Are You Turning Off Buyers Just by Answering the Phone?

September 27th, 2016

Are You Turning Off Buyers Just by Answering the PhoneThe way you answer the phone seems like a trivial, irrelevant detail. Yet it sets the stage for everything to follow and creates a powerful impression that can either work for you or against you.

Think about it—When you’ve called a company where the person who answered sounded bored or surly, did you want to do business with them? In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, one single bad impression can be enough to lose a sales opportunity forever.

So don’t take a chance on blowing the sale before you even get started. Here are seven tips to begin your conversation positively.

1. Answer Quickly
People hate waiting. Don’t make them.

2. Say the Company Name
Callers want to be certain they’ve reached the company they were intending to. Give them a quick confirmation.

3. Say Your Name
People want to know who they’re talking to. Remember, this is the start of a relationship.

4. Say Your Department
If you’re in a large organization and calls can be coming to you from both outside and inside, it can be helpful to state what department you’re in, so the caller knows they’re talking to the right person.

5. Don’t Be Too Wordy
But don’t go overboard with the opening script. I’ve called companies where people answered the phone with something like, “It’s a wonderful day here at OmniConsumerGlobalTech. Thank you so much for calling us. This is Josephine St. John Smythe in the customer care department. How may I be of service to you today?”

6. Speak Clearly
It doesn’t matter what you say if your prospect can’t understand it. Speak slowly enough and distinctly enough so your caller can easily understand you. This is one of the problems with an overly wordy greeting—people tend to rush through it, and the caller doesn’t get any of it.

7. Answer Enthusiastically
Words also mean nothing if the emotional tone of voice doesn’t support them. Sounding stressed, annoyed, tired or otherwise negative completely alienates your prospect, regardless of what you say. Even if you’re having a bad day, greet your callers with enthusiasm. Smile before and while you answer the phone. After all, this could turn out to be the call that turns your entire month around!

8. Ask Permission to Place on Hold
If you have to put someone on hold immediately, ask permission: “May I put you on hold?” or “Can you hold for a moment please?” And then wait for the answer. It only takes a couple seconds, and makes your prospect feel valued.

Answering the phone effectively isn’t difficult, but it does take some effort. It’s well worth it though, to start your conversation off on a positive note. Because buyers judge you and your company on every little detail. So make this detail a good one.

21 Things Buyers Fear

September 20th, 2016

Things Buyers FearWhile buying something new can be exciting, it can also be scary. And as salespeople, we can get so caught up in the excitement part, we forget just how scared our prospects can be.

And that’s dangerous for us. Because if a prospect is too scared, they won’t buy.

What exactly are buyers afraid of? Lots of things. Including:

1. The unknown
2. Buying the wrong product/service
3. Losing money
4. Delays
5. Missing out on opportunities
6. Being unable to upgrade or expand
7. Unexpected future expenses
8. The product/service won’t work
9. Not being able to return product
10. Being stuck in a contract
11. Getting sick or injured because of the product/service
12. Company not taking care of them after the sale
13. Having personal information stolen
14. Being embarrassed
15. Not being able to use the product/service
16. Their recipient won’t like the gift
17. Spending too much money
18. The product breaking or wearing out quickly
19. The results of the service not lasting
20. Things going to waste
21. Looking bad to their boss, team, spouse or kids

Even one of these fears can paralyze a buyer and prevent the sale. Which means we need to address their fears and resolve them in our sales process. Otherwise we’ll be bombarded with objections, put off indefinitely, or lose the sale to someone who’s better at allaying our prospect’s fears than we are.

So which of the above fears potentially afflict your buyers? How can you acknowledge them and alleviate them before they derail the buying process?

When you confront your buyer’s fears head-on, you make it easier for them to buy. And that makes closing easier for you. Because then the only thing your prospect has to fear, is missing out on the awesomeness of your product or service.

What else have you found that buyers fear? Leave them in the comments below!

How NOT to Prospect on LinkedIn

September 13th, 2016

How not to prospect on LinkedInI recently received this message in my LinkedIn mailbox (the names have been changed to protect the guilty):

Eric Miller
Junior Sales at Tuttle and Hobart Integrated Supply

Howdy! I was checking out your linkedin profile and was impressed. I would love to network with you.

Do you think your company could use a promotional video to help simplify your message? We also offer referral commissions.

Check out www.blahblahblah.com for top of the line promotional videos or email sales@blahblahblah.com.

BTW – we are now offering a linkedin promo – 35% off!

Please do not respond to this message on linkedin as I do not check my account often enough. Check us out online!

After I stopped laughing, I contemplated all the things that were wrong with this message:

1. “Howdy?” That’s your greeting? What are we, cowboys? I’m half surprised you didn’t also use “;pardner.”

2. “LinkedIn” has a capital “L” and a capital “I.” If you can’t get the little details right, how can I trust you to get the big things right?

3. In the first paragraph, you say you want to network with me, and then in the next sentence, you start actively selling me.

4, We don’t even know each other and you want me to start referring people to you????

5. You’re offering me a big discount right up front? That smacks of desperation and communicates that your product isn’t worth much.

6. Do not respond on LinkedIn??? You don’t check it often enough??? WHAT??? Are you kidding me???

The entire message is the equivalent of walking up to somebody at a cocktail party, shoving a brochure in their hand, and saying, “Read this and get back to us.” It’s amateurish, disingenuous, and insulting. Not only is it worthless, it actually gives me a negative opinion of the company. I will actively avoid this business as a result.

If you’re going to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, remember that it’s called “social” media for a reason. Get to know people. Take part in discussions. Provide value. Be social.

LinkedIn is a powerful sales tool. But like any tool, it’s only effective when you use it properly. So take the time to learn how to use it right. That will get you better results.

The Five E’s of Great Customer Service

September 6th, 2016

Great Service Equals Great SalesSales is service and service is sales. So if you want more sales, you need to be providing more than just good service. You need to provide exceptional service. What does that mean, exactly?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Radio with Michele Price. In this 8-minute segment, I share five elements of extraordinary service. You’ll discover what it takes to deliver service that leaves your customers not merely satisfied, but elated. When you ensure your customer service embodies these five factors, your clients will come back to you again and again, as well as refer you to everyone they know!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

The Five E’s of Great Customer Service: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Radio (which I strongly recommend), check out TheBreakthroughRadio.com.