Tag Archives: Sales

Top 5 – How to Make Outbound Calling a Success

SalesLove them or hate them outbound calling is a very important process in the sales and service arm of any organisation.  When done poorly it can be a terrible experience for the caller and the person receiving the call but when done well it can a true win for both.

An outbound call is a call initiated from a company or business to a prospective buyer, or existing customer with an aim to achieve a goal.  That might be to raise more revenue by having the buyer purchase an item or it might be to upsell products and services to existing customers or to provide them with information.

When outbound calling is done effectively it improves the chance of success significantly, if you or your team are outbound calling to generate sales the top 5 tips listed below is set to put you at the top of the sales ladder. On your way up the ladder Happening People offer you our Top 5 – How to Make Outbound Calling a Success.

1.  Extract the Value and Your Goal
Before you dial a number really know what it is that you are selling. Ask yourself ‘What is the VALUE to your prospective client?” Link the features to the benefits and really understand what the product or service is designed to do. To successfully sell that product or upgrade you really need to convey the value of the product or the service to your customer and remember what your end goal is. This will help you maintain motivation.

2. Know your Target Clients
In a recent online article by www.smarta.com titled ‘ The Art of Cold Calling’ they discussed the merit of cold calling and decided it was not dead in the water as suggested by some.  In fact a strong case was made for its validity especially in the era of social media.  Sales expert Andy Preston said “You need to have done your homework beforehand,” he says. “You cannot make a professional cold call without knowing – at least – the name of the person you are trying to reach. Otherwise you create problems with the gatekeepers. People are far too savvy to pass on calls that begin, “Can you put me through to your head of marketing, please?” It’s pure laziness not to find out the names. It always has been. These days, tools like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you find out those names. And if you don’t do that, you’re daft.”

3. Develop a Structure
Once upon a time outbound scripts where a must.  However in todays more sophisticated markets outbound call scripts can be deadly! It is recommended that you structure the call but keep it natural for research shows no one likes being talked at.  A good structure will help you or your team keep the goal of the call in focus but ensure you do not get your customer or prospective customer offside.  A good structure includes a series of prompts to help you guide yourself as well as a list of questions to keep you on track.  This way you are more able to concentrate on what is being said and you can better tailor the call to the customer.

4. Knowledge and Handling Objections
A great outbound representative has usually developed a thick skin overtime.  There are many areas that are unknown, the level of interest from your customer, their preconceptions of you, your business, your product or service. Their previous experience with your organisation may also be a mystery.  Your ability to navigate these areas and gain knowledge of all these is important to the success of the call.  So too is your ability to handle objections from your customers.  Have a list of objections and possible responses and if you receive any new ones along the way, add these to the list and successful responses you or your team used.

5.  Success and Improvements and measurement
As strange as it can be to hear yourself played back and to receive feedback on calls it is an essential step to improvement and success. Also too make clear notes on all your calls you may be able to rework your list at a later date and turn previous rejections into successful sales and calls.  Measure your success rate

Effective outbound calling is a skill that can be easily acquired.  Happening People have worked with many organisations through our Sales Academy and help their Sales Teams and dedicated Outbound Sales Teams move to the top of their game.  Visit us at www.HappeningPeople.com or call us on 1800 68 67 69.

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TOP 5 – Common Sales Closes

Great debate surrounds which part of the sales process is the most important. Recently we conducted a survey and found 68% of respondents stated that the ‘close’ was the most important aspect of the sales process.  For many this result will come as no surprise considering without a close there would not be a sale.

For many of you in the sales field you will have heard the expression, ‘he or she is so hopeless at closing, they couldn’t even close a window.’  This doesn’t have to be the case!  Whilst the sales process can be difficult at times, with the right sales training and knowledge you can become very adept at closing a sale, the hot tip here is knowing which close to use on which prospect.

Whilst there are lots of different possible closes we have handpicked the most common closes and present you  with our TOP 5 Sales Closes.

1. Direct Close
The direct close question is where you actually ask for the order or business.  It is very straight forward and to the point unlike other closes. It is most effective when you have already built rapport with your prospect ad they do are comfortable in being direct.
An example of this style of close is “Sally would you like to buy this?”
It’s a closed question and is designed to elicit a yes or no response.

2. Assumptive Close
The assumptive close assumes the sale has been made.  The wonderful thing about this style of close is it is low pressure, instead of trying to convince a prospect to do something, you assume that they want to and agree with moving forward. This only works if you’ve done your job thoroughly in each sales step and have the right to assume the sale. Do a poor job and you may appear conceited. Appearing conceited can be one of the quickest ways to kill a sale. Do your homework and this style of close can be very rewarding.
An example of an Assumptive Close is: “Greg, when would you like delivery?”

3. Value Added Close
Increase your sales by tapping into what the prospect or potential client perceives as value.   Remember that value lies inside the mind of the prospect and nowhere else. Only the customer can define value. It does not exist in a product, service, or anything you offer. You are not able to  convince a prospect  that what you offer is more valuable than what they believe but you can help them uncover value they were unaware of and connect it to your offer. Some value adds include, instant rebates, speed of delivery, product training, added security and free extended warranty.

An example is:  “Jenny, if I include a free book would you like to but it?”

4.  Pressure Close
A pressure close is often used when the sales person believes there is nothing to lose. This style of close can be perceived as aggressive instead of assertive using ‘brute force’ instead of skill.  It is useful for logical people but ignores feelings.  The sales person may sound alarm bells and advise the prospect of potential inventory shortages, or the potential of an industrial strike or price increases to jolt the prospect to action sooner rather than later.
An example of this style of close is ‘Buy today or miss out!’

5.  Options Close
The Options Close is also known as the ‘Choice Close’.  The theory here is the prospect is making a decision on two administrative points rather than on a major purchase.  Note that this technique works well in many different situations where you are seeking agreement, and not just selling products.
An example of this style of close is: ‘Belle would you like to start with the carton of 10 or the carton of 20?”

Do sales drift by your sales people without a hope of them catching one?  Happening People are the leaders in Sales Training (click here for details on the sales programs we offer).
Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com

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Top 5 Solution Selling Skills

Everyone sells!  Leaders and Managers sell ideas and change whilst parents sell bath time!

 The simple technique of selling is Transactional Selling i.e. Do you want to up size that meal.  A product or service is provided to a customer who provides payment in return. It is usually completed quickly and with minimal engagement from both seller and customer or prospect. 

 Our MD (Samuel Day) says “Solution Selling is a more refined and engaging approach to transactional selling and one that rewards not only the customer but the sales person too.  It is longer, richer, more complex yet provides more meaningful client relationships with increased loyalty and increased employee and customer satisfaction…..it is possible!” 

A solution based selling approach is one where the seller explores the needs of the prospect through communication and actively engages and works with the prospect to devise and deliver a resolution or a solution to address the need. 

Below are top 5 skills of a good solutions seller! 

1. Identify the customer and their behaviour
Good sales people can identify customers’ behavioural patterns and build rapport with them quickly.  We use the DiSC model to help sales people with this but there are many others.

2. Listen, Listen and Listen some more then listen some more again!
To truly understand the customer’s needs a good sales person does two things.
a. Actively listen, meaning more and talk less, the old 80-20 rule.
b. Often customers are so caught up in dealing with the symptoms of the problem   they don’t really know what the issue is. To get to the heart of this they need to use some investigative questioning? These are open questions that elicit a response of more than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’. 
E.g. What type of customer service training are you currently using?
What’s not working?
When you first started using this approach to training what where you hoping to achieve/ address?
Good sales people are clear on having two ears and one mouth and talking in that proportion.

3. Help the customer design the solution
The best way to get the prospect on board is to get them to help craft the solution.  To simply ‘push’ products or service onto the prospect may result in their going elsewhere as they have no ‘buy in’ to the solution. A collaborative effort demonstrates to the prospect right from the start you are building a relationship and a joint commitment.  It is harder for them to walk away from a relationship than just a product or a service.

4. Present the solution
Good sales people are able to present solutions well to customers.  They do this in language which the customer understands ie it fits well with their culture, industry and business.  At this point there are no surprises for the customer as they have worked with the sales person in the design.

5. Manage, Close, Check results
Stay involved every step of the way. If it’s your team who is executing the implementation make sure they come to you with problems or concerns.  Make sure the sales person follows through and resolves customer concerns or issues along the way to ensure you deliver the result promised. Continue to add value – keep looking for ways to ‘delight’ your customer, that will result in repeat business where possible.

If you’re intersted in increasing the Skills of your Sales people, check out the Happening People  Sales Program or better still call us to discuss how together we can customise a Sales Program to suit your needs.

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