February 12, 2016

in Uncategorized

Just as with any professional, a sales professional using the telephone must go through preparation steps before the first call of the day. Using motivational CDs or motivational music to prepare your mind through your morning routine is extremely effective. Engaging your mind and your auditory and visual senses to prepare you for your day of calling can really improve your attitude. Listening to an inspiring message, sales training, or goal-setting CDs can help your day start out correctly. You might also use affirmations to help you prepare like:

*  I am a great person

*  I love to sell and help people

You might also use visual stimuli like a picture of the new car or home that you want to buy. Place that picture on the mirror where you have to see it each day or in your car on the sun visor or on your office computer. A successful telephone salesperson begins preparing for the first call hours before he picks up the phone.

When you arrive at the office, your homework process begins. Review your list of appointments for the day. Is there any homework or preparation for these that is not complete? Which ones have the highest probability of converting into a sale? What are the key benefits I need to clearly convey to the prospect for each of these appointments? You have invested time, effort, emotion, energy, and marketing dollars to guide the prospect to the appointment level. Take the extra few minutes in the morning to raise the conversion rate because you are doing your homework in advance, not on the fly.

Also, before each call, we need to invest time in our homework. We need to review the previous call, materials received from the last call, our primary objective of the call, and our secondary objective if we have to assume a fall-back position. If the call is an initial call, we might need to do some internet research about the prospect. This is a sales professional’s preparation process.

To be smart and more efficient about your prospecting process, follow a few rules. You want to batch your calls together to increase your effectiveness. For example, if you can call all of your prospects that are expireds all at once, you will be more effective than if you called one of them, then a FSBO, then a past client. The more you can batch the calls to similar prospects, the more your rhythm and dialogue, prospect challenges, and value and benefits of your product or solution will be aligned. Your delivery will improve because you won’t be changing it radically, and the objections should have a similar time and consistency, as well.

You also can batch based on the stage in the sales cycle you are in with the prospect. All presentation appointments should be batched together, so you can deliver them one after the other. This, again, raises your performance. If you close a sale, then your confidence will increase in the next presentation. You can batch initial calls, lead follow-up calls, client service calls, client referral calls, or any other stage of the sales process.

In prospecting smartly, you also need to know your limits. There is no one who can be on the phone for eight hours straight without taking any breaks. To maximize your production and energy level, I would set a system where you are on the phone straight making calls for an hour. Then, take a 10 to 15-minute break to stretch, run to the restroom, and grab a snack. An hour to 75 minutes is really the maximum time to be calling back-to-back.

By having a routine that you execute on a daily basis, you will reduce the influence of call reluctance. We all get call reluctance during our sales careers. It will come less frequently and less severely if you operate from a set schedule, set preparation routine, and set daily goals and benchmarks. Clarity of purpose is one way to beat the call reluctance problem that all salespeople face.

There are a number of time alligators that chomp time away from telephone salespeople. One of the largest is the time span between calls. I have observed many of a salesperson watching the phone lines light up. It’s really a fascinating experience. At times, you will see a short time between calls when the salesperson’s line will light up for less than 15 seconds. At other times, you will see 3, 4, or 5 minutes go by before the phone lights up again. There is a huge loss in time and productivity when this happens. Watch the time between calls and shrink the gap.

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