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Is this normal in sales?

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by AlexLegault, Aug 2, 2018.

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  1. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Hey guys, I just started working for a company 3 months ago selling websites and web marketing.

    It's 100% comission based and so far I've happen to just make enough money to survive by the end of every month.

    I call on average 75 people a day (cold call) to try to set an appointment and ask them a few questions in order to send them a free PDF of a (custom) strategy for their website. It includes how to optimize their website to turn more visitors into customers and how to drive traffic to their web page as well (more eyeballs to their offer).

    I've only gotten 2 deals since I started.. And most of the time when I call I either get no answer, people telling me they "get this all the time", people that say they're glad I called but don't need it or people that I get a meeting and don't even show up or answer the phone.

    Is their something I'm doing wrong here? Is cold calling still alive or am I just a bad salesperson?

    I used to set on average 2 meetings a day and now I barely get 1.
     
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  2. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It is definitely normal. Every business owner and manager receives dozens of cold calls/emails a week so is always in defense mode with “No” on the top of their tongue.

    Do you create the custom strategy? Is there a way you can have this prepared ahead of time? Then your pitch goes from “can I send you something in an attempt to sell you something” to “I’ve put together some strategies to help YOU, where can I send them?”

    Then let the work speak for itself.
     
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  3. JAJT
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    JAJT Ha Ha! Business Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    In my experience, this is likely the problem.

    Asking to be sent information is the business version of "sorry I'm just sitting down to eat". It's a polite "no". An easy out.

    Nobody reads the information you send so making this ANY kind of priority is a problem point.

    I'm not a website salesman so maybe there are tried and true methods I'm not familiar with in this field, but my approach would be to sell them on the idea that you can increase their sales, engagement, marketing efforts, etc... by fixing "common mistakes" and making "simple changes". Use numbers. "I've seen a lot of websites like yours and we find a few simple tweaks can boost your conversion by up to 30%". Impress them. Make it sound so stupid to say no to you. "Would increasing sales be one of your priorities this quarter?" "What would you do if you could get 4x as many calls coming in?" Etc...

    The goal should be to sell them on that first call. Like, fully sell them - start a conversation and get the lines of communication hot and flowing. When they are sold, you move them to the next step, which is the appointment to discuss the meat and potatoes of the deal (I assume you NEED an appointment in your sales process, if you can do this on this first call - DO IT!).

    An appointment needs to be rock solid. Suggest a date/time, ask if that works for them, ask if they'll need anyone else on the call to make this happen, ask them the best email to send the appointment details to (and send it through a calendar app like google calendar or outlook or whatever so they can add it easily into their calendar) and ask what the best number to reach them at is in case an emergency comes up. Email them the morning of the call or the night before reminding them of it.

    The biggest mistake people make in sales is funny enough - not selling. They see their sales process as a nice little bundle of "call -> information -> follow up call -> appointment - > issue PO" when the reality is you should be able (and trying) to do all of that on the first call. The next steps are just back-up plans to give you another touch, if needed. The worst thing you can say to an interested party is "perfect, when can I call you back?". You need to be able to respond to someone who says "yeah, lay it on me, let's do this now".

    My 2 cents anyway. Perhaps @Fox has other, better ideas.
     
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  4. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I like the idea but I feel like we would get a lot of tire kickers that way
     
  5. sparechange
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    sparechange Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Drive traffic for them FREE, give them a week trial. If your service is good there's no reason why they wont put you on the payroll, just my opinion
     
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  6. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    You would, but what if you got 5 out of 75 to agree to talk further instead of 1-2? Obviously if a custom strategy takes hours then it will be inefficient.
     
  7. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    My "boss" isn't down for that haha. I can see the pros and cons of it though.
     
  8. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Yeah that's the thing. The strategies take me roughly an hour to make on average, sometimes longer.
     
  9. WildFlower
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    WildFlower Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I get calls ALL THE TIME that are scams. Computer virus.. or about website..etc. etc. AND I get even MORE emails about website traffic, boost your star rating (IMDB thing), get more followers. .etc. etc. I wouldn't be able to weed out the good stuff in that sea of garbage nor do I have time. I'm sure you are up against all that going on. BUT I am more likely to read an email that looks legit than take a cold call.
     
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  10. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Hmm, good point. There's been a lot of scams going on where I'm located as well. Maybe that's why some people have their guard up as well..
     
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  11. Fox
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    Fox Moderator Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    What kind of deals did you close and what’s your cut (if you don’t mind).

    Sounds like you would be better off using those sales skills in a different way. Either a higher paying web business or something different.

    I’m interested to see what you sold first but when I can I will add more feedback.
     
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  12. Crexty
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    Crexty Contributor

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    Definitely Normal. My industry is also super saturated and can take over 200 calls to land 1 appointment.

    Regardless, cold calling is probably the most cost effective and efficient way to scale most B2B businesses. It will probably be for a long time as well.

    Funny thing is, most of these people that you're calling could probably actually benefit from your companies services, and some probably actually NEED your services. But like everyone else said, business owners get cold called dozens of times a week and are usually in a "defense mode".

    We have information ready for when people ask for it, but don't even get close to thinking even 10% of people you send it to will read it. I have had much more success with "We could actually go over the information i'm sending faster than you could read it over a 15 minute appointment, how about next monday at 9AM?"
     
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  13. Tom.V
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    Tom.V Tom Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    First impression, it sounds like the offer and prospect aren't lining up directly with those numbers. I have personally been in that type of environment selling SEO services, and 1 or 2 deals a month was a good month. If you're calling on prospects that can directly benefit from the companies service offerings and you're telling them how you can directly solve their problems with certainty, the % of closed deals would be much higher.

    Cold calling works. Email works. Face to face works. Social media messaging works. It ALL works, so long as the offer solves the needs of the recipient, that offers value proposition is relayed succinctly in relation to the prospects needs, and the funnel to close the deals is not overly complicated or convoluted.
     
  14. WildFlower
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    I traced one scam that was obvious they weren't in the country to a company in the US that provides phone lines to use. I reported it but I don't think they can stop it because they will just switch lines. I've had calls from a real person's cell phone that looked like it was from a legit person but it was somehow masked. Good luck.. maybe if you can figure a way to separate yourself. like .. right off say I'm in the US here etc. something. IDK Good luck!
     
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  15. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I closed 2 deals for 2 website redesigns. My cut is 25% comission.
     
  16. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    That's what we've started moving towards as well instead of just sending them the information. People often forget and I'd rather set an appointment to show people who are serious.
     
  17. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Interesting, maybe I should mention my location. People love that here actually. Thanks!
     
  18. mwimmersive
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    This is extremely normal!! I run a marketing service business that does a lot of sales, here's a screenshot of our CRM(Customer Relationship Managment) pipeline where we keep tracks of leads... Yeah my man, sales is a tough thing especially if you're just grinding through it regardless of your business model... Make sure your business is really adding value to your customers first! Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 4.46.46 PM.png
     
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  19. AlexLegault
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    AlexLegault Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    7 out of 217? That's brutal man.
     
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    As a business owner, if you reach out to me, I want to know how you're going to increase my sales and profitability. If you don't have a believable case study on that, I'm not interested.

    I know my website isn't the best. It's functional. Until someone shows me that their version will get me more clients every month, I'm not going to pay for a redesign.

    I recently worked with a "marketing" company. Their strategy was cold outreach on LinkedIn, with follow-ups in LinkedIn and email. The targeting was bad, so now I have a bunch of businesses that have a bad impression of my company. This makes me ten times as wary with the next marketing company that says they can get me leads.

    The point being, most businesses have been burned at some point. What are you doing to reduce the risk on their end of getting burned again?
     
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  21. mwimmersive
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    mwimmersive New Contributor

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    Yeah, haha.... If you're curious, you can check out the types of projects that we're always pitching to try and sell here: Work - Midwest Immersive
     
  22. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Exactly. I’ve also spent a lot of money with a well know marketing company who has thousands of good reviews to get get about .05 for every dollar spent only to be told after the fact that “your market is very difficult”

    Had they said that upfront instead of at the end of our contract they never would’ve got our business BUT they would have a fan that would recommend them to other business owners. Now they have one who will suggest anybody looking stays far away.

    Point of my rant is like many points above, you have got to offer them SOMETHING up front. Give them something, drive traffic for them, offer improvements. Show them that you will help them by helping them. Don’t tell them you can probably help them after the pay you.
     

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