Over the past few weeks I have been leading many private sales training classes for clients in various industries, with teams of varying experience. Despite their differences, all teams have a common struggle: A constant battle to get through to the decision maker.
Once engaged with a decision makers my clients are having little trouble navigating through the buying process, building a relationship and making a sale. In fact, we are finding that for many clients, closing ratio’s are up. Trouble is ,sales are down becuase meetings are way down.
So what can we do. Here are a couple simple yet effective techniques for getting through.
1) Don’t look and sound like a sales person. You must look and sound like an industry expert. When you act differently to all other vendors, the gatekeeper and decision maker will treat you differently. Try this exercises in your next sales meeting:
“Divide a paper in half and on the left hand side write down all the things a typical sales person in your industry says and does – maybe its the same list of what you said and did yesterday. Them, on the right hand side list everything you can do that is different from the column on the left. What can you do that’s different?”
2) Scour the news for valuable articles about your prospect’s business that you can send them in the mail, with a note attached from you. These CANNOT be advertising pieces. Chose articles that your company wrote, or that others wrote that are pertinent to your clients business an/or business problems. Call them back about 5 days later and there is an increasing chance they will return your call because they will want to thank you for the article and discuss it with you.
3) Be friendly with the gatekeeper. Remember that all day gatekeeps are feilding calls from vendors, and employees trying to get hold of their boss. The majority of those calls are not respectful, fun nor easy. What can you do to show respect and thankfulness to the gatekeeper? Can you make them laugh? If they like you, you have a better chance of getting through.
4) Ask for their help. Something like “I was hoping you could help me…..” often works to get you an appointment with the decision maker because people have hard time resisting “help”. Take a look at our article on Gatekeepers for more detail.
send a thank you. Try www.sendyourcardnow.com if your handwritting is that terrible! If you do manage to get put through or have an appointment schedule take out a pen and a card and hand write a thank you card immediately. Send it to the gatekeeper. They will remember you and help to make sure your calls are taken in the future