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Sales Prospecting – Increase Your Sales by Avoiding Prospecting Mistakes

Recently I received a prospecting voice mail message from a salesperson. The salesperson explained his company was “the leader in Microsoft hosted Exchange solutions” and he encouraged me to visit his company’s website. That was it – that was the “meat” of the voice mail message.
If you received that salesperson’s voice mail message, what would go through your mind? Do you think it might it be a question like, “What the heck is a Microsoft hosted Exchange solution?” Do you think the voice mail message would inspire you to call the salesperson back?
Why did the salesperson’s voice mail message fail to accomplish the desired end result? Because it focused on a solution rather than a problem.
If your prospecting calls and related voice mail messages talk about a solution, in effect you are assuming that your prospects are already aware of the problems that your solution can solve for them. If your prospects are not able to relate your solution back to their own specific problems, your message will probably just “bounce off”.
If you use industry-specific jargon to describe your solution, you are making the additional assumption that your prospects are familiar with the jargon that you are using. If they aren’t, it further reduces your chances of attracting their attention!
How could this salesperson restructure his voice mail message to be more effective? Instead of talking about his solution, he could talk about one or more of the problems that can be solved by using a hosted Exchange service. A revised voice mail message might sound something like this:
“We help small companies look like big companies to their prospects and customers; plus, we help companies of all sizes focus more of their time and resources on their core businesses, which accelerates growth and profitability. If you’d like learn how we do this, please give me a call.”
This salesperson could further enhance his message by including a specific quantified impact that his company’s services have produced for customers. Here is what it might sound like if we add a quantified impact to the previously revised voice mail message:
“We help small companies look like big companies to their prospects and customers; plus, we help companies of all sizes focus more of their time and resources on their core businesses. This has helped some of our customers reduce their operating costs by as much as 30% in just six months. If you’d like learn how they were able to achieve these results, please give me a call.”
Do you see the difference between the revised messages and, “We are the leader in Microsoft hosted Exchange solutions; please visit our website”? Do you agree that the revised messages are likely to capture more prospects’ attention and produce more returned phone calls?
There are other advantages to focusing your prospecting messages on problems rather than solutions. If you talk about a solution, your message will have the most appeal for prospects that are already actively looking for that specific solution. But, do you think those (few) prospects are just sitting around waiting for you to call? Or, do you think they might be doing some proactive research? In fact, isn’t it possible they might already have some price quotes in hand? If they are that far along in the buying process, how does it impact your chances of winning their business? If you do manage to win their business, how profitable is it likely to be? Wouldn’t you agree that in this situation your solution is more likely to be perceived as a commodity, and the business is likely to go to a low bidder?
Contrast this scenario to a properly managed, problem-based prospecting approach. If you are successful in attracting a prospect’s interest by talking about the business problems that you can solve and the quantified impacts that your company has delivered to customers, the natural next step is to ask the prospect to identify which specific problems pertain to their business. Once the prospect prioritizes their problems, you can ask more questions to help them quantify the impact of these problems on their business. If the quantified impacts are substantial enough, it becomes quite easy to justify a very profitable price for your solution.
If you want to improve your prospecting effectiveness, stop leading with solutions in your prospecting calls and voice mail messages. Instead, lead with the problems you can help prospects solve, and (ideally) one or more of the quantified impacts your company has produced for customers. This type of problem-focused prospecting approach will attract the interest of a larger percentage of your prospects, produce higher close rates, and generate more profitable sales.



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Top Universal Sales Closes

If you are to become proficient in closing the “sale” you will have to become knowledgeable of the many different types of sale closes. First of all, a good salesperson must understand this fact; products and services are sold, not bought and top salespeople always plan their closes in advance. Shooting from the hip is not a practiced art of top salespeople.
Here are two questions that you must be comfortable asking your customers:
1. Does this make sense to you thus far? 
2. What questions or concerns do you have for me right now?
These two questions without a doubt will get you the furthest in the sales process than any other questions by causing the customer to share what they do or don’t understand. Most objections from a customer are due from the customer not understanding the value they will obtain by possessing the product or service you present them.
The following is a list of proven closes used by some of the top salespeople in the sales profession:
1. Invitation Close: “Mr. or Miss. Customer why don’t you just give us a trial run to see if our products or services are to your liking. You have nothing to lose but being a satisfied customer.”
2. Preference Close: Give the customer several choices between prices and/or products. No one likes to be pushed into a corner. By offering choices to the customer it gives the customer the illusion that they are in control of the transaction. Always know that the person who is asking the most questions is in control of the conversation. So, ask away!
3. Secondary Close: You will want to keep the customers mind on your products or services and bring up as many reasons why the customer may find value in owning or using the products and services you have to offer. In many cases, a customer’s attention may wander. If this does happen to you, it is imperative that you get the customer concentrating back on subject at hand.
4. Directive Close: Let the customer know what the next step is; (plan of action) then guarantee the customer that you will take care of all the details personally, concerning the product or service red tape immediately! Most customers want to be rest assured that the salesperson is competent and in control.
5. Shape Angle Close: “Mr. or Miss. Customer, if we can satisfy all of your concerns regarding our products or services, what would stop you from doing business with us right now”?
6. Authorization Close: “With your authorization here on this agreement” We can get started right away providing you with the products or services we spoke of this evening.” People want things taken care of right away. People also want to know the value in what they are about to own or purchase.
7. I Want To Think It Over Close: “That’s a good idea that you do so.” “I know this is a very important decision you are about to make.” “Obviously you have a good reason for wanting to think it over?” “May I ask what that reason may be?”
8. Assuring Your Customer Close: “When working with our organization you will receive extraordinary service!” “The quality of our products and services are the top in the industry!” “Our organization makes our products and services convenient to our customers!” “You will know the true value and the significance of owning our product’s or service’s once you see how they work or function!”
There are several keys to being successful in selling. You will want to get serious and decide to follow through with your commitment to be the best at our craft. Next, you will want to identify your prominent skills, so you can become a successful salesperson. You will then want to surround yourself with the best of the best, so you can ultimately become the best.
Taking care of your physical health is very important also. Your health has a lot to do with your demeanor and confidence. Your attitude controls your altitude. So, stay healthy and strive to be the best in all you do. You will want to have a positive visualization of greatness. You will want to see yourself as the very best in your field. You are what you think about all the time. The way you visualize yourself will be the person you will become.
Be careful how you talk to yourself. Talk to yourself positively. You will want to control your inner dialog. Never forget! Positive input = positive output! Garbage in, garbage stays! Never lose sight that the quality of your life will be determined by the depth of your commitment to excellence more than any other factor.
This information is for salespeople that want to take it to the next level in sales. These essential keys have made a difference in my sales career and I know that they will also help anyone that uses them. You can find more essential keys at http://www.drmarkhuddleston.com in “Eluding The Toxic Enemy Within” and “The Essential Keys To Financial Freedom” May you find the information you are looking for.


Are you interested in selling Verizon Wireless services? Call us at (469) 428-7710 or fill out the form below.  We look forward to talking to you soon!

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