Red Light Calls – Sales eXchange 2191

By Tibor Shanto - tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

redlight

No no no, I am not switching from the second oldest profession to the oldest, but rather speaking about how to make small efforts pay off big. A Red Light Call is simply a call you can make while stopped at a red light driving between appointments or wherever. While it can be thought of being in the same group as Coma Calls, they are different. Red Light Calls can be used in a number of ways to help with a few specific scenarios.

First is to get closer to engaging with potential buyers. Depending on who you read, it could take anywhere from 8 to 12 or more touch points to just connect or engage with a potential prospect. A recent article I read from a credible source, suggested that her recent findings show an average of 8.4 tough points are required in B2B sales. The assumption is that you are ready for the call, know the talk track, salient points you want to hit, and it is just down to getting that other person “on the line”. These touch points can be a combination of e-mail, telephone/voice mail, text messages, snail mail, whatever you can think of, they should vary in the time carried out.

In the majority of instances, I am just looking to set an appointment with the person I am call, understanding that it is unrealistic to complete a quality call on an initial cold call, but it is more than doable to set an appointment where they commit to set aside time to at least listen to you, this can be either face to face or phone. I don’t need to be at my desk to make this appointment call, in fact if I wait for that, it may be hard to vary the times of the call. So one place to be efficient in the use of time and improve you odds is to call when stuck at a red light.

PSA: please take advantage of hands free technology to dial the number, don’t want you to get a ticket or worse.

You’re less inclined to talk, and therefore will be more inclined to focus on getting the appointment and selling from a position of strength. Even if you don’t connect with the party, you can still leave a voice mail, and complete another touch point; but if you connect….

The other great Red Light Call, are those elusive prospects who you just can’t seem to get a hold off in the office, or prospects who have gone “radio silent” in the middle of a sale. There is a certain quality to random calls, not to mention the ability to be productive during “windshield time”.

There is also the benefit of not being trapped to routine. While I am a big fan of structure and planning, there is also a risk of being trapped by it. We get used to a set of behaviours that become habit, and habits can be good or limiting. Including an element of random activities, allows you to make the most of structure, but at the same time do things the schedule does not always allow for. While you can make the most of calling time in the office to focus on your primary targets, Red Light Calls, allow you to go for third tier or other long shots. There goes the light, good bye.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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Interview – Nick Stein, Senior Director of Marketing and Communication at Salesforce.com (#video)2

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Nick Stein, Senior Director of Marketing and Communication at Salesforce Work.com.  Nick shared a number of insights and best practices around driving success through peak sales performance, and creating a proactive sales culture, all in the same environment that reps and front line sales managers use to drive revenues and day to day sales activities.

We discussed alignment, the importance of consistent and constant sales performance management.  One interesting point Nick discuss was the power and financial pay-off of one on one coaching; with only 10 minutes of 1:1 coaching, reps increase results by 17%, usually the difference between making or missing goal.

Many organization understand the need for sale performance, but now they have a means of delivering in a way integrated with daily sales realities, rather than as a separate process.  The fact remains that knowing and planning don’t always translate to being done, with Salesforce Work.com companies can execute their sales performance management improvement plan, because as with other aspects of sales, it is all about execution – everything else is just talk!

Enjoy, and let us know your reactions and thought:

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

 

Voice Mail Week Part III – The Technique and why It Works! (#video)0

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

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In Part I and Part II of this trilogy we looked at context, and how there is more to voice mail than just the message and getting a call back.  So now it is time to reintroduce the technique.  I say reintroduce, because I have shared it before, and as you may have gleaned there was some push back and even more misunderstanding of how and why to execute it.

I suspect that there will be push back again, and I invite the challenges and feedback of all quality from all sources.  The one ask that I do have is: try it before you knock it, a few times, give yourself a chance to succeed.  Try it the way it is presented, no variation, no improvisation.  If you do improvise, and it works for you, great, share what you did, we can all learn.  If you do improvise and it does not work, I refer to the small print, which basically states that we stand by our method, good luck with yours.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

What if you could defeat the Status Quo0

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

TV Head

All this week I have posted clips from a recent interview with Ago Cluytens, for his Coaching Masters Series.  We dealt with a number of issues around selling to buyers who are traditionally referred to as being Status Quo.  Being the weekend, I thought it a good time to post the whole interview for your weekend lounging pleasure.

Always interested in what you think, and whether you are more prepared to go forth and sell where many sellers and pundits fear to go.  Take a look, and let me know.

If you enjoy this there are more on Ago’s site.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

 

Be Provocative in Demonstrating Results (#video)0

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

TV Head

Monday I shared a clip from a discussion with Ago Cluytens, for one his Coaching Masters Series.  Today’s second clip looks at the need to be provocative in gaining traction with entrenched potential buyers.

The challenge many of in sales face is the entrenched buyer who is reluctant to look at new or alternative means of achieving his/her goals.  This is usually due to the fact that they are entrenched in how they are doing things now, feels there are too many resources needed to make a change, and a host of other reasons.  In order to get engagement, we need to demonstrate the results we can deliver and the positive and measurable impact we will directly deliver to their business and attaining their goals.  In a WIIFM world it is about the What, not how of how they get there.

Here is more:

If you would like to see the entire discussion you can either visit my You Tube channel, or go the Ago’ site by clicking here.  Always open to comments and views.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

 

Why Waste Time Waiting for Events – Trigger The Reaction – Sales eXchange 197 (#video)0

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

Don't Wait

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to sit down with Ago Cluytens, for one his Coaching Masters Series interviews.  All this week, the posts will feature snippets of the interview, below we will also tell you where you can find the whole interview, but now let’s go to the first extract.

Trigger Events are fine, but there is no escaping that you have to wait for the “event”.  But here’s the deal, what you are leveraging is not the event, but the buyer’s reaction to the event.  So why not take the training wheels off, forget the “event”, and learn to trigger the reaction without having to wait, with the others looking for the same sign.

Take a look at what I mean.

If you would like to see the entire discussion you can either visit my You Tube channel, or go the Ago’ site by clicking here.  Always open to comments and views.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Managing Prospecting Objections (#video)0

By Tibor Shantotibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

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This is the second in a series of video prepared for BizTV dealing with objections, the first was an overview of sales objections; this one specifically those you encounter while prospecting.

Ojections 2

http://bit.ly/BizTV-OHH

In the video it references a link to download the Objection Handling Handbook, just in case you missed it above, it is: http://bit.ly/BizTV-OHH

If you have questions about objection handling in the course of prospecting, or just telephone prospecting,  give me a call or schedule time by clicking here.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Just Do It NOW! – Sales eXchange 1850

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca

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I often think that Nike got their famous tag line only half right, they should have added the word Now to Just Do It!

If you are a follower of this blog, you know I am big on process, a structured approach and a tight approach to time and what activities we spend time on.  Many mistake this for rigidity, and often push back on how it limits their creativity and spontaneity.  I beg to differ and here is a specific reason why.

I have been working with a group of experienced (or at least tenured) sales people.  Many too experienced to learn new tricks or skills, they know what they are doing and resist new things, man that sounds a lot like some prospects we all know, don’t it.  Working with one fellow, I noticed he had a running list of names on a note pad, when I asked he explained that these were people who popped into his head during that day, people he should call.  Either because he “had an angel on something” or he had not thought about them, and thought “I should give them a call”.  When I asked him when he calls them, he said “as soon as I get around to it”; when was the last time he did, “just before Christmas”, why the wait, hadn’t gotten around to it yet, nor did he get around to getting quota, coming in at about 83% last year.  What was he busy with that he could call them, was the initial thought still valid, no answer.

Personally, I call these people right away, hand held laws be damned, if I think of a good reason to call a prospect, or an up-sell potential client, I do it right away.  Before the thought and ENGERGY fade.  Call Now is my mantra.  If I am in a meeting, I make a note in my note book and it is the first thing that gets done when I am out of the meeting.

Waiting has a lot of risk.  First and foremost, is the call not getting done.  Even if it gets done later, it lacks the urgency and energy of a call made right there and then.  This kind of energy is just electric over the phone, the prospects feel your excitement and get caught up in the moment along with you.  There is few things as effective as telling a prospect “Hey Jon, I was just thinking about you!”  People love to be thought about, and if you tell them why and what you see happening next, it just gets through and makes a clear and powerful point.  The spontaneity, the excitement in your voice is contagious and effective.

I attribute my ability to make these calls, and succeed in making them to my process, the time I build into my day to experiment with selling and do off hand things like this when they present themselves.

So here is the challenge, next time you think about calling someone, call them, don’t make a note, don’t rationalize, call them, you never know what will happen, but I can predict what will be the outcome if you don’t.  So just do it NOW!

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Selling Like Greece!30

Every morning the financial pundits stick their finger in the air, and tell us how things are looking in Europe, and the Greek crisis, then they parade a series of talking heads to support the daily view. Things look good, markets rally; things look bad, markets tank. Many sales people start their day watching these pundits on say CNBC, or on their favourite app, but fail to take away the clear and real lesson that could help them sell better and more. As a result, they end up selling like Greece.

When you boil it down, the “crisis” (real, manufactured, or imagined), boils down to a simple thing, exemplified best, (or worst) by Greece, a country that simply does not have enough money to deliver against their obligations. Yes I know this may terribly over simplify things but after all I am a pundit of sorts, and as such at the very least I have an agenda to promote; Greece just does not produce enough revenue to meet their obligation; add the contagion factor, and you have a snap shot of Europe and their crisis.

Read On…

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Don’t Wait – Initiate! – Sales eXchange – 9411

Last week I was involved in two on line events that looked at selling today and reconfirmed a basic fact of sales that does separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to professional B2B selling.  At its core, the discussion comes down to being Proactive vs. Reactive and passive, the latter describing the efforts of the majority of sales people today.

On Wednesday, I had the privilege of participating in a Top Sales World Roundtable, answering whether Selling is Getting Soft.  The answer was that indeed sales was, but it was interesting to see how the real question and discussion turned to whether sellers were being to passive, reactive and readily abdicating part of their mandate, letting the buyer dictate the outcome good or bad, because relationships are more important than sales.  Becoming the client’s “favourite”, these days being more important than being a value based resource, proactively delivering that value through a proper sale and execution, thus putting the seller in waiting mode based on the buyers’ travels and whims.

On Thursday I presented the second in a series of webinars for Social Selling University; in March we did part 1, Triggers 101 – Events, and this week, Advanced Triggers – A Proactive Approach to Client Acquisition.  The second presentation built out on the core lessons learned in leveraging events, now extending them in a way that does not limit you to waiting for an event to dictate your fate and success, or having to spend time making oneself “a favourite” while waiting for something to happen that is out of your control.

In both events, the key take away for sales professionals is that “you are in charge of your success”.  You can take steps and make the effort to not only benefit from arbitrary events, but that the same actions that help you leverage events when they eventually take place, can and should be used in a proactive way to help buyers take action based on the impact rather than the cause.  Get buyers to be motivated by the opportunity to be better, the impact of their actions; achieve the same responses that an event may cause, but we in advance of the event.  Motivate buyers using the solution not an event.  Done right, this will leave you to act and execute well in advance of all the other sellers who are all waiting for the same event.

Once empowered with the understanding that it is the reaction not the event that counts, you can focus on creating the reaction rather than suffering the softness caused by inaction and waiting.

As Anthony Iannarino pointed out during the Roundtable, “There is no sales metric for waiting!”

Initiate – Don’t Wait!
Tibor Shanto


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