April 2012 | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • How to Beat the Budget Objection by Jim Domanski >>
  • The Perfect Pitch By Kelley Robertson >>
  • Why Buyers Love to Delay Buying By Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” >>
  • What’s Wrong With This Cold Call? - What Advice Would You Give? by Jerry Hocutt >>
  • Can You Send Me Some Literature? By Tim Wackel >>
  • Cold Call Strategy - It’s a Winning Investment by Jerry Hocutt >>
  • Sales Follow Up - Getting Your Foot in the Door by Jerry Hocutt >>
  • Everyone Deals with Rejection: Motivating Towards Success By Barry Maher >>

How to Beat the Budget Objection
by Jim Domanski

The 'budget' is one of the most ambiguous - and consequently, most frustrating- objections in the world of telephone sales. If you can learn how to effectively master the budget objections you'll close more sales, plain and simple.

Here's the problem: there are several ways to interpret the "it's not in the budget" objection:

  • Is your client saying, there's budget available but your price exceeds that which has been allocated? Or,
  • Is your client saying, there is no budget for this particular item at all? Or,
  • Is your client saying, we've got budget - maybe lots of it- but wants to chisel the price down? Or
  • Is the client really saying, "I am not interested" but is being nice about it? Or,
  • Is the client hiding another objection behind the budget smokescreen?

Clearly you can't tackle the budget objection without some clarification. There are 3 steps to get you started:

Step #1: Pause
This is a bit theatrical but very effective on the phone. When you hear the budget objection pause for a brief second. This will do two things for you. First, it buys you a little more time to formulate your response and second, it gets your clients attention; they hear the silent gap and zero in on your next string of words.

Step #2: Acknowledge the Objection
After you've paused respond by saying , "I understand," or "budgets are important" or something similar. By doing so you've acknowledged you have heard the objection and that you're not dismissing it. You legitimize it. This reduces tension between the buyer and seller. It relaxes them and makes them open to further probing.

Step #3: Clarify if budget is indeed the true objection.
Here are some ways you can clarify if the 'budget' is the real issue or something else:

"Chris, suppose budget was not an issue would my product/service provide the fit you're looking for?"

"Pat, when you say budget do you mean that the price of (your product) exceeds the amount you have set aside for such a purchase?"

"Kelly, apart from budget is there anything else that would hold you back from purchasing?"

If Budget is not the objection....

Obviously what you are trying to do is determine if budget is truly the issue that is preventing the sale. By isolating the budget the client must articulate further. If there are other issues that are holding them back this is where they'll crop up. Usually you hear things like,

"Ah ... well. .. you know ... we've been buying from ABC for 15 years now and ..."
"Well ... I'd really have to check with my boss on that ..."

"Budget's important but we are really quite comfortable with our current system..."

"I ...er... am a little concerned maybe it's a little too much for what we need..."

The good news is that now you know it's not really an issue of budget (or it might be budget PLUS something else). At this stage you need to pursue a new line of questioning to determine if the latest objection is also a smokescreen. But whatever the case may be, you are beginning to peel back the onion and are getting down to the core objection.

If Budget is the true objection

If your client pipes up that he/she loves the product and it would work wonders for them but the money is not there, you can respond in a couple of ways:

Budget Buster Option #1: Work Within Their Budget

Again, turn to questioning to help you respond. Go ahead and ask your client what they do have established as a budget. You might frame it like this,

"Jeff, I'd like to see if there might be a solution here. Let me ask, what do you typically budget for this type of product?" (or, "What do you have budgeted for this project?") If the client is seriously interested in your offer they'll usually cough up a number because they want a solution.

  • Once the number is out there you can try to work with it. There are several ways to do just that:
  • Do you have a 'lite' version of your solution (same product but perhaps with less features, bells and whistle) that fits their budget
  • Is there an alternative product (a different make or type ) that will do the same job?
  • Can you reduce the quantity to meet their immediate requirements?

Budget Buster Option #2: Find the Budget For Them

In this scenario, you act as a 'consultant' helping the client look for extra dollars or value. Here are a few ideas;

  • Outline the additional benefits of your offer (i.e., show the value of the product; for instance, the productive capacity is 18% greater which offsets the cost over the long run)
  •  In a similar manner, toss in something extra to 'sweeten' the deal (which stretches the budget dollar further e.g., a warranty)
  • Ask if there are other departments or groups that can help with the budget; perhaps they derive some benefit as well?
  •  Ask about 'contingency' funds or special reserves that most companies have for situations exactly like these
  •  Offer financing to 'ease the financial strain' over a period of time
  • Determine if there is a 'higher court of appeal' i.e., find out who can approve the deal if there's a case to be made
  • Perhaps offer a discount


Budget objections don't have to be deal breakers. If they are legitimate you can make a stab at overcoming them. If they are not legitimate, you have another shot at finding out the true objection. Either way, you are further ahead then you were.

About The Author:


Teleconcepts Consulting works with companies and individuals who struggle to use the telephone more effectively to sell and market their products and services. For more information on consulting services and training programs, articles, and other resources visit www.teleconceptsconsulting.com or call 613-591-1998.

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The Perfect Pitch
By Kelley Robertson

I recently heard a professional speaker state that it takes twenty to thirty “practice runs” to perfect a speech. A few days later his comments reverberated through my head as I noticed that my presentation of a new program to a prospective client was somewhat disjointed and possibly confusing. It suddenly dawned on me that an effective sales presentation requires as much preparation as an excellent keynote speech. As I thought more about it, I realized that the best salespeople I have encountered all had a well rehearsed presentation.

This isn’t to say that they read their lines from a script. What it does mean is that they have practiced delivering key pieces of information. When they talk to new prospects, they present this information consistently and concisely. They don’t stumble or falter. They know what to say and they make sure their prospect understands the key points. Here is a four step process how you can use this concept to perfect your sales presentation:

First, identify the key points you want to make in your presentations. List each point down on paper and determine the best order for discussing each. Write key words that will reinforce your points and add to your presentation. This outline will then become the foundation for your presentations. The more complex your product, the more detailed this outline should be.

Next, develop an analogy, testimonial or story for each of your key points. Explain how existing customers have benefited from using your service or product and give specific examples. For instance, “Mary Brown at ABC Organization told me that her company has saved over $2500 in the last six months after using our premium line of products. What she has particularly liked is the fact that the ordering process is now streamlined and more efficient.”

Learn to incorporate the use of story telling in your presentations to give them more impact. Use the names of people and companies you have worked with. Use personal examples or draw from the experience of other people. As with step one, write out the key points of each example to clarify exactly what details you need to discuss.

The third step is to create visual aids. The purpose of these aids is to reinforce specific points and help your customer or prospect clearly understand your presentation. Show them a selection of your products. Because I sell an intangible item, I bring copies of my seminar workbooks for new prospects to review.

A prospect who is considering doing business with you for the first time will naturally have some concerns and hesitation. Give them testimonials from existing customers if they appear unconvinced or show signs of hesitation. Testimonials can help alleviate those concerns.

The last step is to practice. This means verbally rehearsing your sales presentation and it is the most critical aspect of the entire process. Concentrate on the delivering your key points and incorporating your analogies and stories. A strategy that makes this process easier is to practice each element of your presentation separately. For example, my standard keynote presentation consists of five concepts. Rather than rehearsing the entire speech, I practice each component separately. This is easier and more convenient than trying to remember an entire 60 minute presentation.

Make sure that you also practice using your visual aids. I once made the mistake of incorporating a new aid into one of my presentations and failed to rehearse it before I delivered it for the first time. As a result, I fumbled with it and looked ill-prepared. Needless to say, it was a painful lesson to learn.

One word of caution – avoid trying to memorize your presentation. This causes stress as you try to recall exactly what you want to say. Instead, focus on learning the key elements, and the specific points or examples you want to make. In fact, there is nothing wrong with outlining these key points on an index card so you don’t forget.

As you implement the four strategies identified above, consider using a voice recorder to record all your presentations. Many sales professionals record their presentations and critique them afterwards. This helps them hear exactly how they sound to their prospects. As you listen to your recording, you will hear how often you say, “um” and “uh.” You will notice stammering, stumbling and other vocal mistakes. This is a very effective method to quickly improve your verbal presentation skills.

As a final point, analyze each presentation with a prospect. Take a few moments immediately after each sales interaction and identify what you did well and what you could have improved.

This may seem like a lot of work but in most cases it can be completed in a relatively short period of time. Remember, the larger the sales opportunity, the more important it is that you deliver a well-rehearsed sales presentation.

© Copyright Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

Get your FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Kelley's free newsletter, "59 Seconds to Sales Success" at www.Fearless-Selling.ca.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals master sales conversations and win more deals. Kelley conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca.

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Why Buyers Love to Delay Buying
By Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter”

Salespeople love to complain about buyers. One of the complaints salespeople share the most is that buyers never seem to make up their mind. Just about the time it looks like they’re going to make a buying decision, they suddenly hold off.

Yes, there are times when a buyer legitimately can’t make a decision.

Many times, though, the delay is nothing more than a tactic on the part of the buyer to get a better deal. This is especially true of professional buyers, who see numerous salespeople on a regular basis. Why should anyone make a decision quickly if they don’t have to? More often than not, the buyers believe that by waiting, they will get a better deal. The salesperson will get scared and will think the only way to secure the sale is to offer a discount. Buyers believe this because experience has shown them that it works!

Salespeople by nature are scared. Don’t take offense to my observation, because I include myself in this profession as well. We, unfortunately, can view things too quickly in a negative manner. For most salespeople, the way out of a situation like this is to immediately offer the buyer a price reduction. This is exactly what the buyer wants! They are looking for the salesperson to show some fear and some sense that the sale may not happen at all. Once the buyer smells fear, they know a better deal is about to appear.

This is also a key reason why many professional buyers love to ignore phone calls, emails and all other forms of communication from salespeople. Nothing can make a salesperson more scared than a buyer . . .

who doesn’t communicate with them. If you’re a buyer, it’s hard to find any activities that can result in a higher return on investment than ignoring a salesperson or holding off on making a decision. These tactics usually result in saving money.

Now let’s look at this challenge from a salesperson’s perspective. Salespeople love to close sales and they also love to close sales quickly, preferably with as little effort as possible. But effort – particularly mental effort – can make the difference. This is the ability to understand and rationalize objectively what is happening and what is not happening. This means understanding why the buyer does need to buy from you and how what you’re selling will allow them to achieve their needs and objectives. The more you can build this kind of objective thinking into your attitude, the better equipped you are to keep negativity at bay. Negative thinking is the culprit that takes the biggest toll on a salesperson’s level of success.

As soon as the salesperson begins viewing the situation negatively and how the sale may not occur, it’s only natural for them to think the solution is to lower the price or offer something extra in the form of service. When the salesperson does this, two things happen. First, it confirms in the buyer’s mind why the smart thing to do is to slow down the decision-making process. Second, it destroys profit margin for the salesperson.

While there are several techniques to counter these outcomes, there really is only one that is foundationally most important – the confidence of the salesperson. If the salesperson is not confident, then every other tactic or strategy is useless and will have little effect. Everything starts with the salesperson.

Confidence begins with the total belief in your own skill set as a salesperson and total belief in your ability to help the buyer fill the needs they have. If you don’t believe in both of these, then there is nothing else you can do to prevent the buyer from taking advantage of you by delaying their decision. Buyers, especially professional buyers, can discern very quickly how confident a salesperson is. If they sense the salesperson is not confident, then they’ll delay their decision. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.

On the other hand, if you as the salesperson are determined to regularly and intentionally strengthen your own resolve and your own confidence, your natural reaction to stalling buyers will not be to cave under the pressure. Your reflex will be to wholeheartedly believe in your product, your price and your potential to help the customer achieve their goals.

Are you going to let fear or confidence determine your future? The choice is yours, so choose wisely. And profitably.

Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. To find out more, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com.

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What’s Wrong With This Cold Call? - What Advice Would You Give?
by Jerry Hocutt

My intercom buzzed. “Line 1. Sounds like a cold call. Couldn’t understand her name. Sounds like Stacy or Tracy. Something like that. Couldn’t catch the company name either.”

When I picked up the phone, the caller quickly said her name, but I still couldn’t catch it. She said her company name, which I also didn’t understand. Without taking a breath she said her assistant saw my website about sales training, and followed with “We’re looking for a radio talk show host on sales training. Would you like to do this for one hour each day for the next thirteen weeks?”

All the above happened in less than 45 seconds.

Can you predict the answer?

How would you have answered her question? 

If she asks you for help in improving her next call, what will you tell her? What did she do right? What did she do wrong? Could she, or should she, be able to predict the outcome of her calls if she keeps using this script? 

Her call wasn’t all bad. She scored several points.

She made the cold call. That’s good. I respect her for that. She took the initiative.

She did some basic research by finding my website and learning a little about me.

She was enthusiastic. 

Advice I would give if asked (but wasn’t)

By not clearly stating her name and company name, there’s no connection and people find it easier to say “Not interested” and hang up.

By not saying her name clearly, she puts the prospect in an embarrassing position, because most people won’t ask for her to repeat the name. But I was curious, so had her send me an email so I could see the name. Her name was Tacy; not Tracy or Stacy. If she’s known that people have difficulty with her name (and I’m sure it’s happened more than once), she should introduce herself as “Tacy – like Stacy but without the S.” 

When identifying her company, she didn’t say the name clearly. Problem is, now I’m confused about two things: her name and her company. Are they both legitimate? Did she gloss over the names on purpose? As a result, I’m not paying attention to her spiel because I’m trying to figure out who she is and what she’s up to. I’m not interested. Or curious. I’m wary.

She asked if I wanted to be a radio talk show host. Now why in the world would she ask me that? That’s crazy! She hasn’t even asked me a qualifying question yet. Like, oh, I don’t know, “Have you ever been a radio talk show host?” Or, “How good are you at interviewing guests?” Maybe, “Can you even speak in coherent sentences?”

But she did ask if I was interested. “Would you like to do this for one hour a day for the next thirteen weeks?” Huh? In less than 45 seconds we’ve gone from a cold call to making a major decision that will require a minimum 65 hour commitment of my time. And that’s not counting the hours of talk show prep work that could easily triple the hours she’s asking for. She’ll get a decision, but it’s not the one she’s hoping for. 

I did have a question in the back of my mind if she cared to ask. But she didn’t. So I asked (correctly predicting the answer already): “What will I get paid?” Ah, there’s the rub. I wouldn’t get paid. The fact of the matter is, it would cost me $6700 to be my own talk show host. Plus, I’d have to find my own guests, and produce the show. I’d have to learn the skills of a radio talk show host on my own. Now I’m no genius, but I know it took me years to learn how to be a professional speaker. And I’m sure there’s no shortcut for being a professional radio host either.

What she was selling was not for me to be a successful radio talk show host. She was selling a $6700 package of airtime they had the rights to; she could care less whether I bombed as long as she made her commission.

Bottom line: well, you already know that. It had a scam feeling about it. But I found her company does have a large Internet presence, it’s well known, and they’re probably respectable. So was Bernie Madoff at one time. But in 45 seconds the call was over, the sale was lost, the relationship forever ended. Maybe her technique works on those with big egos who may jump at the chance. I don’t know.

My advice to her in a nutshell

Be clear about who you are, who you represent, what’s in it for customer, what it costs, and never – ever – ever – ask for a yes or no, $6700/13 week commitment-decision to buy on the fist cold call. She raised too many red flags, created too many suspicions, and lost trust.

But that’s just me. What’s your advice?

About The Author:

Jerry Hocutt is the author of Cold Calling for Cowards: How to Turn the Fear of Rejection into Opportunities, Sales, and Money. He is also the founder and speaker of the famous Cold Calling For Cowards® seminars nationwide. Want a copy of his book? Click here to order

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Can You Send Me Some Literature?
By Tim Wackel

It’s Monday morning and you’re sitting in the office planning your week of sales calls. The phone rings and suddenly you’re in a friendly conversation with a new prospect, Bob. Bob seems like a nice enough guy… knowledgeable about your industry, interested in your products and eager to ask all sorts of questions.

Up to now this is starting to look and feel like a real opportunity for you. But when you ask Bob about his decision criteria you hear those words that all sales people dread…”Oh, I’m just gathering information for someone else in my organization.” The atmosphere of the call has been positive, so you decide to ask Bob who the ultimate decision maker is. The conversation stalls for what seems like an eternity and then Bob says, “Sorry but I can’t do that.”

Sound familiar?

The BIG question is what do you do now? Is this a real sales opportunity or are you just wasting time? Do you attempt to go around Bob and get to the decision maker, or should you play along with the “info gatherer?”

Many sales reps fall into the friendly trap of these info gatherers. They are pleasant to work with (makes it easier for them to get what they want from you), they offer little resistance to your ideas and it’s another deal for you to stuff in your pipeline report. 

But what percentage of these opportunities do you win? What are your odds of success when forced to deal only with the info gatherer?  If you aren’t tracking this you should be…and the percentage is low.

Now look at the percentage of opportunities you win when you are able to work with the real decision maker. That number is larger...significantly larger! There shouldn’t be any surprise in this conclusion.

You can’t bet your success on the effectiveness of your corporate literature. I know it’s slick, colorful, filled with graphs and pictures of happy people using your products. Hey, wait a minute…that’s what everybody’s literature looks like.  Hmm…enough said.

But wait Tim…what about working closely with the info gatherer so that they become your internal advocate?  I see sales people every month who struggle to engage, persuade, convince and close with real decision makers. What are the chances that your info gatherer will do a better job than you? Best case scenario is that the decision maker is getting “You Lite” and that’s not a good thing.

I’ll give you two smart strategies you can start using now to maximize your success with the info gatherers you meet.  Can’t guarantee that they will work for you, but I can guarantee that they work.

#1. Get in front of the decision maker. (Brilliantly obvious…isn’t it?)
Make a list of compelling reasons why the decision maker should give you 20 minutes. These reasons need to be focused on their benefits in meeting with you—not the reasons why you want the meeting with them. Think about how other decision makers have profited from this conversation. What are some potential mistakes this conversation can help them avoid or possible solution benefits that they haven’t considered?

I know this is hard work, but the good news is that you only need to do it once. Get other members of your team to participate, invite a sales manager, brainstorm ideas and scrub them until they are clear and compelling. If you have trouble coming up with this list of reasons, then chances of getting access to the decision maker are slim to none.

Next, you need to create a professional letter (NOT an email) outlining your compelling reasons for an appointment and let the decision maker know that you will be calling to set up a time. It doesn’t hurt to mention what a great job the info gatherer has done in gathering preliminary data, either. Be sure your letter is crisp, concise, compelling and credible.  Address the letter to the decision maker and have it delivered via certified mail. This dramatically improves the chances of your letter being read (who doesn’t read certified mail?) and shows some creativity and initiative on your part. 

“But 20 minutes isn’t enough time for this appointment!” you cry. If you plan, engage and persuade properly, then chances are you will get more than 20 minutes or at least get invited back. It’s important to understand that you can’t wing this conversation. If you think you can walk in and “wow” them without any proper preparation, then please just stay in the car.

#2. Walk away!
That’s right…I said walk. There is a very polite way to disengage from info gatherers and I would recommend that you learn it soon. There is more than enough business to go around and you will achieve greater success pursuing 15 opportunities with real decision makers than chasing 30 deals with tire kickers. The freedom and power you will feel when you walk away is incredible (and scary at first!). Eliminate the mental overhead of chasing half-baked deals and focus your energy on where you can add real value. It isn’t about how hard you work—it’s about how smart you work. Always has been, always will be. Make life better for yourself and watch how much energy and focus you free up for creating more success. Trust me, this works.  

Speaking of Sales is about finding, winning and keeping customers for life. If that’s part of your job, then you won’t want to miss the next issue.

Until then,
Tim Wackel

Tim Wackel is hired by sales executives who want their teams to be more successful at blowing the number away. Tim’s “no excuses” programs are insightful, engaging and focused on providing real world strategies that salespeople can (and will!) implement right away. Sales teams from BMC Software, Cisco, Fossil, Hewlett Packard, Allstate, Thomson Reuters, Raytheon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Catalina Marketing, Philips Medical Systems, Red Hat and TXU Energy count on Tim to help them create more success in business and in life.

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Cold Call Strategy - It’s a Winning Investment
by Jerry Hocutt

Would you be excited if your competitor called and offered to give you his list of customers because he’s going out of business?

Then what if, when you got off the phone, you got a call from five other competitors and they each told you they’re cutting back on 50% of their customers over the next five years and “Would you like to have their names?” Are you beside yourself in joy?

Is such a thing possible? Believe it. It’s happening under your nose every day. That is, it’s all happening except the part where they’re calling you to give up the names of their customers.

Because customers are loyal to their salesperson, their loyalty leaves the company once she walks out the door. In essence, when she leaves she’s gone out of business leaving behind a list of customers who, given the proper motivation, will change vendors. And if each competitor goes through several salespeople each year, well, you do the math.

Add to that the published Bain & Co. study in the Harvard Business Review that showed U.S. companies lose 50% of their customers every five years and you’ve got the making of a perfect storm for finding new customers. Only one final element is missing: you.

How do you get their list of customers?

Cold call. What? You really think they’re going to call and hand them over?

But, here’s the problem with cold calling. The fear of rejection. That’s the #1 reason salespeople don’t cold call. On the flip side, cold calling is the #1 activity sales managers want their salespeople to take to fill the pipeline with new customers.

Can’t we all get along?

What if you, as the sales manager or owner of your company, could devise a strategy to remove the fear of rejection from the salespeople’s minds so they can make their calls?

Try this. Set aside one day a month for your salespeople to work the phones and cold call prospects outside of their territory. The purpose of the calls is not to get a sale. (It’s the pressure of finding new business that causes the fear of rejection.)

The reason for the calls is to (a) gather names of prospects in your territory, and (b) get the names of who they’re doing business with. You’re on a name collection binge.

Change is in the wind

When you get wind of change at your competitors, you’ll have a list of their customers and you’ll be in the door before your other competitors can get their windbreakers zipped.

Look at what you’ve accomplished by calling to identify prospects and their vendors. First, you’ve created a list of real prospects that have real money and really buy what you sell. (And admit it. You don’t have a list of every prospect in your territory now. Customers, sí. Prospects, no.)

Second, you know who your prospects are doing business with. You can start building relationships with those people and position yourself for change. You’ll rapidly move up in the pecking order to be the first vendor they’ll talk with when the new winds blow.

Why call outside your territory?

By having the salespeople call outside their territory, they remove the fear of rejection. Even if the prospect is ready to buy now, the salesperson has to turn the lead over to the salesperson whose territory that is. If the prospect isn’t interested, “Hey, no skin off my nose. I couldn’t have sold him even if I wanted to.”

At the end of the day reward your salespeople with a nice dinner at the restaurant of their choice. Give prizes (cash and trips are always welcomed) to the top three salespeople who collect the most names.

No fear of rejection. The pipeline is filled. And you’ve created a better lead list than you could buy.

Now do something with your new found assets

Distribute your new list of names to the salespeople in those territories and have them go to work. Do their research. Find the names of the decision-makers. Discover why they’re doing business with their competitors. Determine what your company can offer that the competitors can’t.

Have your salespeople keep their ears to the ground. Stay on top of the competition. What are competitors doing to lose their accounts? Did the customer’s favorite salesperson leave? Does the competitor have a reputation for billing problems? Do their service people treat their customers as hostiles? Are they slow in delivering their product or service?

Does it work? You know…collecting names of prospects and their vendors? It does if you keep in touch and grow the relationship. I’ve done it successfully for over 30 years. To me, collecting names and keeping in touch is like an investment. They’ll eventually mature and pay off with interest.

About The Author:

Jerry Hocutt is the author of Cold Calling for Cowards: How to Turn the Fear of Rejection into Opportunities, Sales, and Money. He is also the founder and speaker of the famous Cold Calling For Cowards® seminars nationwide. Want a copy of his book? Click here to order

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Sales Follow Up - Getting Your Foot in the Door
by Jerry Hocutt

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Selling is a business of details. Follow-up is one of those details. Follow-up determines whether sales are made or lost, referrals are given, and customers stay or go. Follow-up builds your trust and credibility, outsells the competition, makes you money, and saves you wasted hours.

How often do you complain of the poor follow-up you receive? The phone company failed to connect your lines as promised. Your attorney failed to give you the referral of a CPA. The waiter forgot the side dish he said he’d bring right back.

Can’t count the number of sales I’ve made because telephone shoppers received information they asked me to send or email. I always ask why I get the business. Often, the response is, “Because you sent the information I requested. Your competitors never did. Looks like you want my business more than them.”

Even though price, quality, and selling skills are musts in getting the order, follow-up gets you in the door.

Testing, testing – 1-2-3
A business owner taught me a neat trick to test a company’s follow-up. When the salesman asks if you’re interested in his service, and even if you are, feign little interest. But tell him that, if he’d like, he could email you some information and you might look at it. Nine times out of ten he won’t. Why even consider doing business with people who can’t take care of details?

I can only guess why they don’t send the information. Some salespeople believe you should never send information to customers. “Get the appointment. Get in their face. Then you can really sell them.” If this strategy works, fine. Don’t change it. But if you’re getting fewer appointments and sales, you may consider an alternate strategy.

Some salespeople may be afraid you’ll compare their service or product with their competitors. You may find a glitch in their offer. Maybe you’re just price shopping. “Why waste my time on a looky-loo?”

This is the age of the Internet and worldwide competition. Buyers aren’t stupid. Yes, they’ll do their research. Yes, they’ll compare. No, you can’t browbeat them until they buy. They have too many options. But the sale still rides on the salesperson’s skills for getting his foot in the door.

Admit it. When people don’t follow-up, don’t you to start looking for reasons to eliminate them from consideration? Didn’t they crack the door a little wider open for a second look at the competition? Besides, if they can’t follow-up on simple requests, can they be trusted to follow-up on more important matters that may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars?

Think of follow-up this way
Believe it or not, follow-up can be used as a psychological tool to lead to the sale. It’s the principle of the law of reciprocation. If a favor is given, a return favor can be requested – and will almost always be granted. The return favor can even be greater than the original request. For example, if someone asks me to send information (their request for a favor), I promise I will. But I quickly ask for something in return.

“I’ll get the information together now – it will take about 30 minutes – and then I’ll email it to you. And if you don’t mind, I’ll give you a chance to look it over with your staff and give you a call tomorrow morning to see what further questions you have.” I get the second telephone appointment.

And what you want doesn’t even have to be requested for at the time they ask for their favor. For example, the president wants me to follow-up personally with the customer service manager in another state after the sale.

“Would you be able to hold her hand until the project gets off the ground and she gets more confidence?” the president asks.

“I’ll be more than happy to. I’ve got her number and email address and I’ll call her immediately after leaving here.”

After following up with the service manager two weeks later, I’ll call back to the president. “Your service manager is so good at using the service she’s become the trainer for her entire branch.”

“That’s what I hear,” the president agrees, “I can’t thank you enough for guiding her through it.”

“My pleasure. Glad to help. Oh…by the way…do you have a couple of business owners at your Rotary who might be interested in my services?” Give a favor, ask a favor.

Think of follow-up as rocket fuel. It’s not your destination, but it gets you off the launching pad and to your destination.

About The Author:

Jerry Hocutt is the author of Cold Calling for Cowards: How to Turn the Fear of Rejection into Opportunities, Sales, and Money. He is also the founder and speaker of the famous Cold Calling For Cowards® seminars nationwide. Want a copy of his book? Click here to order

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Everyone Deals with Rejection: Motivating Towards Success
Barry Maher

Maybe you’re in sales or in management or you’re an entrepreneur. Or maybe you’re "just an employee"—one of those under-appreciated types who usually make the difference the success or failure of the organization. No matter what you do, this article is for you.

A few years back, Selling Power magazine did an feature on me. The opening caption read, “To his powerful and famous clients, Barry Maher is simply the best sales trainer in the business.” Now as many of you know, I write and speak and consult on a lot of issues that have nothing to do with sales — communications, management, leadership, etc. Even so, since Selling Power is one of the top sales publications in the country—maybe in the world—I thought that quote was pretty great. I still use it every chance I get. I work it into casual conversations, slipping it in cleverly and unobtrusively. Someone will say, “Nice weather we’re having” or “Think the rain will hurt the rhubarb,” and I’ll say, “Speaking of weather, I was wondering whether or not you’d heard that Selling Power magazine said, 'To his powerful and famous clients, Barry Maher is simply the best sales trainer in the business.'”

You need to be subtle about it.

Well, now that I’ve worked the quote in here a couple of times, let me say that shortly after that article first came out, I decided—great and eminent figure that I was—that I should give something back to the community. And directly across the street from me was a community college that just happened to be looking for someone to teach a class in basic selling to their 18 and 19 year old business students. I’d cleared my speaking and consulting schedule to work on the new edition of my novel, Legend, so I was going to be home and available for the entire quarter. The salary was less than a pittance—maybe half a pittance—but I didn’t care about that. I was giving something back.

I submitted an application along with some basic support material. I took the time to walk across the street to interview with the head of the business department. I never mentioned the Selling Power article or a few other credentials that seemed like overkill, but the hiring committee certainly knew that I’d worked with many of the largest and most successful companies in the world, and that I’d spoken to and trained groups of all types and sizes.

They hired somebody else! They turned me down. ME! They rejected me. In favor of somebody who’d probably never sold a single thing in his life and taught the course from an astonishingly incompetent textbook on sales written by someone who didn’t know a whole lot more than he did. REJECTION!

Motivating Past Rejection

The first lesson I would have tried to teach that class would have been about rejection. Because we all get rejected. At a recent sales workshop—one I was hired to do—I asked the attendees what they would like to get out of the session.

“I hate hearing no,” one woman said. “I’m sure most of us do. The best thing you could do for us would be to tell us how we can hear fewer noes."

“Nothing could be easier,” I said. “Just make fewer sales calls. And in those calls you do make, the first time the prospect says no, just thank him and leave.”

Then I walked over and—with a certain dramatic flare, I thought—scrawled on the whiteboard, “Whoever Hears the Most Noes Gets the Biggest Paycheck.”

“What?” the woman asked in confusion.

“Think about it for a minute,” I said.

“No, I mean what is that supposed to say? I can’t read your writing.”

So much for drama. “Sorry. It says, Whoever Hears the Most Noes Gets the Biggest Paycheck. The leading salesperson in the company is always the one who hears the most noes.

Even outside of sales, the most successful people are usually those who hear the most noes. Or are at least willing to hear the most noes.

The strategy couldn't be simpler: Start collecting your noes as soon as possible.

About The Author:

Selling Power magazine says, “To his powerful and famous clients, Barry Maher is simply the best sales trainer in the business. Barry speaks, writes and consults on sales, sales management, leadership and communication. A highly regarded keynote speaker, motivational speaker and trainer, he is also the author of No Lie: Truth Is the Ultimate Sales Tool which has been translated around the world. Contact him and/or sign up for a monthly article by email at www.barrymaher.com. The original of this article appears at www.barrymaher.com/motivating_past_rejection.htm.  

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