Sales calls are the bane of my working life! I hate making sales calls so much that I decided to dedicate this P.O.S.H. Agency
blog post, not only to create myself a little tick list of do’s and don’ts to refer back to, but to try and help anyone else who dreads sales calls to overcome the struggles I have . Not to forget – I want your input, feedback and top sales tips too!!
Starting up the P.O.S.H. Agency
meant I had to face my nightmare and work out how to bring in new business. I have been on client side before and loathed the endless cold sales calls I used to receive day in day out, and was very impatient to get off the line when a cold call came in… which I guess has installed in me a fear of making sales calls– I know 1st
hand how much the person I am calling doesn’t want to talk to me, and I know how hard I used to be on my sales callers…. hell mend me! Karma has come back to haunt me!!
Cold calling was such a fear factor for me that it encouraged me to hires the services of a sales mentor. This has been such an incredibly positive and rewarding move for me and the P.O.S.H. Agency that we have now entered in to a working agreement with our mentor from the Suite Company, and founder Jill Chalmers
has become my full force business mentor.
Jill Chalmers, founder of the Suite Co
., is an experienced hotelier herself, working with hotels as a consultant to increase their turnover and operations productivity:
“we help hotels find and set plans in place to gain the ‘biggest bang for their buck’….. quickly.”
Since the P.O.S.H. Agency
and Suite Co. began working together my confidence in cold calling and the processes of the sales funnel has increased dramatically. Don’t get me wrong, I still find sales hard, I still don’t particularly enjoy it, but I am learning that I can do it and how I do it best.
For example, I have to be standing up and pacing around a room to keep me calm and drive my confidence through the telephone receiver to the potential customer I am speaking to. I can now roll off my sales script and even change it to suit the flow of the conversation without my prompter notes in front of me, and most importantly, I now know that I don’t function on my sales activities as well in the afternoon as I do in the morning. This is my little book of rules for my sales planning and I know I still have so so much to learn. But here are my top 10 sales tips telling you how I managed to get to this stage… and what I have learnt from the Suite Co
The P.O.S.H. Agency’s Top 10 Tips to Sales Calls:
1. Who are you?
Have a few very strong definitive bullet points of who/what you are. Then go back through them and ask yourself so what? Does anyone else offer/do that? Why are you different from your competitors – and don’t be fluffy about this. Short, sharp and hard hitting.
2. What’s your offering?
Be clear about exactly what it is that you are offering and how you are offering it – don’t confuse the conversation by getting too in depth.
3. Create your sales script!
Prepare what you want to say to your potential customers from start to finish. Don’t go in blind and stumble through the conversation. Use your script to guide you and give you confidence.
4. Know your target!
Having a well structured and focused target group will make you far more confident and successful with your sales than going in with a scatter gun approach. It’s ok to rule out groups of potential customers. Go for the ones that are going to make you money with the least amount of effort to convert the sale into a customer.
5. Create a kiss list!
Collate your potential targets in a sales kiss list,
love list, hit list whatever you want to call it and prioritise it. Use filters on your call list to help you plan who you are targeting and in what regions to help you manage your calls. Never stop adding to this list.
6. Do a little research!
Have a quick look at your potential customers site, take a few notes, google them, look them up on LinkedIn. This will not only give you more confidence but will prepare you for any questions they may throw at you and make you more credible.
7. Get into the mindset!
We all have good days and bad days, we all have time periods when we are on a roll, and other times when we just can’t seem to focus. Know yourself! Know when you are at your best and use this time constructively to make your calls and do your sales work. And remove yourself from distractions whilst working on your sales!
8. Keep Smiling!
Keep yourself wound up, excited, motivated and smiling – don’t let yourself deflate. The power and energy you have built up through your self planning and preparation will translate down the phone and increase your chance of hooking in your target customer.
9. Don’t let go easily!
When on sales call if you get the feeling that your potential customer is losing interest or trying to brush you off try and probe them to find out why they aren’t interested. Don’t just accept their first stock answer, keep asking more questions and get them talking. Then take note of this!!
10. Never give up on yourself!
Jill recently told me,
“Remember you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince charming.”
I now have this pinned on my wall to pick me up whenever I get knocked down. She has told me it so often that I think the Suite Co
. Strap-line should be:
“remember you have to get 20 no’s to get 1 yes”
And how that has helped me through my dreaded sales plan!
If you want to fast track to get yourself out there and make sales quickly believe me, no matter how hard up you are, a good business mentor is worth every penny. Jill’s
other great strap line is
“Getting the biggest Bang for your Buck!!”
I cannot stress enough how important the Suit Co
. has been to not only my personal development but to the growth and success of my business and how this strap line has changed the way I think and work.
The P.O.S.H. agency
is on a far stronger, safer and enjoyable road thanks to Jill’s sound guidance and support. After all we can’t be perfect at everything, and life would be so boring if we had nothing more to learn from those willing to share it.
And don’t just take my word for it:
“Jill is a great sales & marketing strategist. She has a very engaging & direct style and knows how to maximise results. Jill is also an oracle on all things in the hospitality industry, and she knows more about sales & marketing in the hotel world than anybody else I have met.” May 14, 2009
Iain Mackay, Chief Technical Officer, All-Hotels.com