12 Steps To Selling More
Or How to Overcome Foot in Mouth Disease
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I stuff up on the telephone.
Sometimes I put the phone down at the end of a call and say to myself.. ‘ that call just cost you $2000….That call was a classic case of foot in mouth disease..’
Do you ever say those types of things to yourself or is it just me?
LEARNING FROM A CHAMP
Lately, I’ve been watching an associate of mine on the phone. I’ve watched her go for it 100%. She achieves her outcomes 9 times out of 10. She is so focussed I can’t believe it.
So the other day I asked her, ‘How come you’re so good on the phone…?’ And like all champions, she was only too happy to reveal her secrets. This is what she told me.
I never realised how a phone call could be such a military operation.
She asked, ‘how much of your business do you generate over the phone?’
I said, ‘about 99%’
‘There’s your answer’ she said ‘isn’t it worth planning a military operation if 99% of your income depends on it?’
I got the message.
1. WRITE DOWN THE PURPOSE OF THE CALL – 4 Keys
Rather than just pick up the phone and start talking, ask yourself these 4 questions:
- ‘why am I making this call?’
- ‘I’m not just returning a call, or ringing to say ‘G’day’, what is the commercial benefit of this call?
- ‘ if this call was to be successful, what do I want to hear by the time I put down the phone?’
- ‘For me to get that outcome, what do I need to say or do (that is legal, moral and ethical?
2. WRITE DOWN THE BENEFITS AND ‘WHY’S’ THE PROSPECT SHOULD AGREE WITH YOU
Everybody needs to be convinced. Everybody needs to know the benefits outweigh the costs. Everybody needs to know if they part with their hard earned cash they’re going to get far more in return than they paid.
Not everybody understands the benefits of your product or service as well as you. You need to have some very compelling reasons.
Have some good success stories you can use to convince your prospect why they should buy from you. Be a good story-teller. How do you do that? Practice telling the stories before you pick up the phone. It helps get you in the mood too.
3. WRITE DOWN THE PROSPECT’S POSSIBLE OBJECTIONS AND ‘ESCAPE ROUTES’
An old mentor of mine told me once ‘Selling is like hunting. You have to stalk your prey. Think like your prey. Then cover all the escape routes…’
I used to think ‘oh, how tacky and ruthless. That’s not me..’ Well, I used to think that way until I missed the first 100 or so sales…. (Well, not quite 100, but it sure felt like it.)
The best way to overcome objections is to anticipate them and have great ways to turn them back round to your advantage. ‘How?’ I hear you ask. That’s the next step.
4. WRITE DOWN YOUR ANSWERS TO THOSE OBJECTIONS
Get your sales team together. List the top 10 objections you hear all the time. Then the next 5 really hard ones you get from time to time. Then come up with 3 different ways to deal with each of them. Then have objection handling practice at each team meeting. Not only will your team get better at handling objections, they’ll also become bullet proof confident in their presentations.
They’ll actually get to love dealing with objections.
Remember, one study showed you need to be prepared to ask for the order at least 6 times before you really do take ‘no’ for an answer. That means being a master at handling ‘no’s’ and other objections
5. GET YOURSELF IN A POWERFUL STATE
Your state of mind before and during a phone call is contagious. As Rex Hunt (Fishing and football legend) said on TV recently ‘95% of the game is played above the shoulders.’
So make sure you’re 110% focussed on your outcome and the benefits of your product or service. Remind yourself of some of the latest success stories your product or service has had with recent customers.
6. FOCUS ON YOUR DESIRED OUTCOME
What do you want by the time you put down the phone?
What do you want the clients to be saying?
What do you want to see in front of you? (A completed order form with credit card details?)
Visualise the successful outcome in your mind just before you pick up the phone.
7. REHEARSE YOUR KEY SELLING ‘WHY’ LINES
Rehearse your key selling lines out loud.
This will help get you in a power state.
It will also bring those key lines to the front of your mind.
You want these lines to just roll off your tongue with energy, power and conviction. Rehearse it that way too. I saw Tom Jones in concert the other night. Talk about energy, power and conviction. Every word that comes from his mouth is delivered with power and conviction. Every line is perfectly pitched. Tom Jones has rehearsed perfection so he can deliver with perfection. So can you.
8. REHEARSE YOUR OBJECTIONS AND ‘ESCAPE BLOCKS’
Now act as if you are an inquisitive, belligerent prospect
‘No I don’t think that’s for me..’
‘Well of course Mr Jones, most people say that when we first call them. In fact….’
Other people in your office might think you are going troppo – until they see your sales figures.
Great athletes practice.
Great athletes mentally rehearse before they race. Olympic and world 100m sprint champ Carl Lewis modelled Jesse Owens mental pre race strategy of imagining you are running over hot coals. (That way your feet don’t touch the ground for too long…) He won 4 Olympic golds and numerous World Championships. You can do the same. Imagine you are a world judo champ. Each time the prospect throws an objection at you, you roll with it and turn it back onto them (in a friendly, loving and helpful manner of course..)
9. GO FOR IT
Don’t sit around for too long rehearsing. You only make money when you pick up the phone to sell or deal with the prospect.
Take action. Do it. Be prepared to make mistakes. Don’t just sit there… dial up..
10. SET DAILY PROSPECTING TARGETS
Set a daily target for how many prospecting calls you will make.
Is it 10? 20? 30? 100? Set the goals. Then make a game of it. Set a time of day you will go for it. Block out the time. You will do nothing else except make those calls in that time period. Don’t let yourself off the hook. The comfort zone is brilliant at coming up with excuses at this stage. You take control.
11. KEEP BUILDING YOUR PROSPECT LIST
Have a prospect list. Make sure you always have 10, 20 or 50 prospects on that list. Review the list at the end of each day in preparation for the next day. Your subconscious mind can go to work on it while you sleep. Don’t laugh. It really does make a difference.
12. KEEP ASKING FOR REPEAT BUSINESS, REFERRALS AND TESTIMONIALS
If you want to build your business then you need to keep building your prospect list. How do you do that? Get referrals from your present happy clients. That means making sure you ring clients back up and ask ‘How is your new ……. Mr Jones?” then take it from there. If they’re happy say ‘Great to hear you’re really happy with our product. Do you know of anyone else in your work or family who might also want……?’
Who knows, if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Whatever the product life cycle for your product range is (one month, one year, 2 years, 10 years) make sure you keep in touch to get repeat business.
By the way, if the client is happy, ask for a written testimonial on their letterhead. There is hardly anything as powerful as a testimonial. And if you can show a folder full of testimonials, how can the prospect argue with that?
PICK UP THE PHONE AND SELL
I’m not saying these 12 steps will make you a world champion overnight. I am saying they will help you keep your feet out of your mouth (as they have with me) And if you can do that, I guarantee you will sell more.
I showed these 12 steps to my champion friend and she said ‘Well of course, that’s obvious…’
Sometimes champions think everyone should be able to be like them because it comes so natural.
I know I’ve got to work at it. I hope these 12 steps help you work at it too.
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