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NOTABLE! A Room Full of Opportunity (Follow up on the darn leads!)

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MidwestLandlord

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- "I'm still thinking about it"
- "I'll need to discuss it with my wive/husband/mother/father/mistress/dog/cat/imaginary friend/anyone that I can conveniently put the blame onto"
- "Now is not a good time. Why don't you call me again next month?" Then they repeat the same phrase over and over again
- They ignore your calls/messages/emails, and occasionally reply with one of the responses above

They are willing to go through all those troubles so you'd give up. Then the whole situation becomes "the salesperson gave up" instead of "I declined the salesperson".
"Is there someone else I should be speaking to?"

"I misunderstood, I thought you were the decision maker. Is it possible to speak to XXXX?" (a last resort script lol)

"Other than having to ask your wife about this, is there anything else that would keep you from doing business with us?"

"We are both very busy people, so I think it's important we make a decision on this. Don't you agree?"

"It's important to make an informed decision, don't you agree? {yes} Great, we're happy to bring some free product into your store so you can see how well it sells, and make the decision that is best for your business. What day would you like that delivered?"

I push until I get a YES or a NO.
 

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Oh I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg here.. LOL.. these people are well trained in the art and science of "dodging questions" and "playing mind games". I'm not being negative here, just sharing what I've experienced so far. After a few sessions with these people I would normally just dump their contacts or keep them somewhere, and call them after a few more months and see how things go.

"Is there someone else I should be speaking to?"
In a corporate setting:
"Sorry I can't reveal that person's identity (yeah right). You can talk to me"

Non-corporate setting:
Character A: Please talk to B
Character B: Please talk to A (and you can NEVER get them at the same time.. LOL)


"I misunderstood, I thought you were the decision maker. Is it possible to speak to XXXX?" (a last resort script lol)
In a corporate setting: "Sorry he's very busy/having a meeting right now/went outstation/on leave" OR "you can talk to me. I'll pass your message to the relevant person" (pretends to listen/take message)

Non-corporate setting: Young man, you shouldn't discriminate people. Every person that you speak to can influence the decision (yeah it happened to me :mad:, and these people were just insignificant time-wasters who had to feel important. In a way they are correct, but most of the time it's not worth the effort.. haha)

"Other than having to ask your wife about this, is there anything else that would keep you from doing business with us?"
Both corporate and non-corporate settings: "Oh there are other reasons as well but I can't really tell you because it's P&C/personal" OR "Yes we have other concerns as well.. hold on, I have an incoming call.. shoot, It's Very-Important-Fake-Person, I'll have to take this call, please call me another time"

"We are both very busy people, so I think it's important we make a decision on this. Don't you agree?"

"It's important to make an informed decision, don't you agree? {yes} Great, we're happy to bring some free product into your store so you can see how well it sells, and make the decision that is best for your business. What day would you like that delivered?"

I push until I get a YES or a NO.
This is the ULTIMATE MEGA CRAP that people use:
If the client is the kind that takes advantage of people: After "Yes" and "Sample taken", what you will get from these people when you follow up will be the usual tricks, OR "We will let you know"

If the client has some common decency: After "Yes", "We will let you know again because [insert super-lame-excuse/creative reason if they are in the mood]

Again, not being negative here. Some people just won't say NO and they want/expect you to read between the lines. For this kind of scenario I usually just move on. My time can be better spent on people that have more potential :clench:
 

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I responded with "Please send me a link list of work you've done."

That was 4 days ago.

No response.
Not exactly the same, but:

I had someone email our contact form really excited about our company and wanting to work for us.

I said sure, just send over a resume.

No response.

I don't get it.
 

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I push until I get a YES or a NO.
I sell direct to consumer... lifestyle product, expensive... so I can't really be as direct.

But when I want a tire-kicker to just make up their mind, I'll sometimes end with an "or if you've changed your mind and decided on something else, just let me know".

It makes them feel more comfortable just saying "yeah, we decided to go with XYZ compnay instead". Then I can find out why they went with XYZ, and then can quit wasting time following up.
 

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Great thread.

My background is in implementing marketing automation at large clients. Each sales team has a constraint in the number of leads it can follow-up on in any given day. To ensure you're contacting the hottest leads first, you need to prioritize them in some way.

Dependent on the information you ask from your leads, you can segment on demographics, psychographics and firmographics. Who fits your customer profile? What leads can you convert the best? Which ones are the most profitable? This does not have to be academic.

Adding a call-me-back feature is also a great way to prioritize leads.

Glad to provide more info if people are interested.
 

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Then there's Derik Sivers who says if it's not a HELL YES, it's a NO.

Should we even be trying to persuade the "maybe" people?
I see sales as a screening process. Maybes are Nos.

Didn’t bite my hand off? You’re a No too.

I’ll follow up once only, and that’s just to check you got the email confirming what we spoke about.

If I keep chasing invoices you’re a No too.


I’ve started working with a friend in the UK who’s been a salesman for over two decades. He thinks I’m a bit “brutal” that way. Haha.
 

AlaneM

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Hey there!
really awesome post! thank you for that and to all the thread's talkers as well. you are just gold each one of you. I would like some tip please. If you go with a cold call to sell a digital service like website build-up or redesign/SEO, how do you turn the call into an action? do you pursue the caller to take an appointment?

Do you involve in achieving something for free and then get paid after? How do you end a conversation by a having a new client? For internet and tv, they have your info and just ask your rib to take money directly from there and it ennoys me. If somebody is interested, how do you do to make the deal? sorry if it sounds silly but i don't know how to do it.
 

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I asked him if this was common, that people would put that little effort into their profession.

He said it was not only common, but the norm! He said if he could get even 15 people in that room to start making calls and improving their sales number he would consider the class a major success.

15 out of 75 people. That's only 20%

He told me how he used to do this class for a major employer, before he started his own business to teach it. At that employer, his class graduates were responsible for 75% of all sales in the entire company, even though they were only about 10% of the sales force.

10% doing 75% of the sales, just because he taught them to pick up the phone.
80/20 un action. Beautiful.

Ir you haven't read 80/20 of Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall it's eye opener.

As you post is. Thanks for sharing. I struggle a lot with rejection and I'm working on it. Actually, it does not happen when I work for someone else... Or when I have someone checking at me. The rejection of my fellow is stronger than the rejection of some extranger lol.

Warm leads are another field of play. Years ago I didn't calle them but now that idea seem silly to me, even if as a hardcore introvert sometimes I'm not in the mood.

I actually get more frustrated over the fact that people aren't assertive enough to say no when they really want or need to say no. I hate wasting my time
I bate that, but also the sales people that try to convince me after saying no clearly. I usually say "don't waste time calling me, if I am interested in the future I will contact you".

Doesn't work.

She was struggling at the start of the class and just about to quit and take a job she was offered, so I had challenged her to see who could get the most "over the phone" rejections in the 7 weeks of class
Love this. You have probably change the life of that gal forever.
 

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As you post is. Thanks for sharing. I struggle a lot with rejection and I'm working on it. Actually, it does not happen when I work for someone else... Or when I have someone checking at me. The rejection of my fellow is stronger than the rejection of some extranger lol.

Warm leads are another field of play. Years ago I didn't calle them but now that idea seem silly to me, even if as a hardcore introvert sometimes I'm not in the mood.
In my experience, the actual rejection is never as bad as the thoughts or feelings I have leading up to the rejection.

That nervous, anxious feeling before the calls. That emotion is ALWAYS disproportionate to the actual rejections.

So I have a routine I follow.

I move away from my desk to my "calling area", I have a mug of hot green tea to sip on, I flip my laptop open to my "scripts" word document, put my headset in and start calling as quickly as I can. I stand too, I'm an energetic guy so standing and walking around gives me an outlet for my energy during the calls.

The moving away from my desk and the green tea are cues in my "cue, routine, reward" habit, so it subconsciously tells my mind that we are making calls now, and nothing terrible happened the last 50 times we did this, so there's nothing to be anxious about.

I've done a variation of that routine for years, and I actually LIKE cold calling now.

I made 32 cold calls yesterday, got 2 new customers out of it.
 

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In my experience, the actual rejection is never as bad as the thoughts or feelings I have leading up to the rejection.

That nervous, anxious feeling before the calls. That emotion is ALWAYS disproportionate to the actual rejections.

So I have a routine I follow.

I move away from my desk to my "calling area", I have a mug of hot green tea to sip on, I flip my laptop open to my "scripts" word document, put my headset in and start calling as quickly as I can. I stand too, I'm an energetic guy so standing and walking around gives me an outlet for my energy during the calls.

The moving away from my desk and the green tea are cues in my "cue, routine, reward" habit, so it subconsciously tells my mind that we are making calls now, and nothing terrible happened the last 50 times we did this, so there's nothing to be anxious about.

I've done a variation of that routine for years, and I actually LIKE cold calling now.

I made 32 cold calls yesterday, got 2 new customers out of it.
That's my experience too. As Mark Twain said, we live a lot of tragedies every day, but most of them happen only in our minds (paraphrasing very loosely here).

It's not only the anxiety but the bitter feeling of regret if you don't do it.

I like your routine and will try something similar.

I'm working on my mindset to see this as a game. It actually is some sort of game. You have to try, correct, try again, level up and keep trying... And it can be fun. It only depends on how you decide to perceive it.

Still, mindset has to be backed up by action or you are fooling yourself (not You, but people in general, I'm talking to myself here :D)

Anyway, there's a book about selling that I think fits greatly with the mindset of this forum. Go-givers Sell More. I enjoyed a lot, but it's not as much about techniques as it is about mindset (providing value).

Enviado desde mi MotoG3 mediante Tapatalk
 

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I'm actually looking for the same thing myself. This is my first experience with professional sales training. I took the class because it promised that they would help me write cold calling scripts. (and they have, and it's amazing)

Wish I could be more help.

I read a lot of books though. If I find good one's for this subject I'll drop them here. I'm actively looking for them, so should find something!
Try SPIN Selling
 

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Just a recent example of this...

Got a cold email (probably from an automated lead generating service) that said, "We do custom Xenforo work, we can do anything!"

I responded with "Please send me a link list of work you've done."

That was 4 days ago.

No response.

You initiated a COLD lead (thru an automated service) but when the lead become WARM and it was time to communicate, you disappeared.

Frustrating.
Insanity.
 

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Great post, @MidwestLandlord. I'm looking at transitioning in my day job to a more direct sales role. Is there any material out there beside the books you mentioned you would recommend in terms of cold-calling? I'm not afraid of public speaking, but cold calls I have always struggled a bit with in terms of developing my own process. I do a bit of it now, but I don't think I'm good at it and want to get better quickly.
Also consider:

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XDUKVJY/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

Pre-Suasion - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JAYK6HI/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
 

rogue synthetic

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In my experience, the actual rejection is never as bad as the thoughts or feelings I have leading up to the rejection.

That nervous, anxious feeling before the calls. That emotion is ALWAYS disproportionate to the actual rejections.

So I have a routine I follow.

I move away from my desk to my "calling area", I have a mug of hot green tea to sip on, I flip my laptop open to my "scripts" word document, put my headset in and start calling as quickly as I can. I stand too, I'm an energetic guy so standing and walking around gives me an outlet for my energy during the calls.

The moving away from my desk and the green tea are cues in my "cue, routine, reward" habit, so it subconsciously tells my mind that we are making calls now, and nothing terrible happened the last 50 times we did this, so there's nothing to be anxious about.

I've done a variation of that routine for years, and I actually LIKE cold calling now.

I made 32 cold calls yesterday, got 2 new customers out of it.
This is gold right here.

You can learn "how" to sell all day long by reading the books, but until you can make that leap to doing it, none of that know-how matters.

I've read all the books too, and nothing beats THIS. If you can't get into a head-space where you can make that leap... whether it's a call, pulling the trigger in a conversation, or just sending the damn email... it doesn't mean anything.

I used to regret my younger days selling in retail, over the phone, and face-to-face, but the more I'm reading around here, the more I realize those days were some of the best time-investment I ever spent. That's where I learned how to get rejected, learned how to pitch a deal, saw what it was like to get somebody interesting...and to get shot down.

And realize that it didn't matter. It's all learning, if you're ready to learn from it.

But most of all, getting in that ZFG attitude where you can just "make the jump" and do it...that's the real lesson.

I have to remind myself of this EVERY time. It never gets easier...but you can learn how to not mind it so much.
 

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Upgraded to NOTABLE.
 

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If I keep chasing invoices you’re a No too.
Have you considered auto billing on your flat fees?

I have a recent client which never paid on time, and had to chase them down multiple times. Switched over to auto billing, and business continues on as usual with them getting the services. Now everyone new is put on auto, and no one bats an eye.

Sometimes they're just aloof with their finances.
 

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Have you considered auto billing on your flat fees?

I have a recent client which never paid on time, and had to chase them down multiple times. Switched over to auto billing, and business continues on as usual with them getting the services. Now everyone new is put on auto, and no one bats an eye.

Sometimes they're just aloof with their finances.
Yeah, I do have auto billing for most clients. Last week one failed due to credit card issues. I've sent a gentle reminder via Skype PM and email. No reply yet. I'm getting an itchy trigger finger, but will give them the benefit of the doubt since I'm not sure they even got the PM or email. A good reason for using Streak with gmail I think...
 

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I used to regret my younger days selling in retail, over the phone, and face-to-face, but the more I'm reading around here, the more I realize those days were some of the best time-investment I ever spent. That's where I learned how to get rejected, learned how to pitch a deal, saw what it was like to get somebody interesting...and to get shot down.
Exactly. I'm glad you mentioned face-to-face sales as well.

We're all salespeople, whether we realize it or not, and face-to-face sales gives the best results BY FAR IMHO.

I've been working on my face-to-face sales. I'm energetic and animated when I speak, which isn't always a good thing. (I'm energetic like "get it done!" rather than "rabid squirrel!"...so not a nervous energy)

1) I talk fast.

The downside of this is I don't adjust my speed of speech for the person I am talking to. Older folks are a good example, so are the rural, laid-back "country folk" that are common in my area. My talking fast confuses them, or irritates them, or worse comes across as arrogant. (for the record, I'm cocky...not arrogant lol)

This has been a fairly easy fix. It is something I have to stay aware of though.

2) I'm very animated

If I can't move my hands when I talk, I quite literally can't talk. Being animated and high energy like that is mostly good, it shows I believe in what I am selling, but it can also be distracting and overwhelming when overdone (I've been accused of being intimidating because of it as well. Which always confuses me since I don't consider myself an intimidating guy)

I enlisted the help of a gal I know that is also in sales. We sit down and practice our scripts together every Wednesday. She insists I sit on my hands while saying my scripts. I hate it!

But these small changes have WORKED.

It's amazing how the small adjustments amount to so much.

Social skills and selling skills are SO important in life. While I've always had decent social skills (I'm an extrovert), this is really my first experience in choosing to learn sales skills, and not just "winging it" like I have been.

It's life changing.
 

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A good reason for using Streak with gmail I think...
I love Streak.

And I love typing "Just checking to see if you got my email" when I can plainly see that they've read it 3 times already.
 

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Exactly. I'm glad you mentioned face-to-face sales as well.

We're all salespeople, whether we realize it or not, and face-to-face sales gives the best results BY FAR IMHO.

I've been working on my face-to-face sales. I'm energetic and animated when I speak, which isn't always a good thing. (I'm energetic like "get it done!" rather than "rabid squirrel!"...so not a nervous energy)

1) I talk fast.

The downside of this is I don't adjust my speed of speech for the person I am talking to. Older folks are a good example, so are the rural, laid-back "country folk" that are common in my area. My talking fast confuses them, or irritates them, or worse comes across as arrogant. (for the record, I'm cocky...not arrogant lol)

This has been a fairly easy fix. It is something I have to stay aware of though.

2) I'm very animated

If I can't move my hands when I talk, I quite literally can't talk. Being animated and high energy like that is mostly good, it shows I believe in what I am selling, but it can also be distracting and overwhelming when overdone (I've been accused of being intimidating because of it as well. Which always confuses me since I don't consider myself an intimidating guy)

I enlisted the help of a gal I know that is also in sales. We sit down and practice our scripts together every Wednesday. She insists I sit on my hands while saying my scripts. I hate it!

But these small changes have WORKED.

It's amazing how the small adjustments amount to so much.

Social skills and selling skills are SO important in life. While I've always had decent social skills (I'm an extrovert), this is really my first experience in choosing to learn sales skills, and not just "winging it" like I have been.

It's life changing.
^^^ Likewise.

I can lose people completely with enthusiasm and hamming up the “I’m a passionate geek not a salesman” part.

I’m aware that for some people it’s too much and I need to slow down and go at their pace.

I’m working with a friend who’s got over 20 years experience as a traveling salesman (the guy from my “Yes, but” thread). It’s been very interesting watching him getting the hang of what I do, and him giving me little adjustments to try (or at least think about).

I used to get a bit frustrated speaking to him because of his slow delivery, and wondered how well that would come across when he made his sales calls. Seeing him in action though has been eye opening. That slow delivery means he doesn’t ramble like I have a tendency to do.

I’ve been told I’m good at sales, and that I’m the type of person people want to buy from.

I’ve also been told I’m not a salesman. Haha. Which could be partly why I’m good at sales.

I’m much more interested in getting better at face to face sales now I’ve seen my friend doing it. He wants to help people, and has some nice ways of keeping it natural while finding out how best to help them.

Like you say, winging it has got me so far, a bit more of a framework will get me even further.

Just for context, I’m an introvert, but as comfortable stood in front of a group of people winging it as I am chatting to someone 1-2-1. I’m not sure how that’s possible, or quite how to lean into it.
 
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nsea.png

Although these statistics are debatable (and hotly debated on the internet), there is lot's of truth in them.

Of course this is made for sales people...but where else in life would it apply?
 
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I’m much more interested in getting better at face to face sales now I’ve seen my friend doing it. He wants to help people, and has some nice ways of keeping it natural while finding out how best to help them.
And I'm realizing that face-to-face sales sets you apart from everyone else.

SO MANY sales people want to sit behind a screen and wait for things to happen. For leads to call them. For leads to come in from a PPC landing page. For leads to come in from billboards, bus stop benches, facebook ads, whatever.

Texts, facebook messages, linkedin messages...

All tech and no humanity.

That stuff has a place for sure, but when you take the time to sit down with someone over coffee and talk about how you can help them, remembering what they said the last time you spoke ("How'd that work project turn out for you?")...it sets you apart.

Amazing how just being "human" can be an advantage.
 

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View attachment 22178

Although these statistics are debatable (and hotly debated on the internet), there is lot's of truth in them.

Of course this is made for sales people...but where else in life would it apply?
Pareto principle at work once again...80% of sales on 5th contact or later yet only 10% put in that effort.

I would venture a guess that entrepreneurship has similar statistics as far as how many give it a try once and say “not for me” but to have that successful business typically will take at least 4 or 5 attempts if not dozens.
 

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And I'm realizing that face-to-face sales sets you apart from everyone else.

SO MANY sales people want to sit behind a screen and wait for things to happen. For leads to call them. For leads to come in from a PPC landing page. For leads to come in from billboards, bus stop benches, facebook ads, whatever.

Texts, facebook messages, linkedin messages...

All tech and no humanity.

That stuff has a place for sure, but when you take the time to sit down with someone over coffee and talk about how you can help them, remembering what they said the last time you spoke ("How'd that work project turn out for you?")...it sets you apart.

Amazing how just being "human" can be an advantage.
Agreed. Diesel and coffee for the win.

It tickles me that I best help folks with online marketing by meeting them face-to-face.
 

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Looking to hire a land surveyor, $3-$5K job, made 4 inquiries.

1 called back 4 days later...
The other 3, not a peep.

Maybe if I wait another 3 weeks, they'll call back. SMH.
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Dec 6, 2016
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@MidwestLandlord , do you feel the course you are tak9ng would he applicable to someone selling financial services? If so, would you mind sending me a PM with the name of the course?
Not really. The mindset is applicable, but not the actual material. By the end of the course I just wanted it to end. Way too much "feel good" kool-aid to drink for me. Literally got a participation trophy haha

There's nothing in the course you can't learn from threads on this forum or books on the subject.
 

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