by Ari Galper
Many Sales and Marketing people need to transfer from being “passive” to being “active”… including Internet Marketers
One pattern that is emerging as I spend more time interacting with sales and marketing people, is that the day is spent sending emails back and forth to prospects with the purpose of attempting to get the sale (not even just to move them to a phone conversation).
In fact, I’m seeing a trend that many Internet Marketers today are afraid of the phone, so they avoid it.
Read that last sentence again.
Yes, you read that right, they avoid picking up the phone and instead spend most of their day being “busy” behind their computers.
If you capture leads on your website and you sell a medium or high price ticket item then having a sales team, or even yourself follow up these prospects on the phone will have a massive impact on your bottom line.
Many of the most profitable marketers online in 2011 use medias like webinars and other lead magnets to capture leads and then use the phone to close the sale on high priced items like coaching services.
The problem though… it turns out that many marketers fears of picking up the phone stem from the anticipation of being rejected when they call a new prospect or lead.
I know you’ve heard the old adage that you’ve got to be “tough” and be able to handle rejection if you’re going to be successful in selling…but that is a very old and broken way of thinking.
Because we have discovered that rejection is triggered.
It’s triggered by three things:
1. Your voice tonality and how you come across
2. The languaging that you use (if it’s a pitch, forget it, it’s over at “hello”)
3. Mindset (If you’re focused on your objective of making the sale, even though you think you’re a good listener, your prospect is going to detect that you have a hidden agenda within seconds of your conversation)
When you become fully aware of the fact that it is YOU that is triggering the rejection, you’ll be well on your way to never trigger rejection from occurring.
Here’s the required steps to perform at a level of excellence when following up with your leads via the phone:
1. Change Your Mental Objective Before You Make the Call
If you’re like most people who make sales calls, you’re hoping to make a sale — or at least an appointment –before you even pick up the phone.
The problem is, the people you call somehow always pick up on your mindset immediately.
They sense that you’re focused on your goals and interests, rather than on finding out what they might need or want.
This short-circuits the whole process of communication and trust-building.
So try this. Practice shifting your mental focus to thinking, “When I make this call, I’m going to build a conversation so that a level of trust can emerge allowing us to exchange information back and forth so we can both determine if there’s a fit or not.”
2. Understand the Mindset of the Person You’re Calling
Let’s say you’re at your office and you’re working away.
Your phone rings and someone says, “Hello, my name’s Mark. I’m with Financial Solutions International, you left a message on our site. We offer a broad array of financial solutions. Do you have a few minutes?”
What would go through your mind?
Probably something like this: “Uh-oh, another salesperson. I’m about to be sold something. How fast can I get this person off the phone?”
In other words, it’s basically over at “Hello,” and you end up rejected.
The moment you use the old sales pitch approach — the traditional pitch about who you are and what you have to offer, which all the sales gurus have been teaching for years — you trigger the negative “salesperson” stereotype in the mind of the person you’ve called, and that means immediate rejection.
I call it “The Wall.”
The problem is with how you’re selling, not what you’re selling.
This is an area that’s been ignored in the world of sales.
We’ve all been trained to try to push prospects into a “yes” response on the first call. But that creates sales pressure.
But, if you learn to really understand and put yourself in the mindset of the person you call, you’ll find it easier to avoid triggering The Wall.
Start thinking about language that will engage people and not language that will trigger rejection.
3. Identify a Core Problem That You Can Solve
We’ve all learned that when we begin a conversation with a prospect, we should talk about ourselves, our product, and our solution. Then we sort of hope that the person connects with what we’ve just told them. Right?
But when you offer your pitch or your solution without first involving your prospect by talking about a core problem that they might be having, you’re talking about yourself, not them.
And that’s a problem.
Prospects connect when they feel that you understand their issues before you start to talk about your solutions.
When people feel understood, they don’t put up The Wall. They remain open to talking with you.
4. Start With a Dialogue, Not a Presentation
Let’s return to the goal of a sales call, which is to create a two-way dialogue engaging prospects in a conversation.
We’re not trying to set the person up for a yes or no. That’s the old way of selling.
This Unlock The Game approach is designed to engage people in a natural conversation. The kind you might have with a friend. This lets you both of you decide whether it’s worth your time to pursue the conversation further.
The key here is never to assume beforehand that your prospect should buy what you have to offer, even if they’re a 100 percent fit with the profile of the “perfect customer.”
If you go into the call with that assumption, prospects will pick up on it and The Wall will go up, no matter how sincere you are.
Avoid assuming anything about making a sale before you make a call. Stay focused on opening a dialogue and determining if it makes sense to continue the conversation.
The moment you begin trying to direct your prospect into your “sales process”, there is a very high likelihood that you can “turn off” your prospect’s willingness to share with you the details of their situation.
It’s important to allow the conversation to evolve naturally and to have milestones or checkpoints throughout your call so you can assess if there is a fit between you and the person you are speaking with.
5. Determine a Fit
Now, suppose that you’re on a call and it’s going well, with good dialogue going back and forth. You’re reaching a natural conclusion…and what happens?
In the old way of cold calling, we panic. We feel we’re going to lose the opportunity, so we try to close the sale or at least to book an appointment. But this puts pressure on the prospect, and you run the risk of The Wall going up again.
Here’s a step that most people miss when they cold call. As soon as they realize that prospects have a need for their solution, they start thinking, “Great, that means they’re interested.”
What they don’t ask is, “Is this need a top priority for you or your organization to solve, or is it something that’s on the back burner for a while?”
In other words, even if you both determine that there is a problem you can solve, you have to ask whether solving it is a priority. Sometimes there’s no budget, or it isn’t the right time. It’s important that you find this out, because months later you’ll regret not knowing this earlier.
Bringing it all together
As an Internet Marketer you should be trying to drive online traffic to offline leads wherever possible by getting the phone number of the prospect and having them request information about your products and services.
Be brave, strong, confident and calm as you call and engage in conversation to see if there is a connection. Then and only then work towards figuring out if you are a fit for each other and there is a want, a need, a timeframe and priority to do further business together by booking a further appointment or taking the order.
Ari Galper is the World’s #1 Authority on Trust-Based Selling and the creator of Unlock The Game®, a new sales mindset that overturns the notion of selling as we know it today. Unlock The Game has been available for over 10 years and has made sales breakthroughs for business owners and entrepreneurs in over 38 countries. You can take a Free Test Drive of Unlock The Game by downloading Ari’s free audio seminar “7 Sales Secrets Even The Sales Gurus Don’t Know!” at http://www.UnlockTheGame.com.au.