This is something that is commonly known as sales calls reluctance or a block.
Its something inside your head that makes you reluctant to pick up the phone and book your next meeting or even goes so far as making you physically ill in some cases.
the early signs would be irritability and personality changes in you / or your sales staff. be very observant on these small signs since you will have to deal with them immediately or they will grow into a major pain problem. I had a person in my staff that at first was nice to every one and then gradually began to be more introvert and after more time started being irritated on her colleges. things that a normal person would not even consider to be bothers worthy. she eventually “hit the wall” and had to quite her job. we had of course had numerous meetings about how we could ease her situation (and her colleges) but nothing seemed to be helping and if they did it was usually for a short period of time.
She had sellers block and was afraid / hesitant / reluctant to lift the phone since they (the customers) was mean / nasty towards her according to her. Listen in on her to calls to try to help her i could detect that she almost urged the customers to be aggressive like she wanted it to become a bad call.
this is how far something like this can go. but it surely it’s an extreme case. I have since this case been much more observant on the negativity and phrasing on sellers to change the path they stake out for themselves and on the bottom line the path they stake out for your company.
If you have the symptoms of sales reluctance then make sure to address it straight away to not let a small snowball create an avalanche.
How do you do that?
Review your last couple of days and your performance on the phone when booking meetings. if you start to see a did in performance and booked meetings then you should try to go back to a safe way of doing it like a script or pitch paper and use that since this has worked before it will work for you again. Start to build self-confidence in your ability to book new meetings and hopefully you will get up to speed again.
talk with someone who you trust and ask them to “spot” you ie listen in and come with positive critic and if this don’t work then really you should try to get external help like a sales coach or consultant since this will severely affect your ability to conduct any sort of business.
Usually you can check your new contracts numbers and see that you don’t take in any or very few since its much more convenient and easy to call existing customers.
Hope this helps someone!
The Phone is a great instrument to reach many fast regardless of distance.
There are different phone bookings you could make:
- Cold call / cold calling
- Lukewarm calling
- Hot calling / Leads / Tip
Number 4 would be the call that all are waiting for but seldom get. You could wait a year for the phone to ring and someone on the other side wanting to meet you to buy something from you and maybe it will happen once or twice but rarely more than that. (But it’s always a very welcome surprise when someone does). Mostly this would increase if you are a very social / business networker.
Number 3 predominantly the result of advertising campaigns or active networking. These are very easy to use for booking meetings since the customer at the other end of the phone wants to meet you and discuss what you can do for them.
Number 2 Leads or tips that are secondhand or have been left to long without attention. Or the bulk of these could also be customers that you have sold to in the past and have lost contact with. If they are this could turn out to be a major income boost for you since customers that have bought from you before are much more inclined to do so again. (for some good seller the figure is about or up to 70%).
Number 1 Siberia 🙂 This is hard work but could be the newly started business only source of meetings especially if you have a tight budget to start out with. You either get the numbers from the phonebook or net based phonebook. Buying numbers that are selected from your search criteria could also spare you a couple of hundred/Thousand calls in vain. We will address Cold calling technic in the next post.
Making someone else do the job.
This might sound obvious but it requires some work to make it happen.
1. Find a couple of company’s that will do the booking for you. (try to at least get 5 to get a good picture of quality and price).
2. Listen carefully how they sound on the phone since that is what your potential customer will hear. (would you agree to take a meeting with the one your speaking with).
3. Be prepared to have a script so they have something to work with. It should be easy to read short and to the point. Remember that they will represent you and be your voice so how you want to present yourself and your company will be very much decided by this short script.
4. Negotiate the terms and price for the meetings. What should you pay here? well it depends on how qualified your booker must be and how hard it will be to get the decision maker at the company you are after. Most company’s that do the booking will try to get you to pay by the hour and not by the meeting if its hard to book and try to make you pay by meeting booked if its easy. You want it the other way around! Paying by the hour for bookers that can spend days to get you 1 meeting will cost you more than its worth usually. Paying for easy meetings should be by the hour since then you will usually get more than meetings than you would otherwise have gotten for the same money.
5. Read the contract or have someone you trust read it for you and explain it. The thing to look out for here is: Making you responsible for the bookings after they have been made. (that means that you will not get a new meeting if the customer jumps the ship or don’t show up.) You should only pay for actual bookings and get a new one if something goes wrong.
6. Have a budget and make your future booking partner be prepared to pay for calling material and set up a test week to see if the deal is a good one for both of you. (you could do this with all of the company’s you have contacted to see how good the meetings are.)
Try to divide the pay into portions or if possible pay after the meetings are booked.
Knocking down doors.
This is the old school approach that is just that old school.
How you go about it?
Try to wear a good shoe for one since you will be walking a lot. A lot.
If you have a meeting in the area and some spare time you should walk around and walk in to stores or offices and ask for the manager or the decision maker. They will come and most will have raised their guard already so be sure to quickly defuse the situation with i was here on another meeting and could not help but spot your business. I would like to book a meeting with you to know more about what you do and to present you with what i can do to help you and your business. I don’t have time now would be the most given answer to this approach, be understanding and say that neither do you but you would like to book the meeting at next week or what ever suits you / his or hers convenance = sometime soon.
This approach gives some really interesting new contacts since they are not your normal type of costumer and there for can surprise you in the sales potential. some will be small but it will still be worth it and sometimes a small front can hide really big company’s so don’t judge the book by the covers :-).
It don’t matter if you have a meeting in the area or not the important thing is that the one you meet thinks so. Since then you are more attractive and wanted as a business partner.
Some are really aggressive and more or less kicks you out the door try to not take it personal they are the same ones that will hang up or shout something on the phone. they are the ones missing out the benefit of having you as a business partner.
Remember that you actually have something that can help them and why should you help people like that?
So pretty much knock on as many doors as you come across and you will soon work out if you got the aptitude for it or if you need to change to get meetings in some other way.
Since the knock on the door is an old school approach so will my advice be; stay positive and remember that the next customer havent meet you yet and it can be the one that says yes to the meeting.
Yes you really should use your network to book meetings.
If your active in sports for example take some time to talk to the others there until you have talked to everyone about what they do for a living and what you do and exchange cards. Will this get you any business? yes given enough time.
Now apply this concept whenever you meet a new person where ever it maybe the bus,opera,sports event,birthday party and … well you get the idea.
Do you think that you don’t know or get in contact with enough people. You do know a vast majority of the planet if you extend your network far enough in only a few steps your contact network is huge and that applies to anyone.
You should also add this philosophy on social networks like Facebook and others that like it. If you are not signed up yet just do it, soon you will realise that your closest friends knows a lot of people who will be important to you business wise. Contact them and invite them to lunch or something of the sort.
The local business organization will have meetings weekly or at least monthly, join all of this that you are able to. They are usually built around the idea of network socializing pre internet and works rather well, you are expected to introduce yourself and present what you do for a living and i can assure you that this will lead to business.
To boost your network one suggestion can be to throw a small informal party/get together with the invites being people you know well and ask them to bring one more. making the event a doubling of your current network. If this is something that you have success with do it again with others and you will soon be the most well-connected person in your area since you will actually know a person in every business available.
The first thing you need to do is choose:
1. Booking on the phone
2. Network booking
3. Knocking down the doors booking
4. Make someone do the booking for you
Lets concentrate on number 1 for now.
Who do you want to meet with?
Usually the decision maker so Ceo or head of X.
Why do you want to meet them?
To sell something. A product or a service that will be beneficial to their business.
When can you meet them?
As soon as possible. With the higher ranks on the company that you are usually trying to get the meeting with there are a lot of meetings with someone just like you and maybe even with competitors to you. Dont be surprised if you have to book the meeting 4-12 weeks from now its ok because they will be there and that’s whats important right now. usually the cancellation rate of a meeting is around 1-2% and rescheduled meetings 7-10% depending how good / smooth your skills are when booking the meeting.