Sales Grit: Go From Afraid to Paid in 90 Days
I’ll take a guess and say that most people attracted to the sales profession already know how to talk to people, are comfortable in their own skin and also like the trappings of sales success: the company car, the expense account, the travel, the big bonuses…
But what about people that
are attracted to the lifestyle, yet afraid to talk to people?
This was me too, not too long ago.
Conquering the fear of talking to strangers will be one of your most important life skills.
And it will pay dividends more quickly than you think.
So how do you overcome the fear of talking to strangers?
Read on for my top tips on expanding your comfort zone and making better money in 90 days or less.
Research is crucial
Most fear sales because they fear the unknown. And the unknown can be scary.
What if I get yelled at?
What if they hang up the phone?
What if they laugh in my face?
Dealing with rejection is the toughest part of sales for some…
…unless you look at each objection as an opportunity for necessary data collection.
You have a product/service and you are looking for feedback.
Some of it will be negative and some of it will be positive.
Treat the objections as market research and you’ll find yourself actually looking forward to them.
They can provide you with the clues you need to be successful on future calls.
By treating the call like market research you’ll learn to love the nos because of the data they provide.
Once you know the most common objections, use them to your advantage. (More on that next.)
Remove objections up front
Have you ever heard of a preemptive strike?
It’s a military term which basically means: Get them, before they get you…
Now, I don’t consider prospects enemies, but I do need to breach their defenses.
Speak to their likely objections BEFORE they can and you’ll buy time and credibility by removing the negatives.
For example, let’s say that through your research you found most prospects were either too busy to speak or had quality concerns due to a lack of brand recognition.
Now you can incorporate those common objections into your pitch.
When used correctly, you’re almost reading the prospect’s mind which can be disarming…and good for you.
Ex: Hi Mr. Prospect,
I know you’re pretty busy, but I thought I’d give you a quick ring based on the recent developments at your company. I see you’re expanding nationwide and ramping up sales staff…
My company specializes in cutting prospecting time in half for busy manufacturing companies in growth mode…
Does that sound like you?
Great. The reason I thought I could help is because we provide insights on new construction projects faster and with more accuracy, which a number of our Fortune 500 customers appreciate.
If you think you could benefit by finding better prospects more quickly, I’d love to show you how we stack up.
Should I invite just you for a quick call on Friday or is there someone else we should include in the conversation?
Let’s break this down.
The two biggest objections we encountered in our “market research” were weaved into the pitch and addressed before the prospect could.
Here’s what the prospect hears:
This individual appreciates that I’m busy, but is calling because he’s identified a real need.
This firm seems appreciably different in a way that benefits me.
A number of Fortune 500 firms are customers… If it’s good enough for them, it’s likely good enough for me.
Remove objections with preemptive strikes and you’ll take fewer nos, hold longer conversations and have a ton more fun on the phone. (If you like example sales scripts, check out our blog on cold calling mastery.)
Know what you are talking about
Do you know what you are talking about? Or are you fudging things?
Make sure you know your stuff.
Nothing will make you more confident than a strong grasp of the competitive strengths of your product and its ability to solve one or more problems.
What problems does your product solve? How are these problems solved better, faster or more cheaply than your competition?
Know the answers to these questions inside and out and you’ll be amazed at how much more confidence you’ll have on the phone.
Today’s customer is more sophisticated than ever and has access to a ton of information as they shop for products and services.
Make sure you are more knowledgeable than they are, with intimate knowledge of how you can solve their problems and you’ll immediately hold their interest longer and set more appointments.
What do you do when you are too new to be an SME?
There is no substitute for being a subject matter expert.
But when you are too green to know EVERYTHING, try to be an expert at the most-important problem-solving feature your product provides.
This way, even if you have to pass the call to a colleague to discuss additional benefits, you’ve established your credibility and in turn the prospect’s confidence in you.
So how do you learn all you need to learn?
Be as thirsty for knowledge as possible.
All of the info you need to be successful won’t come from your training alone.
You’ll need to recognize your blind spots and actively participate in your product education.
-Ask your boss and successful colleagues about your product’s specific strengths. They may have a perspective that differs from your training manual.
-Ask about any intelligence they have on the competition.
-Ask your customers for their opinions on why they chose your firm over a competitor.
With all of this knowledge in hand it will be much easier to be confident on the phone because you won’t be guessing at the answers – you’ll actually know them.
You’ll see a difference in your confidence level immediately, and so will your prospect.
It won’t always be easy to pick up the phone as a new salesperson, especially if you are shy.
There are new things to learn and much you still don’t know.
But if you use the tips above and put them into practice, in 90 days or less you’ll have more confidence, more productive calls with prospects…… and more sales.
And that’s nothing to be afraid of.
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