One of the great things about sales is the different challenges you can come across with various customers. Having said that, when you step back and take an objective look, a good percentage of things tend to occur regularly, and as such are predictable and therefore manageable.
This allows good sales people to prepare and be more than ready for these occurrence, if not entirely eliminate them, certainly marginalize them, not worry about them, and at times capitalize and leverage them. In some cases, usually tactical in nature, use what some sales people would describe as a challenge or hurdle, to their advantage.
Some examples of this include those ominous and common objections we get when making cold calls. You know they are coming, you’ve heard them dozens of time, so you should be ready “take it away” from them. That’s why people who apply this methodology after taking our Proactive Prospecting Program, a) don’t worry about the common objections; and b) do better in setting more appointments than before participating in the program.
The beauty of this technique is that it is not involved or complicated, it is straight forward, but does require you to prepare in advance and be ready to evolve with circumstances and the market. We will demonstrate with a couple of obvious ones and then one that show how to adopt to market driven forces.
For example, I was working with a major multi-national high end equipment maker, they are well known, and recognized as the leader in their space. They sold to segments of the market from SOHO, to global banks. One of the challenges their SMB team faced was the perception that they may be expensive and that they were geared to the needs of large companies. More 80% of the time when they called on a small business, the owner would say “oh we’re just a small company, way to small for you guys at XYZ.” So we told them to “take it away”; we asked them to introduce themselves as being “the small business specialist with XYZ”. What’s the buyer going to say, “oh we are miniscule”, you can only get so small. The reaction from people they called changed, they were pleased to see that a company of their size and stature would have a “small business specialist”, appointment rates and sales both increased.
When you end up sending a prospect something either by snail or e-mail, what is the most common response you get when you follow up? Sure they haven’t got to it or read it yet. So “take it away”; when you call them back, say “Hank, this is Tibor, just follow through on the info you requested – you probably haven’t read it yet, have you?” Just their nervous little laugh is worth the call, but “taking it away”, gives you complete control. If they haven’t, you can follow through by saying “Hank that’s why I suggested we get together, let’s do that Monday and I can walk you through and answer any questions you have, how about 3:00”. If they have read it, great, time to meet.
One other example, one where it is in response to changing markets. Last year we all faced the recession. So I quickly changed my approach to “take it away”; as part of my intro I added that “at Renbor we work with companies like ABC who have decided to take a proactive stance vis-à-vis the recession.” What can they say at this point, “we’ve decided to not be proactive and go down with the status quo”
The key is to recognize a potential hurdle and deal with the decidedly, move to “take it away”. First time you hear it, take note; second time, confirms you need to deal with; third time and after: “take it away” from them.
What’s in Your Pipeline?