this information you may be able to find out during your initial discovery call, and save both you and your sales 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 sales 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 sales 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 sales 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 sales 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 sales 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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