Category Archives for Telephone Sales (Telesales)

Make your day better when you hang up the phone.

Hey guys,

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,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Supercharge your sales speak with these simple standardised statements…

Hey guys,
Here’s a list of statements that will catapult the power of your sales ability. If I were you I would use these all the time to win people my my way I thinking.

I’m sure you’ll agree that when I say this the brain naturally agrees with whatever I am saying. The bottom line is I want you to help me help you. Because I can guarantee this will be 100% better for you, and I am sure you can see the benefits of using this kind of language. How does that sound so far?

Let’s be realistic, if you don’t use these statements you will be disadvantaged against the guy standing beside you that knows them.

Can I make a suggestion? Read through all the standardised statements at least 10 times, print them out and put them infront of you, try to use them, I strongly recommend this because repetition and having them in your face is the best way to learn them. Always remember that you can use these over and over again, you have over 35 different statements.

At one of the drilling mornings we’ll be running through all of these so make sure you have read them before, I am sure you will agree that it’s in your best interests. That’s not a problem if you don’t understand any just ask me for examples of how to use these.

Hopefully from the above paragraphs you will get an idea of how easy it is you use these. So would you like to go ahead with this?

Here they are:
Always remember….
Can I make a suggestion?
Can you do something for me?
Can you see the benefits?
Do you think this would be good for you?
Help me to help you….
How does that sound?
I am sure that you would agree with me….
I guarantee this will be 100% better for you….
I know you don’t know but if you did?
I strongly recommend this….
I’m sure that you’d agree with me.If I were you….
If it kills me?
Let me put it this way….
Lets do this….
Lets get realistic
On the basis ____________ will you _____________
On the basis that you’re 100% happy…
Please be well aware….
Please understand….
So would you like to go ahead with that?
Tell me in detail….
That’s fine….
That’s not a problem
The benefits of this are….
This is not only a suggestion, it is your solution….
This will definitely be 100% better for you.
Understand this….
What are your main concerns?
What do I need to do to get this sale today?
When we come to that bridge we will cross it…
Which do you prefer….
You know this is going to be beneficial for you….

Live with Passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Why sales is sometimes banging your head against the wall…

Hey guys,
One of my new telesales guys asked me this question after you felt he was banging his head against the wall all day trying to get hold of people.
————
Hey Brett,

I am very concerned about how well I utilise my time at work. I feel like I have spent the past 2 days calling people with no answer. Today I have made more than 100 calls (caught up with the ones i was behind on due to my days off and those lined up for today) If counted correctly, i have only spoken to 6 people and have pitched one of them.

Any Advise?

———–
Hey mate,

At the end of the day if people aren’t picking up the phone then their is only one challenge and its in your head.

You need to focus on having a positive expectation that people will pick up the phone.

At the end of the day, its fine to say that noone is home, that noone will answer their phone, that you’ve tried your hardest but that doesn’t cut it in sales.

Disciplined persistence is certainly admirable but without the results that flow from this it is useless.

I have seen guys spend days without speaking to a person and then I will walk up with the expectation that they will pick up and call their last message and sure enough they will answer the phone for me. It’s in your head.

As a Hardcore salesperson you must control all your circumstances and this is not different.

1) The trick to this is having a suitable affirmation. Now many salespeople will say something like “Today, everyone will pick up the phone” or perhaps “Everyone wants to speak with me!” this doesn’t go far enough and I doubt it will inspire anyone to pick up the phone 100 times without speaking to anyone. In order for your affirmation to work you need to include something that is in it for the client you are going to speak to.

Try something like “Everyone I speak with today will be inspired, energised and interested from the time they pick up the phone until they book a time to see us.” This is sort of an all encompassing affirmation, from picking up the phone to what they are going to get out of it through to how you are going to present the call and finally to the real outcome you want – the appointment.

Feel free to come up with your own version but you need something that gets you into the correct state, that inspires you.

2) Secondly, you need to Maintain and change your state. Maintain your state at the highest possible level and then if you do drop off find something to change this.  I find jumping around while I am on the phone. Bouncing and walking around. It gets the energy through my body and allows more oxygen to circulate through my body.

I cannot say enough how important maintaining your state at the highest possible level is as well as changing your state back up to that level is.

3) Finally, and this is the one area that I know you don’t lack… Persistence, 10 calls is not enough, even 20 or 30. If it takes 2 days of speaking to 6 people then stick with it. But set your next goal at 8 people to speak to, then 10, then 12. Before you know it you’ll be having fulfilling an worthwhile conversations all over the place.

Mate, I think if you do all these things you will see some amazing results. Also remember that if you are constantly calling these people at the same time you are harassing them and therefore they probably have stored your number and wont answer.

Keep the variety, and give irregular spaces between calls, try a few from your mobile, then a few from someone elses phone. You might find that’s just the thing to change you results.

If this doesn’t work then come and see me and we’ll sit down.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

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

‘Keeping the Sales Force Motivated in a Recession’

The recession has hit the property industry hard and having 20 telesales people on our sales floor has been fun to say the least. At the best of times you can motivate salespeople with the money but when the recession makes everything twice as hard and twice as long whilst giving you half the certainty it requires some new thinking.

I spent a great deal of time communicating with the sales team. The first and most important motivational factor in any market is keeping them in the big picture. If you start with a big picture of what’s going on they are more likely to stay motivated when the little things go wrong. In doing this you can also be honest with the negative things that happen as they feel part of the problem and will work hard for a solution.  This one point of sharing the problems has actually bonded the team together incredibly.

I have always been a big believer in scripting everything to do with the sales team, as the market changed I provided written scripts on how to handle the negative feedback from clients.  I would also produce educational material aimed at the clients that explained the issues in a much more positive light. This supported the sales team to deal with the problems. It worked really well and they felt a lot more confidence using the scripts and knowing that I had already pre-framed the solution for the clients.

We did focused sales sessions in two-hour blocks where the whole team would be on the phone calling clients with specific questions that I had pre-written.  The fact that everyone was calling about the same thing gave the guys the confidence and motivation to stay on the phone.  This created many sales opportunities just because they called.

We also do a lot of little things that combined just add the finishing touches and motivate all the team.  Things like; having a Sales bell so they ring it every time a sale is made and the response from the team is that everyone claps and cheer, it’s small but effective.  Giving small bonuses for first sales, most new clients, most improved and many others. In most cases the rewards are a single as a bottle of champagne or chocolates or perhaps just a congratulations email or team meeting recognition.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Big Picture, Little Detail, Big Picture…

Hey guys,

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,
Brett Alegre-Wood

——————————————————————

HERE’S THE EMAILS BELOW.

——————————————————————
—— Forwarded Message
From: Brett Alegre-Wood
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 23:00:57 +0000
To: Helen
Conversation: Highfield chase/ echo central
Subject: Re: Highfield chase/ echo central

Hey Helen,

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,

Brett

On 10/03/2009 22:18, “Helen”  wrote:

Hi Brett

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
Helen

—— End of Forwarded Message

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

    3 hours call time is the minimum requirement successful sales

    Hey guys,

    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,

    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

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