I have always believed that the key to running a successful sales team in any business is that above all else, above the closing tactics, the qualification questions, above the call time, the appointments, the pitches, it comes down to one thing.
Was the prospects day made better having chatted with you?
If you consistently keep this in mind you’ll very quickly build a horde of raving fans who enjoy buying your product or service and who see you as a trusted advisor.
At the end of the day we are humans and above all else we consistently move towards the things and people we like and away from the things and people we don’t.
Comments like ‘How are you today?’ and ‘Isn’t the weather terrible today?’ don’t cut it. You have to drive deeper in the relationship.
I have developed a surefire 3 step method of making sure they leave the call much much better than when they joined you. It covers all the areas that you should speak of in each and every call to ensure you not only progress the relationship but also leave them buzzing.
Now this is the point that most sales trainer and customer advocates will say ‘You have to smile, provide some light humour, you have be empathatic to their situation, and you have to present your product in a good light.’ Ha if only it was that simple anymore.
The truth is that customers have become more knowledgeable, they have more choice and they have the ability to respond and comment far easier than ever before.
So what’s the 3 surefire ways to make their day:
1) Build Rapport using FORMS, Maintain Rapport using MPLC.
2) Develop their Need through SPINS.
3) Demonstrate Competency both Company and Individual.
Let me give you a brief outline of each. For further information check out my website where a full description is available.
OK so firstly Building Rapport using FORMS. FORMS is a questioning technique that jogs your memory about what to ask your prospect. Family, Occupation, Recreation, Money and Motivation and Sports or Specific questions. Forms builds rapport so your ready to build depth.
Maintain Rapport using Match, Pace, Lead and Test. This technique is great to ensure you establish, build and maintain rapport right the way through the call. I won’t explain the process in detail but a google search will bring up loads of details about the process. Rapport is vital.
Developing their needs for your product or service is often the missing link in sales, far too often misguided sales people focus on talking about their products or service features and forget that the clients is taking everything you say and relating it to what they want. If you find this out, even when they aren’t sure what it is, and then systematically develop that need to such a level that they almost see it clearly then you have successfully developed the need.
For those of you that use SPIN selling I cannot recommend it too highly, if you aren’t familiar and are selling a value product the get on Amazon and buy it.
Demonstrating competency is not just on your part, the company must also show it is up to the task, giving clients the confidence and certainty to move forward is key in the part. Your marketing, websites, brochures, videos should all show a consistent message which you also must demonstrate throughout the sales process.
The only reason someone will ever say No to your sales pitch is when one of the three are missing. You didn’t build relationship, find a need or demonstrate competency.
Do these and the client will hang up the phone with a smile and the day will be all the better for it.
So if you’re making calls keep this in mind. If you build a base of raving fans that feel better when they hang up than when they did when they picked up you’ll watch your results skyrocket.
Live with passion,
So rule number one and this is the most fundamental rule.
You hold the cookie and they want it.
In our business we don’t actually do any cold calling so every single client that we deal with has jumped on the website and typed in “property investment” or they’ve done something to say they want us to speak to them. When my team call them up and they go: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not interested in property.” That’s bull.
Somehow they have got onto our database because they’ve entered something so there’s a reason why. What you need to do is keep hold of the cookie. When they say they’re not interested or something like that, what they’re actually trying to do is turn the table on you so they hold the cookie. But you have to understand that what you’ve got, the product or service that you offer is valuable and they need it. And make no mistake – there’s not a single person that we’ve seen in our entire history here that I haven’t gone: You need our help.
And more importantly, you need our help now. You’ve got to do something now and not wait. Look, one of our clients has £2.4 million, he did have £3 million. £3 million in cash or liquid cash shares, things like that, plus properties, plus, plus, plus… You might look at that and go: Oh my God. That guy’s could just retire, he could easily retire on that. Guess what? What do you know about a £3 million investment? They’re aiming for £4 million. They’re aiming for £5 million. Life is this beautiful thing where you’re in a continual state of frustration.
Personally I’m still not happy with my financial situation. But I look at my mates and I think: Well, I’m further than them. And I look at some of the people that work here and I think I’m a long way down the track. But what you realise is that we’re always looking forwards to the next thing. So it doesn’t matter what happens, you’ve got to understand that just because you’re not at £2 million and that’s where you want to get to, doesn’t mean that he wants to stay there. He wants to get to £4 million. You hold the cookie all the time.
And what this means and how this manifests is in statements like a prospect will say: Send me some information. And you’ll go: I’ll send you an e-mail now.
No. No. No. NOOOO!!!
You hold the cookie.
You tell that guy that you hold the cookie. Tell him he needs to jump on the website and to have a look. All the information’s on there. Once you’ve had a look, I’ll call you tomorrow at 3pm and let’s go through it any questions.
Two totally different statements and two totally different results. If you do that and you hold the cookie. It’s important that you jump on and you do this. I’m not going to send you this sheet. That’s the difference between you holding the cookie. That’s Rule Number 1.
The cookie is an attitude of value, your product or service is of so much value that there is no way you will cheapen it by sending a glossy brochure.
This attitude puts you in a position of abundance rather than the first response which puts you in a position of desperation. Denying their request tells them firmly that your product or service will not be cheapened by some quick fix. It says there is a process for this that must be followed, a process forged over many years and honed with each sales call. Who are they to question this process.
The person who said the customer is always right never sold anything, they were a beurocrat, the customer is most often totally wrong and deluded so you have to guide them in the right direction.
This means keeping the cookie firmly in your hands until they fully understand and appreciate the value of your product or service.
Live with passion,
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,
This is an example of big picture, little detail, big picture. You could be mistaken for thinking that she wants my opinion on which is better and a detailed analysis but really she just wants to be lead and have confidence in her own decisions.
Notice how I start with big picture, go to detail, but end on big picture.
I tell her that it doesn’t matter. This is essential to the big picture, you are effectively telling them that their emotions don’t count and they should focus on the big picture.
Her City Centre question was based on emotions, Her, this option or that option was also based on emotions but notice how she was providing her own solutions to the question. It’s important not to jump in an offer alternative solutions here, work with her own solutions unless they are totally wrong or you do have a much better solutions. This is akin to shutting up once you close, let them solve their own problem if you can. Use questions to achieve this.
In emails you must use a softer language as emotions aren’t conveyed via email very well, you also cannot actively listen, you can however read into their language and subtext. In fact this is essential.
Live with passion,
HERE’S THE EMAILS BELOW.
—— Forwarded Message
From: Brett Alegre-Wood
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 23:00:57 +0000
Conversation: Highfield chase/ echo central
Subject: Re: Highfield chase/ echo central
To be truthful, property is so cheap right now that it doesn’t really matter which you take. Personally I would go for the bigger one as you will make more money (as an amount) but either will do. City Centres are fine now, prices have dropped and stock is in short supply so its open hunting season on these now. A lot of people who talk about city centres actually are using old information, the market changes constantly.
In terms of rentability, it makes absolutely no difference, after selling and letting over 1500 properties I still cannot tell which plots will let out better. In truth they will all get let within 6 weeks.
So either doesn’t really matter, the important thing is that you are getting into something. Times are already looking up as the supply decreases and demand returns.
Hope this helps, if you have more just give me a call or email me 🙂
Live with passion,
On 10/03/2009 22:18, “Helen” wrote:
Hope you are well. Now that Boston road is not going ahead we do want to transfer to another property so I’ve been talking to Roy about highfield chase and echo central and I had a few questions.
Bascially from what I can tell we need to put a fairly similar amount in to get either one but we would end up with a bigger mortgage and higher value property in highfield chase but with negative cashflow, or a smaller mortgage, lower value property in echo central but with a postitive cashflow. So initally i’m tempted to go with Echo but in the long run isn’t it better to have the place in which we would have more equity (which i think would be highfield, mortgage 76,000 ish, value 130,000 as oppose to Echo, mortgage 55,000 ish value 88,000) for when we come to remortgage and take cash out?
Also are out of town developments a safer option for long term rental prospects than city centre ones? You always hear things about there being too many city centre apartments.
Also do rents rise quicker/relatively more with apartments with more bedrooms or does it not make a difference?
Sorry for all the questions, I’m sure I should be able to find this out on the internet somewhere but don’t seem to be able to.
thanks so much
—— End of Forwarded Message
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,
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:
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,
Research has been shown that approximately 8% of the message you deliver is in the words you say, that leaves 92% for all the other factors involved in communicating… We can therefore assume that if you master these other factors involved, your ability to both understand and listen to others would increase dramatically.
Subtext is the word we use for these other factors. Put simply it makes up all the other factors besides the words we use. It is where the true meaning or subtext of what others are saying is hidden. You may have heard that we never say exactly what we mean, this is simply saying there is a deeper meaning in everything.
The trick to communication is finding this deeper meaning, discovering the real subtext amongst all the fear and ego.
Once you discover the subtext you can truly support your clients to the solution that is right for them… So next time you’re listening to a client, your family or anyone for that matter, read their subtext and then use it to your best advantage…
Live with passion,
3 hours on the phone which is vitally important to your success. In every sales director position I have ever known a minimum of 3 hours meant you will earn a good wage, 4 hours will be a great wage. The difference between 3 and 4 hours is application and discipline and most importantly the discipline to do it day after day. I don’t expect you all to be at the 4 hour mark yet but make no mistake this is were we are heading. I want you all to focus on the 3 hour mark each and every day at this stage.
If you run out of people to speak to then you have the cold call database there, this may not allow you to speak for 3 hours each day but in this case you will be aiming at 200 dials. This will put enough calls downrange that you will begin to get through to enough people who you can speak to which will in turn get your call times up. The 200 dials is a short term thing until you get the qualified clients to speak to.
The trick to being a great sales person is simple understanding the process of making sales – 200 dials leads to 3 hours which leads to 2 appointments per day which leads to a quantity of pitches per month which leads to a quantity of sales per month which leads to repeat sales which leads to referrals. Sales is very simple once you break it down into it’s basic components.
So look at the area that you are falling down in and focus on that area, enlist the support of your sales manager, discipline yourself, but most of all pick up the phone and make that next call…
Remember that success is always the next call
Live with passion,
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,
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,