Year End – UpYourTeleSales Tip

Well here we are, a time that many salespeople dread – the holidays and end of fiscal year. Time and time again I hear “no one is around”, “my customer’s don’t have any money”, “it is my slow time”, you’ve heard it too… maybe even said it!

Don’t get me wrong, you will run into people taking time off as well as those who have used up all their budget money.

Yesterday I talked to a customer who is working today – Thanksgiving – because it is the only time he can pull down production…. Hey I’m working too how did that happen?

If you’re looking for a strategy, here is a tag team approach that has worked for a President’s Club salesperson I know, he sends a version of the following email out to EVERY CONTACT he has at ALL HIS BUYING ACCOUNTS.

PART 1 = email

Subject: their company name & your company name

Hello,

With the end of the year fast approaching I wanted to check to see if you may need equipment for projects delivered prior to the end of the year. We know how hectic this time of the year can be for insert their company name here and have re-stocked our inventory of insert your products here. We are prepared to meet insert their company name here’s end of year delivery requirements.

If we may be of help to you in any way just give me a call/email.

Below I included additional product info and website links. Please call/email for pricing. All prices shown are standard and do not reflect insert their company name here’s discount.

List relevant web links

Regards,

PART 2 = follow up phone calls.

In the call he focuses on THEIR needs, THEIR challenges, THEIR… THEIR… THEIR everything. He doesn’t talk about himself or what he wants at all. Rather says things like

  • Lots of my customer’s are frustrated at the extra time projects take at the end of the year, is that true for you as well?
  • Are you at the point where the money has dried up?
  • Someone else told me there are times they get money thrown at them to use up the budget – so they have a wish list created. Should we be working on one for you?

Again he says “…let ‘em know must be two stages…Email first then ….follow-up call within 1-2days at the most.”

Your Value is Like a Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is a great article by Kendra Lee of the KLA Group! If you ever have a chance to attend one of her presentations – take it. Her down to earth style and actionable ideas are well worth it, check it out:

Selling is a lot like baking. I love to bake. Every Sunday I make 3 batches of chocolate chip cookies for my family of three growing boys. Friends who stop by know the cookie jar will be full and ask to dip in. No kid or adult is immune and they can never stop at just one.

Yum! These are good. Do you use real butter?

What kind of chocolate chips do you use?

How do you get them so soft?

I shouldn’t have another, but may I? Can I please have another?

Even though my homemade chocolate chip cookies are definitely not low fat, people eat two, three and four at a time – more than they ever intended, but what the heck? Their senses take over as the cookie melts away in their mouth. And their hesitation goes out the door.

Your clients are the same way. If they love, love, love your consultative recommendations, advice, and observations they’ll buy more and more. Make their job easier. Check in on them even if you aren’t working a current opportunity. Bring them new ideas and make recommendations you believe will best fit their businesses. Always be willing to listen and brainstorm. Help them financially justify their investment while only selling solutions that will benefit their businesses.

Sell your value. Show your clients the value of working with you. No doubt you hear these phrases every day. But when clients are pressuring you for a price break, it isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

Will clients really pay more to buy your stuff? Yes! They buy Starbucks and Krispy Kreme donuts instead of generic because they value the taste. They’ll buy your value, too, if you appeal to their senses.

While your clients’ budgets may say they should shop around, or they shouldn’t buy that extra service level, they will buy – and buy from you. They’ll do it because they feel confident in decisions you help them make. They can taste the success you’re helping them achieve melting in their mouth.

The memory of that success lingers, just like the memory of a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

In my opinion, if you’re going to take the time to make homemade cookies, you shouldn’t skimp on the ingredients to save calories or money. If you skimp, they’re no better than the packages or tubes you can buy at the store – and definitely not worth the effort to make or eat. Adults don’t see any reason to eat them. Kids will pass them by; and they certainly aren’t going to recommend them to their friends.

The fact that I perfected my recipe over years, and don’t skimp on the ingredients or the time to make them, has my family not just satisfied but bragging. Friends are coming back for more. New friends are coming out of the woodwork.

Your value will linger, too.

Your client will not only pay for your value, but tell everyone they know about how pleased they are! Before you know it, you’ll have a great testimonial for proposals, an eager reference, and referrals flowing your way.

I was speaking with a client this week who actually apologized for spreading our name “all over the place!” He said he probably should have told me so I could prepare our team, but he’d been so busy he hadn’t had a moment. He’d sent some referrals to look at our website and listen in on some audio conferences we were running. He hoped that was okay with me.

Okay? That’s value as good as a homemade chocolate chip cookie!

Kendra Lee is author of “Selling Against the Goal” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group helps companies rapidly penetrate new markets, break into new accounts and shorten time to revenue with new products in the Small & Midmarket Business (SMB) segment. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. For more information, contact the company at +1 303.741.6636 or info@klagroup.com or visit www.klagroup.com.

Stack Rankings and Scoreboards – Where Do You Stand?

Here is my response to a question on SalesBlogcast.com that I subscribe to. Check out everyone’s answers!

What a great discussion you have started! I’m going to share a story of a sales manager I worked for. The organization as a whole would measure everything and those statistics were available to salespeople and managers. At some point in each week, my manager would IM (instant message) one of these statistics to each member of the team – no explanation, no judgment, just what it was and the number.

Some examples might be:

  • Last week’s opportunities – 12
  • You need $235,125 to make president’s club
  • 26% of goal

The reaction of different members of the team was a sociological study all its own. Remembering that we would all receive them around the same time – up and down the floor you would hear “woo hoo”, or groans, or expletives, and sometimes silence.

Not really a stack racking I know (we certainly had that as well). I think that it gave verbalization to what people feel when they see themselves on a scoreboard – but don’t want anyone to know.

Personally, I knew my numbers so I clicked off the IM and kept selling. I also don’t judge my performance in relationship to how well others are doing – rather against my expectations of myself – so I am fairly ambivalent to the whole idea of stack ranking. For me being #1 in the company isn’t as important as being the best I can be, today and every day.

stop “shoulding all over yourself”

I was in a training session with Brian Parsley of trainone.com and he gave an interesting example to the group.

It was about the difference between commitment and trying. Parsley used this example:

How would you feel if you turned to your spouse-to-be and said, “Honey, do you promise to be faithful to me?” And the response was:

  •     Well I’ll try.
  •     I know I should.
  •     I’ll do my best.

Of course people laughed. The thought of this was absurd, but it is a great demonstration of what we do every day to disempower our relationships and ourselves.

My experience has shown me that when I’m shoulding… I’m accepting other peoples ideas, values, whatever – as my own, even though I haven’t actually bought into it.

Basically I’m doing something because someone else thinks it is important. If I’m lucky, I do it well for a while – typically I give up though. If I’m not lucky, I either am filled with resentment or don’t execute the ideas because I don’t believe them.

So stop “shoulding all over yourself” and take control of your life.