Getting Past the Gate Guard

Over the years, many prospects have hidden behind their well-trained secretaries to prevent interruptions from persistent salespeople. But in today's electronic world, voice mail systems have frequently replaced the human gate guard.

In surveys we have conducted, we have found that salespeople's inability to get busy prospects to return their calls ranks just behind "not enough time in the day" among the frustrations salespeople face.

Biggest mistake: Leaving either a voice mail recording or a message with a secretary that contains nothing more than a number for the prospect to call. After all, if prospects believed that it was in their best interest to return your call, they would have already gotten back to you or else they would have taken your call in the first place.

Remember that at this point you're not selling a product, you're selling a return phone call, so after a few unreturned phone calls, you have received your first clue that you need to try a different approach.

Try this: Don't get frustrated. Write out the equivalent of a powerful 20-second radio commercial that contains one to three reasons why the prospect should return your call. Then tell your prospect what action you want them to take. All salespeople must remember that when buyers receive their message, most of them ask themselves, "What's in it for me?" So your message must answer this question.

The reference approach. References are people who think so highly of you that they will say nice things about you when prospects call them to check you out. Good references are worth their weight in gold. Make sure that you have a lot of them. If an existing customer actually suggested that you give a friend of his a call, this approach is often effective, "Hello, my name is Wilson Gomes with XYZ Supply. Mike Kincaid at Quality Fabricators asked me to give you a call and I promised him that I would?"

The advocate approach. Advocates are people who think so much of you that they will take the personal initiative to call one of your prospects on your behalf. With enough advocates on your team, your close rate will soar. When advocates make calls for you, always take time to thank them and provide feedback.

Pre-condition the prospect. There are several channels of communication: Letters, cards, postcards, faxes, E-mail messages, personal visits and telephone calls. You'll find that prospects will be more willing to return your calls when you use one or more of these channels to communicate information that your prospect will perceive to be of value.

Examples include informative articles, local economy research, laborsaving tips, new professional techniques, business opportunities, etc. When your prospects have received several moneymaking ideas from you, you will be amazed at how much more willing they will be to give you an appointment.

Show your prospects how to make more money, save time, reduce waste, solve their most pressing business problems or be more successful and they will beat a path to your door.

Bill Lee is author of Gross Margin: 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line. $29.95 + $5 S&H.

http://www.mygrossmargin.com
[email protected]

In The News:


5 Ideas for Writing Effective Sales Letters

Sales letters, sent via e-mail or snail mail, are an... Read More

Hurrican Selling Styles

As I prepare this issue of this Newsletter, at 37,000... Read More

Eighty Percent of Success is Showing Up

The above quote, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."... Read More

Selling More CDs at Gigs, Case Study: The Rogues

A few weekends back, the Brobdingnagian Bards performed at the... Read More

How To Get Face To Face Over The Phone

One disadvantage of selling by telephone is the lack of... Read More

Know What You Are Selling As If You Were Buying It

Recently I wanted a new lawn mower as we have... Read More

Why Arent They Buying?

You've polished your sales page over and over againuntil it's... Read More

Before You Sell Do The Math

This is an important and potentially profitable piece of advice.... Read More

Creating Intense Emotions That Motivate People

Ever wish that your presentations could be as much fun... Read More

7 Strategies for Writing Fundraising Letters

Writing fundraising letters can be an effective way to request... Read More

Create a Magic Connection with Clients, Leads, and Business Associates Part II

Part I of this article explored how strategies of Neuro-Linguistic... Read More

How To Write A Riveting Sales Letter That Closes Sales

How do you get people's attention and build their interest... Read More

Why Are Customers So Indecisive?

Do you know why your customer won't buy? You've given... Read More

How to Sell: Selling Tips of Master Moms

"If you don't think well of yourself, no one... Read More

Before They buy What You Say - 10 Steps To Selling Yourself

You are the productWe're all in the selling business whether... Read More

A Little Something Special Goes a Long Way

Keeping the 80/20 rule in mind; that is that 80%... Read More

Selling -abilities : Part 2

In the last article... Read More

Six Steps to Creating Online Presentations for Telephone Selling

How much extra money could you make by closing just... Read More

The Relationship Between Colour & Sales

Make no mistake that emotions are the driving force behind... Read More

The Power of Thank-You

When was the last time you thanked your customers?This often... Read More

Prepare to Sell!

Sales is a critical part of any business, including non-profits.... Read More

Diverting the Flow of Customers to Your Business

I was a lucky kid when I grew up. Lucky,... Read More

Quotations Tell... Proposals Sell!

The traditional "Quotation" was originally devised during the Industrial Revolution... Read More

Seminars for Prospecting

The purpose of a 1- or 2-hour seminar is to... Read More

How Leaky is Your Sales Pipeline?

Does your Sales Pipeline leak? If you answered no, you... Read More