Category Archives for Face to Face Sales (F2F)

Bretts Rule Number 2 – Always assume they’re interest in the next step

Hey guys,

I grew up in a military family setting, from the age of 7 my father was in the Army and then at 13 I joined the Air Force Cadets and at 18 the Army. I spent a lot of time in leadership and management training. One of the lessons that has stuck with me through is:  Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

On the phones or face to face you’ll never hear me say: Hi Bill, have I caught you at a bad time now? Or Hi Bill, Have you got time to chat?

When people try this on me I say ‘No, I am busy, go away!’

Asking for permission to speak is ridicuous, you don’t walk up to your mates and say ‘Hi Bill, have you got time to chat.’ No! This is the mark of a bad salesperson. I just called you and you picked up the phone so now you’re telling me already by picking up the phone that you want to chat with me. So chat.

Sure, if the guy is on the phone and you’re talking and he’s clearly not listening because he’s distracted, driving or whatever, that’s the witness that has to say: Hold on a second, this guy’s not listening to me. It’s no use me pitching him now. Are you driving or something? Are you busy? Let me give you a call back. When is a good time? Shall I call you this afternoon or tonight? This is where closing and alternative choices are fantastic. We will cover closing later in the book.

So Rule Two is fundamental: Always assume that there interest in the next step, which means that when you’ve done the pitch, you don’t ask them: Would you like to go to the next step! No!

You’d simply say: Your next step is to speak to ABCD. When are you free? Would you prefer this week or next? Shall we book something in for this afternoon? How is around 3 o’clock?

Always Sell certainty…

Hopefully you have started to notic that everything I say and do, I say with absolute certainty.  I live my life with absolute certainty. You are never going to hear me going: Hmmm, let me have a think about that. I’m not really sure. You’re not going to hear terms like that. For me because I’ve been doing sales for so long and because I understand the concept of selling certainty you’re only going to hear: Yes do that. You may hear: Actually, let me chat to such and such and I’ll get back to you. Or if you ask me stupid questions I might go: I’ve got no idea about that. But the point is that you’re selling certainty and you always want to assume they’re interested in the next step. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s the initial call where, your next step is to come in and meet with us. It will never be: Would you like to come in? Because actually, going back to Rule 1, you’re not presenting the cookie. You’re saying they hold the cookie and you would love them to come on board. No! You’re not desperate. If someone doesn’t turn up for an appointment: Where the hell were you? I had time booked so I look like a idiot now because my team are looking at me going you had a cancellation or a no-show. Now, are you serious about this or are you just messing round. If you’re just messing around then go and come back in two or three years time when you realise that you’ve messed up and you should have done something immediately. I punish people like that. I don’t think you should be polite about it. Why? Because they messed me around and I hold the cookie. I hold the last cookie – they want it. My product or service is of so much value that I absoluely must assume there interest in the next step.

This is a simple rule to implement as long as you know what the next steps are.  This is fundamental if you don’t intimately know the entire sales process then you are kidding yourself. You must know every possible direction.

You just assume that they want to do it and if they object then deal with the objection and assume again. You go through your pitch on your sales. You pitch your product or service then you assume they’re going to buy it.

You won’t catch me asking: So what do you think?

I don’t care what you think – I’m telling you that this is good for you because I’m holding the cookie and I’m assuming that you’re interested in the next step.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Sell me the Pen…

Hey guys,

If you were asked at an interview to “Sell me the Pen” and the interviewer handed you a Gold and Platinum Mont Blanc pen worth around £500, engraved with their name. What would you do? How would you sell the pen?

It’s this exact question that I ask all of my potential Property Consultants. So what would you say?

Perhaps something like: “It’s a great pen with gold and platinum, clearly expensive and a twist top that means that you are not going to get pen all over you. Best suited to someone who wants to impress those around them.”

If you did you would be like 95% of the sales people that I interview, oh and you would be 100% wrong.  That’s right a failure for this part of the interview.

You see the mistake most people make when I hand them the pen is to concerntrate on the features of the pen rather than the needs of the client.

If you took the pen, put it on the table and started by saying something like “Well Brett, how can I help you today, it appears that you’ve come looking for a pen?”

“Absolutely, I am after a pen.” I would say.

“Fantastic, have you got anything in particular in mind, Brett.” you would say.

“I am actually here to buy a pen for a work colleague, it’s their leaving do and we want something that I can engrave.”

“Great, and how much are you looking to spend?”

Hopefully you have gotten the hint. Before you ever introduce the pen into the presentation you need to know that I actually want a pen. Always, Always, Always focus on the client’s needs and you will be surprised how easy it is to sell a pen. Focus on the pen and you will always struggle.

Worst still you may even fail your interview. Hopefully it’s a lesson that you won’t have to learn.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

The best ‘Non-qual’ ever…

Hey guys,

Ignore the title of this subject, it was the email subject that I received from my IT Director, Murray who had discovered that one of our leads had been marked unqualified, for… in their own words…wait for it…

“nonqual, unable to contact”

This was after trying for precisely….. 3 days.

In truth the title should have read – ‘The worst of all sales crimes.’

Now as the Hardcore business owner of the business who pays somewhere between £20 and £80 for each and every lead we generate. This kind of makes me a little agitated to say the least.

As a Hardcore Sales Director I begin to wonder how many other leads have been thrown away in such a vial and fifthy manner.

Moreover, as a Hardcore Salesperson this lead could have been mine to sell to and make money for my family. A true hardcore would simply not allow this to happen, ever

The facts are that 95% of salespeople give up within 4 contacts, leaving 90% of the leads for the 10% of hardcore salespeople who continue to make contact. I cannot explain how important it is to follow every single lead until they either buy or die.

The actual stats from the Harvard Business School study are as follows:

  • 48% Give up after the first rejection…
  • 25% Give up after the second…
  • 12% Give up after the third…
  • 5% Give up after the fourth…
  • Leads are some of the hardest things to create, in today’s competitive marketplace it a massive effort to create any lead, let alone enough leads to generate a continuous funnel of sales, so waste them at your peril.

    Needless to say the culprit knew they had stuffed up and now have to live with this blog entry as well as a kick up the *&^% from me for their incompetence.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    Let’s be really honest…

    Hey guys,

    In order to really be successful as a hardcore salesperson you must completely understand at both a logical (left brain) and an emotional (right brain) level the product, business and also the psychology of the human species.

    The only way to truly achieve these things is to research deeply your topic and then experience it in the real world.

    Remember that your clients buy with emotions but justify with logic, they need enough of both in order to see the sale through to the end thereby ensuring your commission gets paid.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    The most powerful question in the world…

    Hey guys,

    Some people have some really strange ideas…

    At some stage we all decided that asking for help was a sign of weakness… Which is just about as wrong as it is possible to be…

    Deep down we all know it’s a sign of great maturity to acknowledge that you need help. So, put simply, the most powerful question in life consists of just five little words –

    If someone asks you this question, what would be your immediate answer without thinking?

    ‘Can you help me please?’

    Asking for help can leverage your time and enable you to achieve anything you desire in life. And one of the nicest things is that it is in our nature to want to help others any way we can.

    In fact, human nature makes us passionate about helping. So knowing you can’t be an expert in everything, it is only common sense to ask for help from the most appropriate person. They are most likely to be happy to be of assistance, and if they are not able to help, will normally suggest someone who can.

    The most important thing is simply to ask the question and to do it often. Make a habit of it and you will be amazed at the results.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    Competitive (ego) Statements in your sales pitch…

    Hey guys,

    Comments that are based on your product being better than the competitions will generally attract argument from your prospect or suspect. Each product is, was and always shall be attracted by the unique individual searching for that product. To try and change their mind or force them to buy your product is simply manipulation.

    The only strategy you should employ is building a relationship and educating them of your products benefits. They will eventually discover the benefits for themselves at an emotional level and turn to your product.

    Adapt your thinking about competition. It should be seen as a positive that evolves your product and systems as unique and makes life easier for all of us…

    Some points to ponder…
    * Customer Satisfaction is not enough… You must delight them
    * Make it as easy as possible to buy from you
    * The most important three letter word in business… ASK
    * The focus of sales is to get advances
    * The second most important three letter word in business… FUN
    * Who is doing the talking…
    * WIIFM… The most important radio station. (What’s In It For Me)
    * People don’t buy from a company they buy from you…
    * Don’t close a sale, open a relationship
    * Focus on Purpose
    * Remember the power of testimonials
    * You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that order.
    * Consumerism has been a venture in variety and innovation
    * Research outside your industry

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    You can lead a horse to water but…

    They will only drink when thirsty…

    A funny thing about people is how much like horses they can be. As the old saying tells us, no matter how hard you try, they will only drink when they are thirsty.

    A funny thing about some salespeople of the old school is that they behave as though this was not true. Using high-pressure tactics they try to convince their prospects that they really are thirsty, even when they are not. A lot of potential business can be lost this way.

    There is a way around this problem, and it is simplicity itself. All it takes is a little patience.

    Eventually, everyone becomes thirsty again, and when they do, that is the time to offer them a drink.

    Don’t assume you always have the perfect solution. By asking the right questions you can often discover a way of providing solutions to your client’s problems. And what may seem like a small matter at first can sometimes develop into a large project.

    Take the time to nurture your prospects. Develop a relationship with your clients and educate them about what you can offer them.

    When a need arises, they will call you, ready and willing to buy.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    What are you saying?

    Hey guys,

    What you are really meaning to say is more important than how you say it… this simply means that the energy of what you say carries far more importance than the method in which it is received. Please don’t read this to mean that you can create your sales scripts with no thought and expect a great result. You MUST put the thought and creativity into every script that you make.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    Three Stages of Relationships…

    Hey guys,

    Here’s a list of the various stages of a relationship and the aspects that you need to consider when building a relationship.

    When you first meet someone the stage is called:

    1. Investigation
    Qualification
    Unique Positioning
    Creating Perceived Need
    Demonstrated Competency

    Once you have decided to build a relationship with someone this stage is called:

    2. Nurturing
    Identify needs
    Support solutions
    Build the Relationship
    Review (Re-qualification)

    Once you have decided that you need to end the relationship this stage is called:

    3. Completion
    Manage expectations
    Deal with emotions
    Reframe Relationship
    Marketplace Perception

    I liken the process of building a relationship with a client as the same as building a relationship in a nightclub. It makes it quite easy and fun to think about relationships.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

    Carrots beat Sticks every time…

    Hey guys,

    In general, the more pressure you apply to a prospect, the more resistance you will find you must overcome. Waving a big stick may force the sale, but the carrot of a long term relationship founded on trust and respect will ensure you are highly favoured when your client wants to buy.

    The old-fashioned high pressure sales tactics just don’t work any more. Value or Relationship sales are the new hardcore sales tactic. Trying to convince a prospect that you are really clever and know what’s best for them only makes them sceptical.

    Forcing your prospect into a corner in trying to close a sale will only annoy them and just produce more objections.

    Of course, as a salesperson you are there to sell, but your long term success can only be built on the strength of the relationships you form with your clients. A successful hardcore salesperson creates clients from initial customers.

    To build a strong relationship with a client is fundamentally no different from developing any other kind of relationship. All positive human interaction must be founded on mutual trust and respect.

    The most successful organisations of the 21st century will be those that create the greatest loyalty with their clients by developing long term relationships.

    Pressure selling is out. The alternative is to consult, listen, understand and educate.

    Live with passion,

    Brett Alegre-Wood

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