Here is something I have been working on with salespeople since email became popular.
When you receive an email – don’t hit reply, pick up the phone!
My coach solidified it in my brain last night when she said “It is always easier to continue than change.”Here in the bright light of day, it hit me. That’s it, the reason we hit reply when we get an email from a prospect or customer – it is easy.
Most of the time we know it would be more profitable to call and have a conversation, but it is easy to hit reply and bang out something on the keyboard – continuing vs. changing the medium we are using to communicate.
It takes a long time to change habits, a lot of effort, and discomfort. I know it is possible to create a new habit – when ever you receive an email, pick up the phone and call.
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Have you ever found yourself sitting at your computer, headset on, doing absolutely nothing? I have (recently) and it is no fun.
I have no idea how long I was there, just staring at the screen – I had even lost the ability to do what I like to call administrivia (the stuff that makes you look productive even if it is only one step above busy work).
For those of you who are inside salespeople in the Gray Cubes of Love (ie: call center or office environment), it is easier to get out of your funk – by asking other people to give us an enthusiasm injection.
What could that look like? I’m glad you asked!
- ask your team for a challenge (need an example: 1st person to 5 solid business conversations wins – you pick a prize)
- ask for a kick in the butt from your cube mates
- get up & go for an errand walk (time limit… 15 minutes)
- for that matter… go for a walk outside
If your an inside salesperson and working out of your home office, it is more difficult. The only person you have to rely on is – yup, yourself.
- have 3 to 5 motivation sites to click on (again that time limit is important… 15 minutes)
- cultivate a group of “go to” people you can email for that cube mate feel
- get out of the house; walk around the block, take the dog out, grab your mail
It may be your metabolism, so grab a glass of water or a snack and see if that makes you feel better.
Sometimes one good call is all that is needed, pick up the phone and call a good customer – make it all about them and what is going on in their world, work to get them to laugh.
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Looking for a game that is great fun? frustration-bingo is a game I invented when having a horrible week as an inside salesperson. I decided, instead of getting upset about my current lack of progress, I would truly turn it into a game.
The attached BINGO board includes such favorites as:
- find 3 fake decision makers
- same customer ~ new order ~ another mistake (don’t worry you only need one to check off the square)
- 5 people tell you “I’ve got nothing going on”
there are many many more! Click in to check out the rest.
Grab your cube mates, have everyone throw in $1 and the first person to shout BINGO wins all the money. Never have the non-successes of inside sales been so much fun!
After you play – come back: register, log in, and let us know what you think of playing
F R U S T R A T I O N B I N G O
When I first started in sales, there was a huge push on behaviors. We tracked everything – dials, phone time, conversations, opportunities found, deals closed, revenue, margin, you name it we tracked it.
I was lucky, someone explained to me that the top 5 salespeople had a few of these behaviors in common. How many different people they spoke with each day AND how long they were on the phone.
Then it was explained that # of different people TRANSLATES TO # of potential business opportunities.
Plus phone time TRANSLATES TO relationship, solid qualification skills, etc.
Which is when I realized that some of the behaviors we track, are so newer people can see what needs to be done to reach the ultimate goal increasing your own paycheck. It was a behavior-pyramid.ppt where unfortunately many sales managers get caught up in the measurements not the outcome or result they are hoping to achieve by laying the pyramid’s foundation.
I agree with measuring and tracking behaviors – as long as each salesperson can articulate what they are trying to achieve by hitting that number.
My pyramid begins at the foundation of “dial the phone” since we are talking telesales here, if we don’t dial the phone nothing happens. But dials is not a result, it is only the first foundation piece for success.
Click in to check out the rest, then scroll down, register, log in, and let us know what you think about the metric used to track you.
Although the first issue of my newsletter is The Foolish Edition, don’t be fooled – and remember to click on the really little type to make it big enough to read. There you will find an off kilter look at sales tips & tricks for telesales professionals.
Once you decide you like it, subscribe to receive it every month in YOUR very own inbox!
Here is a little tease…..
Issue 1: The Foolish Edition
False Errands from Prospects
There are lots of jokes that our suspects and prospects customers play on us. On any other day of the year, we call them objections. Here are three common ones telesales people have shared with me (along with my own personal translation of what they might actually be saying):
- Send Me Some Information (I’m in the middle of something and really want you to go away)
- I Have A Vendor (It isn’t worth the time to learn about you because the people I work with aren’t screwing up)
- We’re All Set (I can’t think of anything I’m doing that sounds like what you just said)
click here to read the whole thing…. told you it was a teaser 🙂