The Sales Process
Before we begin, know this: You must first make a friend before you make a sale! Go get ’em!
The sales process is never iron clad and is an ever-changing routine that must fit each individual situation. However, having studied this craft and been blessed to have been mentored by some very talented people along the way, I have come to learn that it can indeed be simplified by just following a few basic guidelines.
First, the biggest mistake sales people make is talking too much and not listening. I did that for years and learned the hard way that no one likes being sold anything. People like to buy, and learning about someone’s business is the only way to understand their needs. When we let our prospects talk (and no one likes anything more than talking about their business so please let them), we find out what has worked and what has not, what motivates them and what does not.
The difference between top sales achievers and those who struggle is preparation. Here’s how I prepare for the very first contact.
Google your way to their web site and study it. Read “about us” and read about the company’s hierarchy. Digest what they are using their web site to communicate. Go to “contact us” and look for the phone numbers and/or emails.
Take notes…how many locations…how long have they been around…are they part of a larger corporate umbrella…if their site is interactive (video streams, dozens of windows), they are more high-tech and more likely to be interested in staying ahead in the technology war.
Try to get a feel for their marketing strategies. Do they like electronic (tv, radio, web) or do they prefer print (newspapers, direct mail, magazines, etc). Do they even have an advertising budget and, if so, when do they do their planning and who is involved in the decision making process. Also look for things like upcoming events or “join our mailing list” or “Get your gift card here. These little nuances lead to good dialogue because our monitor can enhance their web messages while their patrons are sitting right there.
Look for any social media clues (find us on Facebook, etc.) because that tells you they value the impact of electronic media and hence will see more value in keeping their customers’ phones charged.
Now, the fun part. Here are your short and simple scripts for the phone.
First Call/Gatekeeper: Good Morning, who am I speaking with? Hi Kim, this is Rick with ECM Media and we’re the folks bringing the new cell phone charging machines to the area. I need to reach out to the person who could help me get these to you. Would that be you or someone else? Great, thanks so much Kim. How does Kevin prefer to communicate? Is there a best time or a best day for me to reach back to Kevin. I don’t need much time but I do need to make sure we don’t miss you because this is FREE and will increase your business in no time.
First Call/total brushback: Good Morning, this is Rick with ECM Media and we’re the folks bringing the cell phone charging kiosks to the area. Can you help me with who I would speak with? (We’re not interested). Yes, I know that. That’s why I’m calling. I want to make sure you have the same opportunity as the other restaurants. I just need a name or an email address and we are good. (pause). I won’t take any more of your time. Can I call back this evening or tomorrow?
First Call/Lukewarm Reaction: They answer the phone “Hi, make it a great day at PJ’s, this is Bill.”
Hi Bill, this is Rick with the company placing the cell phone charging kiosks all over South Jersey. Who might handle something like that for PJ’s, would that be you or someone else (make them feel important—everyone needs that). Well, that would be Pete Chiarocchi and he’s not here and is extremely hard to reach. That’s fine Bill. All I need to do is connect to anyone who could get this information to Pete. If I just had an email address or a better time to call the GM or marketing manager we’re all set. Thanks so much Bill, you’ve been a great help and I will make sure Pete knows that.
Second Call: Hi, this is Rick again from the company bringing the cell phone charging kiosks to South Jersey. Could I speak with Pete. (He’s not in but I can put you into his voicemail). That would be great. Thanks so much and what is your name?
VOICEMAIL: Hi Pete, this is Rick with ECM Media and we’re the folks bringing the new cell phone charging kiosks to all the restaurants and bars in this area. I surely know how busy you are and would most appreciate any time at all you could give me because the worse thing I could do is miss the most popular sports bar in the Delaware Valley. I will shoot you an email today with all the info you need. If you could take just a moment and reach back to me at 609-238-1506 I would be grateful. Thanks so much Pete and I promise to make this worth your while.
Second call/One of Decision Makes Comes to Phone: Hi Jackie, thanks so much for taking my call. I will make this worth your while. As you know from my email and voice mail we are the folks bringing the cell phone charging kiosks to this area and you are on our preferred list of venues for a totally free placement. (Nothing is free). I felt the same way when this company asked me to join them and I just left a very nice job because this opportunity was just too good. This kiosk is totally free for your venue. It is supported and financed by regional and national advertising revenue on the LCD monitor above the charging units. Everyone is going to want this for their customers and we are nearing a waiting list to keep up with the demand. Can I pop by tomorrow for about 20 minutes. I promise you this….your company will thank you for years to come for looking at this. Does 2 or 3 p.m. work for you?
First make a friend, and then make a sale.
Remember, we’re the good guys. We are Santa and we have the toy of the year…maybe the decade.
And remember this when you feel rejection and disregard. They said no one sees the Great Oz. Oh yeah, well if you just keep following that yellow brick road and keep tapping on that door it will one day open.