E-NEWSLETTER – June 2012
This Month’s Selling Principle:
Voice Mail That Sells
As a business owner, I receive my share of sales calls in a given month. More often than not, I’m away from my desk or out of the office which means I end up listening to the messages instead of speaking directly with the sales person. Here are a few of the common mistakes I notice and how you can correct them.
Mistake #1 – The message lacks focus or clarity. You are more likely to receive voice mail today than actually connect with the person you are trying to contact. That means you must be prepared to leave a clear, concise message. Business people are too busy to listen to a lengthy message that is not focused and you lose credibility if you cannot state your objective without rambling. The average executive in an organization receives dozens of calls every day and many of them are from sales people trying to sell a product or service. If you ramble on, your prospect will probably press delete without listening to the entire message. Keep the message brief and to the point. Plan what you are going to say BEFORE you call so you are prepared.
Mistake #2 – The message is difficult to understand. A sales person recently left me a message and he spoke so quickly that I did not understand most of his message. I knew it had something to do with the Internet and getting top placement in search engines but I couldn’t decipher his company name and most of his message was unintelligible. If you have an accent, recognize the fact that some people may find it more difficult to understand you. That means you may have to repeat yourself or slow down in order to be understood. This also applies if you have an unusual name. Make it easy for people to understand you.
Mistake #3 – Phone numbers are rattled off at lightening speed which makes it next to impossible to write them down. Most sales people state their telephone number too quickly. A general rule of thumb is to actually write down your own number as you state it in your message. This may sound simple but I’m sure you have had to listen to some messages more than once in order to capture the telephone number. Once again, you must make it easy for the person you are contacting to understand your message. If they have to replay the message several times they will seldom call you back.
Mistake #4 – The message does not compel me to return the call. “Hi, it’s Bob from Human Resources Plus and I’d like to talk to you about your recent merger. We specialize in helping businesses like yours manage the process more effectively.” A message like this does not compel me to call you back.
To stand out from your competition, leave a message that offers some form of benefit to your prospect or customer. For example, “Hi Mrs. Smith, it’s Bob Jones from Human Resources Plus calling. Most companies who undertake a merger experience a significant reduction in employee morale. One way to improve this is to communicate regularly with your team and keep them updated on the progress of the merger. Learn additional strategies by calling me at…”
I recommend crafting a variety of different messages and offering a different benefit each time you call. Use case studies and tell your prospect about specific results some of your clients have achieved. Make your prospect want to return your call.
Mistake #5 – The message is too generic. Too many sales people try to sell their product or service to anyone who will buy it. Personalize your message by indicating that you know something about your prospect’s business and/or industry. Make references to specific challenges they face and give an example of how your product or service can help them. Remember to use your prospect’s name, particularly at the beginning and at the end of the message.
Voice mail is a vital tool in today’s business world. How you utilize this tool greatly affects your sales results and, in my experience, the majority of people fail to use it properly. Make sure your message is easy to understand and keep it brief. Enunciate your words clearly and spell out your name if necessary. Slow down your rate of speech. State your telephone number slowly so I can write it down without listening to your message three or four times. Give me a compelling reason to call you back. Lastly, adapt your message to my specific business. Personalize it and use my name.
If you want to cut through the clutter and stand out from your competition you must make your voice mail messages work for you.
© Copyright 2004, Kelley Robertson All rights reserved.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”
Objection of the Month: “I’m just looking.” or “I’m just looking, not buying today.”
These are just a few of the most common strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America and attended by thousands of the top sales people in our field. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on overcoming this particular objection and it’s not intended to be.
a. “Great! That’s the first step of ownership. Let’s look together. Were you interested in a four door or a coupe?”
b. “Great, we encourage that sort of thing around here! Some salespeople get turned off when they hear that but not me! I realize that looking is a necessary part of owning so let’s get to know one another and look together. Were you interested in a previously owned car or something new?”
c. “You’re just looking? Well, we might be related ’cause I’m goofy looking! Nice to meet you! So, what brings you to our store today? “
d. “You know, I love that line. My sweetheart said that to me when we first met. We’ve been married now for seventeen years. To me, that’s the opening line to a wonderful relationship! Now, in order to save you some time, may I ask you a couple of quick questions?”
e. “That’s the reason I’m here! Isn’t the beginning stage of owning something exciting? Let me be a resource to you. You can pick my brain and save lots of time and aggravation. Were you interested in a two door or a four door?”
f. “Let me make sure I’ve got you right. You’re just in the investigation stage right now, just gathering information, and you’re not going to buy today. Is that right? Good, we welcome that here. I know it turns most other salespeople off but not me. You see, we’ve worked hard to create an environment that’s comfortable for customers just like you who want to shop around without feeling pressured or hassled. So, I want you to know, YOU ARE IN COMPLETE CONTROL, okay? And as far as you not buying today, I also want you to know, that you always have the right to change your mind. Fair enough? “ (We need to make sure we say this last sentence with a smile on our face while looking directly in our customer’s eyes.)
g. “May I ask you something? Do you go to the dentist’s office just to read the magazines? I know that’s a silly question but I promise to make your visit here with us a lot more comfortable than your last dentist visit. May I do that for you?”
h. “Glad we got that out of the way because some salespeople will try to force you to buy when you’re not ready…but I’m a professional. I’ll make sure you get all the info you need to make an intelligent car buying decision. Sound fair? “
i. “No problem, Sir, today’s not my last day either! So, whenever you are ready to buy, I’ll be here to help you then too. Now, were you looking for a new one or a gently used one?”
j. “Not buying today? Well, Sir, that would be our fault, not yours. Did you have a specific model in mind or are you still trying to figure that out?”
Next month’s objection will be: “We need to think/sleep/pray about it.” We need YOUR input!!! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to email@example.com.
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk non-stop.
I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whisky is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.” As we laughed she cleared her throat and began:
“We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success.
* You have to laugh and find humour everyday.
* You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!
* There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
* Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.” She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.” She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
At the years end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
“The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.”
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automobile Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“Mike gives real world techniques that can be applied easy and are helpful with a soft selling style. Very cool stuff. Thanks Mike!”
Anthony Moskalvic, Sales Consultant – Performance Kia
“Michael it is so nice to be lucky enough to have you back in Seattle. We brought our whole sales team. Great day for all of us. Thanks so much.”
Keith Hager, Sales Manager – Lynnwood Honda
“It’s refreshing to see another look at the whole process. Most training is one liners and this gives a whole start to finish approach.”
Jeff Maziarski, Closer/ASM – Magic Nissan of Everett
Date(s): July 10th & 11th, 2012
Location: Embassy Suites Hotel – Seattle North
20610 44th Ave. West
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Date(s): September 4th & 5th, 2012
Location: Shilo Inn Airport Hotel
11707 NW Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
© 2012 by Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution is strictly forbidden by law. Besides think of all the bad karma you’d earn.
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