A proper, pointed, precise, purposeful response can help you shorten the sales cycle.
By Jeffrey Gitomer
Let’s throw out a few questions for sales executives to ponder:
“How come people don’t call me back?”
People not calling you back is not a problem—it’s a symptom. Here are some of the real reasons people don’t call you back:
“How should I leave a voicemail?”
“Why is cold calling a waste of my time?”
The three word definition of a cold call is: waste of time.
No one likes cold calls. Not the sales exec who makes them. And surely not the prospect who receives them.
“Cold calls are a necessary evil of selling” is a false statement. “Cold calls are a necessary evil if you don’t employ the correct selling strategies” is a true statement.
Here’s what waits for you at the other end of a cold call:
It’s not a “cold call.” It’s an intrusion without an invitation. A gate-crash. And if handled poorly, it will ruin future chances for a legitimate sales call.
Let’s see … poor timing, having a tough time getting through, and when you do, you fight for attention. And 95 percent of those who get through are wholly untrained and incapable of selling anything anyway. What’s the point? Isn’t there a better way? Look at the other side— there is no worse way.
What is the BEST WAY to make a sale?
The challenge to the sales professional is to be prepared to respond to a challenge, not perplexed by what the customer is demanding and offer some weak excuse.
The easiest way to make a sale is lower your price to a point that you make no profit. Not a good option.
There is no BEST way, or easiest way to make a sale. But there are several elements that contain the word “best” that you must self-evaluate in order to discover why the sale takes place, or why not.
Key point of understanding: Selling is NOT manipulating. Selling is harmonizing.
Oh, you can occasionally make a manipulative sale. But if you’re still in the 1970s trying to “find the pain,” or “sell an up-front contract,” or “make a cold call,” or “close the sale,” you’re toast. Sales toast.
A few of the BEST ways to make a sale:
How did my mother help me make sales?
Mother’s rules make for great sales professionals. I know this sounds hokey, but if you want to be great at sales, you should have listened to your mother.
Your mom said it best. As a child, when you were fighting or arguing with a sibling or friend, your mom would say, “Billy, you know better than that! Now you make friends with Johnny.”
Here are two major sales tips right out of the mouth and memory of your mother:
Make friends. There’s an old sales adage that says, “all things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.” I say, “all things being not quite so equal, people still want to do business with their friends.” Your mother never told you to use the alternative-of-choice close or the sharp-angle close on Johnny. She just said make friends. That may have been one of the most powerful sales lessons you ever got.
Say nice things. Your mother told you, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” I’m certain she only told you this a hundred times. Somehow after you got your business cards printed, that lesson was lost. Especially when you begin speaking about your competition. I’m sure your mother would approve of referring to them as, “My worthy competition.”
Jeffrey Gitomer is author of The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Red Book of Sales Answers.
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