An Essential Discipline to Sales Growth

An Essential Discipline to Sales Growth

This is a prospecting sales habit you must consistently do, or put consistently back into place, to fill your pipeline for the fiscal sales year. It’s simply this: dedicating time every week to make your 10 sales prospecting phone calls/emails to the right decision makers, especially during the Q2 Spring Prospecting Blitz.

In today’s hectic, fast-paced sales working environment, prospecting is a sales habit or discipline that is a necessary must-do to be pro-active, rather than reactive, in growing your business to keep your pipeline healthy throughout the year. I highly recommend you create the discipline of 10 calls/emails every week. The minimum of 10 prospecting calls/emails gets you past your mojo and will get you better results to grow your business.

Last week, when I made my 10 calls I spoke with two people live, which is a good batting average. Using follow-up emails, I increased the response rate to four more people = 60% response rate. I secured three meetings and moved one opportunity closer to a yes. This is worth it!

There are three simple steps you can take to proactively prospect that will help you increase your response rate.

  1. Block time in your calendar – the earlier the better. Stay focused and don’t let any other interruptions get in the way. You must be pro-active.
  2. Identify your list of 10 names the day before or throughout the week so you’re ready and excited to call some of those people. Do your research on their website or their LinkedIn profile so you can prepare a compelling reason to meet.
  3. Complete 10 calls and have a great compelling voice message prepared. Follow up with the double whammy approach with 10 emails with the same compelling message to increase your response rate.

There are always emails, interruptions, client requests or excuses that can get in your way. Do you think the best athletes would give up their disciplined practice time and expect to become champions? You MUST dedicate at least 10 proactive prospecting calls/emails every week, or even more, to become a Sales Athlete.

Take a look at these three simple steps you can take to proactively prospect that WILL help you increase your response rate. Click To Tweet

Read about the success stories of these people who committed to be proactive about their prospecting:

“I saw results as early as week two of Proactive Prospecting. A client I hadn’t done business with in a very long time said my timing was great! This would have never happened if I hadn’t made that Proactive Prospecting connection.”

“As a direct result of the Prospecting Power program, I was able to land a client with the potential of generating over $2 million in sales.” 

“The Prospecting Power Program was a valuable tool to rejuvenate and keep me focused on the importance of continually prospecting. Ultimately, I developed several new opportunities amounting to over $200,000 in business. A great prospecting habit that delivers results!”

“The Prospecting Power program is helpful, easy to use and most importantly holds us accountable to make those calls. As a result, we landed a $10,000 order with a new client within 6 weeks of starting the program, and now this new client’s order is turning into a program worth over $20,000 annually!”

 

Say “Yes” to one hour of your Prospecting Hour of Power, and say NO to anything else that would get in the way of this hour!

Sales Prospecting – Excuses or Excitement?

Sales Prospecting – Excuses or Excitement?

There is something that every sales professional has to do – love it or hate it.

Prospecting.

You have a choice – are you committed to prospecting each week, or are you making excuses?

We’re already a few weeks into the 90-day Sales Prospecting Blitz and hopefully creating a consistent habit of prospecting each week. Are you coming up with excuses or focused on high profit prospecting?

What is your Prospecting Mindset when you have blocked time to prospect? Are you diligent in following through or are you creating excuses like these?

  1. I simply don’t have time. I’m too busy to make these calls today.
  2. I have an urgent client request.
  3. I have too many emails in my inbox that I need to respond to first.
  4. I’ll prospect tomorrow. I’ll have more time then to create a better sales process.
  5. I’m not in the right mood to prospect.
  6. No one is going to respond to my emails.
  7. It’s too early to call or email them; I don’t want to irritate them by calling too early.
  8. I’m not sure who to call; I haven’t started my list or research.
  9. I’ll just make a few calls/emails and if I don’t get any success, I’ll start something else.
  10. I have a meeting to attend.

Sound all too familiar?

Here’s a little secret –

The biggest excuse is YOU!

Are you committed to prospecting each week, or are you making excuses? Click To Tweet

I’ll admit, these excuses fill my head most times I start to prospect. It’s a major battle of prospect or procrastination that goes on in my head – and I LIKE to prospect and realize the ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE of this quintessential sale habit.

That’s why I’m writing this for you (and me, too!).

Let’s look at what we want to proactively attract in prospecting:

  • Larger clients
  • Meetings with the right decision makers
  • Prospects who want to hear from us and are genuinely interested in our solutions that will help their business
  • Calls and emails that turn into scheduled 30-60 minute meetings – people who make the time for us!
  • Prospects who respond to emails and/or return our calls

Remembering the results we want to achieve is good. But there’s something even more powerful.

Mindset.

Thinking and saying strong pro-active statements to ourselves can be a significant confidence booster.

Here are some examples that I often use:

  • I will be brave and make those 10 calls & emails every day/week to attract the bigger customers.
  • I will prepare my list in advance to be ready to pro-actively make my calls to receive at least three responses and meetings.
  • When I commit to prospecting, I turn prospects into customers within three months.
  • I will be confident, concise and customize the right message to the right decision maker who will say yes to a meeting and will then say yes to our solutions.
  • We have the best solutions in the marketplace; companies need our help to solve their biggest challenge and I need to prospect to create this awareness and need.

Do you have a habit of letting your mindset hold you back? How are you working to overcome it? Share your methods and tips below.

Why Buyers Ignore Your Calls and What To Do About It

Why Buyers Ignore Your Calls and What To Do About It

Because of the preview options, buyers are quickly deleting messages without even reading them.

It’s time to do something different to get their attention.

Last week, during my prospecting blitz time, I made 18 telephone calls followed by customized email messages. Doing this alone increased my response rate to 50% and secured three meetings.

I call this the “Double Whammy Approach”.

During your 90-day Prospecting Blitz use the Double Whammy Approach with a voicemail message followed by an email to increase your prospecting response rate.

Sales professionals, increase the responses from your buyers by using the Double Whammy approach - a phone call followed by a customized email. Click To Tweet

Here are 8 tips to customize your prospecting emails:

  1. A creative and catchy subject line is key to getting a click to open rather than a click to delete!
  2. The first line or two of the email has to be catchy, other than something like, “How are you?” Most people are reading their emails on their mobile device, so you want the first few words to catch their attention. If you want to test your email, send it to yourself or a colleague and read it on a mobile device. Ask yourself – would you open this email and read it?
  3. If you have a referral name, use it! A referral is one of the best ways to stand out because it instantly gives you credibility in the mind of the buyer and increases your chances. Put this in the first line of your email. John Smith suggested that I reach out to you…
  4. Keep your email short and concise. Three to five sentences or short paragraphs are plenty! If you’re sending to a driver personality, use bullets to get their attention.
  5. Let your buyer know you’ve done your research and put it to good use by using it to support your reason to meet. Tie your research back to how you want to help them. Remember – make it about them and not you!
  6. Consider providing information or links to places your product has been featured – great product reviews, awards, or customer testimonials for instance. Buyers like to do research too, and this makes it easier for them to learn more about your company and product. If sending the email to a Driver Personality, keep it short. Provide more information if you’re sending to an Analyzer Personality Type.
  7. Don’t be selling too soon in your email – the purpose of your email and voicemail is to get their attention, intrigue them with a customized message and secure a meeting, not sell them!
  8. End your email with a strong call to action and provide at least two to three specific date options for your meeting/call, to make it easy for them to say yes to a date option.

In our “Cracking the Code Buyers webinar”, buyers shared that if you write a compelling and customized message, it can only take one attempt to get their attention. For others, it may take a few more times.

We can help increase your sales results. Join us for two days and we’ll teach you a proven sales system that is guaranteed to get you better sales results.

Two dates to choose from: May 7-8: http://bit.ly/2U5vRo5 or October 8-9: http://bit.ly/2HH7ne5

 

Your Prospecting Sales Blitz – next 90 Days

Your Prospecting Sales Blitz – next 90 Days

I grew up on a farm and learned that planting seeds in the spring will yield a fall harvest.

This same farming principle applies to sales.

It often takes consistent and intentional effort over a period of time to take a customer from a cold lead, to a warm lead, to a paying client.

Applying this farming principle to sales has worked for me for many years and the many sales teams who have created a Prospecting Sales Blitz. It creates a fun and healthy competition to Be Strategic, Proactive and Brave!

The next 90 days is an ideal time to engage in a prospecting sales blitz to improve your sales efforts for the year and secure potential new customers.

Join me in this Prospecting Sales Challenge. I'll be right there with you making calls and emailing every week. Along the way, I’ll be providing you with strategies and tips to help you turn sales leads into customers. Click To Tweet

Block 1-2 hours every week for the next 90 days. One hour of prospecting is only 2% of your work week; two hours would be 4% of your time. That’s not a lot of time to sell with purpose and get results!

We have a great 90-Day Prospecting Activity Blitz template for you to download to create your prospecting goals and track your activities and progress.

 

Here’s your simple weekly step-by-step to prepare for each week’s prospecting calls as part of your 90-day prospecting blitz:

  • Create a leads list and identify the 10+ buyers you will be calling/emailing in advance, so you are ready to go. Then you’re not scrambling early in the morning. You will also be more prepared mentally when you know who you will be calling.
  • Block the time in your calendar like an appointment. I find the earlier the better, 7:30 – 8:55am before they get into their 9am meeting. It’s also easier to reach buyers on their cell as they are enroute to work.
  • Customize your message for each buyer, based on the research you find on their website or LinkedIn Profile. You are looking for common interests, how you can help them, or how you can make their business look good.
  • Have your favourite coffee/tea/smoothie to enjoy while doing your prospecting blitz.
  • Track your calls/emails.  You must do a minimum of 10. The first few are about getting your mojo going, then you’ll build confidence as soon as you get one live person or email response. Don’t stop – your best success can come from calls/emails at numbers 7, 8 and 9. With 10 calls/emails you should have a few connects/responses.
  • You can call or email, I suggest both. It will depend on the generation of your buyers. If your buyers are Gen X or Baby Boomers then the good old fashion call will work. Leave a customized detailed compelling message why they should call you back or make time to meet. Then do the double whammy and follow up with the same in an email message; it will certainly increase your response rate.
  • Use social media during your prospecting blitz to apply social selling. LinkedIn and LinkedIn Navigator are great prospecting tools to help you during this prospecting challenge.

Download our 90-Day Prospecting Activity Blitz template to track your successes and/or use your CRM system.

Q2 – 90-Day Prospecting Challenge

Q2 – 90-Day Prospecting Challenge

It’s the end of Q1- are you ahead or behind in your sales game for the year? Do you have enough in your pipeline to secure your yearly sales? Are you consistently finding the time to pro-actively prospect, every week? Have you tried a 90-day prospecting challenge?

Prospecting is what has changed the most in sales and its become tough – even a grind – so many sales professionals are avoiding it. To grow your sales and exceed your sales, you must sharpen your prospecting skills to secure more meetings and more business, especially with new customers.

Join me during the next 90 days as I share prospecting strategies and tips each week. There are 13 weeks starting April 1 and wrapping up before a long summer weekend. What a great way to celebrate your Prospecting Success when you secure new profitable customers!

 

Here are my best secrets to prepare for your 90-day prospecting challenge:

  • Block the time every week in your calendar year for the next 13 weeks. I just realized we are hosting our Evolve Sales Leaders Think Tank on Thursday, April 4 and I’m already committed to training engagements on Wed April 3 and Friday, April 5 – – so I just blocked Tuesday, April 2 in my calendar to make my prospecting calls. Don’t just block for one week – block the time in your calendar for the next 13 weeks, working around any commitments. No excuses for not making these important prospecting calls/emails, every week!
Prospecting strategies and tips each week starting on April 1st, for 13 weeks. Click To Tweet
  • In working with many sales professionals and personally applying it myself, we find early in the morning between 7:30 – 8:55am, before those important buyers get into their first meeting at 9am. Many people think it’s too early in the morning – this is when I find more buyers are willing to answer the phone or respond to email. Thursday mornings are yielding the best results in the week.
  • Create your Hot Prospect List. This also includes your HOT Suspect List. A list of companies and buyers and roles you want to grow your business with. Now, do a quick analysis of this Hot Prospect List. Are you calling on the right people or just your favourites or easy people to schedule the meetings? Who are the people that can truly say “yes” to you?
  • Further brainstorm with this list to get inside their minds. What are the biggest challenges they are facing in their position? What don’t they have time to do on their overflowing platter? What pressures are they feeling from their boss? What KPIs (Key Performance Index) are they being measured on? How can you help them look good in their role? What would it take for them to get a promotion? This will help you create custom speaking points and messaging to get their attention.
  • Your brand. Remember the brand and/or perception of salespeople is the sleazy car salesperson. When you call them, you are interrupting them. When you email them you’re adding to their already overflowing inbox – you don’t want them to simply hit the delete button before they even read your email. What will you say to position yourself as a trusted consultative advisor who can help them, from one professional to another?

Will you commit to this 90-day challenge? If so, leave a comment below and let us know!

Done Right, Tradeshows Can Generate Sales

Done Right, Tradeshows Can Generate Sales

Nothing is more frustrating for a Sales Leader than seeing poor sales in action, especially when a sales professional is face to face with a potential buyer.

My husband, Tom & I, were at the Toronto Home Show last weekend as we plan to build our next home in a few years, on the lake. We wanted to start scoping out the exciting new home features as we begin to develop the plans.

We arrived at the Home Show before the doors opened to allow for an early start before the show became too busy to talk with exhibitors. We stopped by a window distributor, who was very knowledgeable. We spoke to him for over 10 minutes as he highlighted the features and benefits of his beautiful windows. My husband quickly asked for his brochures and his card. Surprisingly, he did not ask for our information. I thought this was odd as we walked to the next booth.

During the next two hours we spoke to six different exhibitors who we were keenly interested in their products. It was disappointing that not one – that is 6 out of 6 – DID NOT ask us for our contact information to follow-up with us. Many referenced their brochures, gave us their card, and suggested we go to their website. They were all very knowledgeable of their products and demonstrated their expertise. Several that we spoke to were senior sales or even the owners.

Another disappointing observation was the number of exhibitors who were spending more time on their mobile devices in their booth rather than interested in working the aisle or starting a conversation with us.

Exhibiting at a tradeshow is a big investment in both money and time. With talk of a slowing real estate and economic market, I was surprised to see the poor sales in action. These salespeople did not see the importance of their role in the next stage of the buying process. With the increase of AI – artificial intelligence – salespeople can be easily replaced. With the many decisions that my husband and I will have to make in the next few years, we are looking for consultative sales professionals to help guide us during the many buying decisions we will have to make.

There are 3 important strategies to ensure you are effectively working a tradeshow. What will you do before, during and after the tradeshow to maximize your outcome?

Before the Tradeshow:

  • Determine: What are your goals for the tradeshow? How many leads do you want to generate?
  • Set up appointments – even breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings with key clients and prospects. It can be great ROTI at a tradeshow to meet with customers/prospects. You will have more purposeful conversations if you set up the meetings in advance rather than a quick conversation in your booth.
Ensure you are effectively working a tradeshow with these strategies. Click To Tweet

During the Tradeshow:

  • How can you work the aisles to start conversations with the attendees?
  • How will you effectively network during education sessions, networking time or in the evening? This is a great opportunity to expand your network, meet new prospects and start new conversations.
  • Attend or even offer to speak at the tradeshow education sessions to share your expertise and education.
  • How can you create more interest in your booth with demos or 5-minute talk sessions? At the National Home Show, Home Hardware set up their booth up with DIY demos to get the attendees learning about DIY home projects to provide practical hands-on advice.

After the Tradeshow:

  • It’s exhausting working a tradeshow and then trying to catch-up with your emails. Block time in your calendar during the next week to follow-up on all your leads.
  • Co-ordinate with your marketing team to send out follow-up emails/eblasts.
  • Nurture those leads!

Evolve 2019