“You see those little black boxes, those are called telephones. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. They are not going to dial themselves. Without you they are just worthless hunks of plastic ” The Wolf of Wall Street
“I get better results if I just email.”
“My clients don’t like talking on the phone to sales people.”
“I send a proposal over first and then follow with a phone call.”
“Email works better than talking to people face to face.”
This actually scares me. As a sales person it really, really scares me. As a sales trainer it scares me more that sales managers allow this to go on. Let’s have a quick look at those points again.
“I get better results if I just email.” Really? Prove it. Are you dealing with an automated buying department then with no people as part of the process?
“My clients don’t like talking on the phone to sales people.” What all of them, every single client in your entire client universe?
“I send a proposal over first and then follow with a phone call.” You do what!!! Without knowing what is of relevance? You have heard of the phrase “If you throw enough shit at the wall something eventually will stick” right?
“Email works better than talking to people face to face.” Then why do we have mouths?
Nil by Mouth
Email is killing the personal interacting between sales people and clients, it is as simple as that and what’s more, it is actually permitted to go on by organisations large and small that wonder why sales are not coming in. Ask yourself this, why hire a sales person if all they are going to do is the same as what a sophisticated CRM in the hands of marketing person will do and just automate it? You see we hire sales people to sell to people via the medium of mouth. It’s that simple. Cue Meerkat.
The fact that the sales are not coming in is nothing to do with sales process or closing skills, but everything to do with sales approach. As newly hatched sales people, the first thing that we are taught is that people buy from people and yet sales people choose to use (hide behind? just a thought) email in preference to speaking in person. Think about the receiver too, what do you think they do with unsolicited emails? Simple. The same as you do. Delete them. What’s more, sales people use over familiar language in their emails, which really puts people’s backs up as if they have never heard of you before, why would they engage with you about what they did on their weekend? I am not saying don’t be friendly, just don’t be too friendly…its creepy.
Simple 101 technique ahead.
The golden rule is call first, then call again, and again, eventually once you have spoken to someone, then follow with email. The only reason that email first would be the exception would be if the client during the call has stipulated expressly that they only communicate by email. Oh and on that, it’s rare.
When we call for the first time, introduce ourselves, “Good morning; my name is Simon Hares from a sales training company called SerialTrainer7. Having had great success with businesses like yours, I specialize in skilling up their sales people to help them make more money both for their own businesses and their clients. I can see from your website that your focus right now is on XXXX could we have a few minutes to discuss how I could potential help you make more money from this?”
This simple intro, give you a mini elevator pitch.
- Who I am?
- Where I am calling from?
- What I do specifically?
- Who I have worked with?
- What benefit is in it for the client?
Whatever the client says from here will launch me into my questioning or insight offering section or the client will give me an instruction e.g. call back, make an appointment, send information. If they want to call back, ask them if they would be happy to take the call via Skype or Facetime, it is a brilliant tool, everyone has it, it is free and it really makes the face-to-face magic happen. Go on, try it; I do loads of calls this way.
Making the Email work harder.
Once I have this instruction I can then ask them what specifically would be the most useful and relevant thing I can send over. This information will then be put together into a PDF document that is tailored to the client, and attached to the email. Some pointers on making this bit work harder.
- The content of the client’s request must be put into a PDF document and not as part of the main body of the email, it looks sloppy otherwise and some email can reformat which is horrible for the client and make the sales person look sloppy too. Make sure the information relevant with lots of benefits and if costs are included be sure to put an expiration date on the quote to stop the chances of the prices being quoted to you years later down the line when potentially things have changed. “Prices quoted are valid until December 2018” as an example.
- The main body of the email then becomes the compliment slip, this contains informal information such “It was great to talk to you, I hope you enjoy your day and the information about sales training for your team, especially around phone calling over email use is attached”. Also included when you will follow up “I will give you a call to discuss further in two to three days” This tells the client that you will be calling back and so they can expect your call. Depending on how friendly and open you were will heighten the chances of the client taking your next call.
- The subject line now needs to work hard too, so ensure that is has a prefix of RQSTD INFO: SerialTrainer7 Sales Training. By using the ‘requested information’ abbreviation, it tells the client that the information is expected and so there is a lower chance of them binning it, and also it reminds them of your brand name so that they are jogged into remembering you. You can also use other prefix too:
- ADDTNL INFO for any updated information to something that has been send previously
- ACTION RQD If the client needs to do something, like sign the contract
- RESPNSE RQD If the client needs to come back to you in answer to a question
You see, simply by calling first, the sales person has so much more to work with. It is just not good enough to be blanketing the market with another deck of slides or generic information hoping that something will get through.
Sales people are amazing, I am so proud to be one because we have this unique ability to persuade people to part with their money in order to make money and yes we make a lot of noise, eff and jeff a bit, get bored easily, and yet we make magic happen for our clients. If you are a sales manager reading this, bring out the best in your team and get them talking to people on phone or better still face to face.
SerialTrainer7 can really help your teams sell in a more effective way that will improve the quality of their calls, build more trust and make money. Email or better still call me, Simon on 07979 537824 or Simon@serialtrainer7.com and we can have a chat. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.