The Last Two Hours
Driving back in Southern California traffic from a no-show appointment is the most embarrassing, frustrating, humiliating, debilitating experience a sales person can face, yet it happens on freeways all across the United States every hour of every day and it stinks.
It stinks because it wastes your time, your gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, spews green house gases into the air (that's my shout-out to the tree-huggers reading my blog) and worst of all it crushes your psyche, which, if allowed to continue will drive you out of sales.
How 5 Seconds Can Save You Two Hours, Your Ego, and the Sale
To save anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours or even a day or more* of wasted time and energy prepping for a meeting that will never happen with a prospect that was just jerking your chain you just need 5-7 seconds of guts.
Just 5-7 seconds of having a backbone during every prospecting call will save you hours every week.
Here's how it works:
Prospecting can be a drag but it is punctuated by the occasional success where a hard-working sales person actually reaches someone that appears to be a prospect, a qualified prospect and, when the stars are aligned, they even seem to be a decision-making, qualified prospect. (Miracles of miracles!)
After some fundamental features and benefits Q&A and a little chit chat the typical salesperson utters something quite ingenious such as,
"I'll be in your area tomorrow or Friday. Would you mind if I stopped by to put a face to a name and drop off some literature."
(While this is NOT the best way to conduct a prospecting call I'll address that in a later post. For now, let's give you brownie points for
- Reaching a live body, and
- Having a semi-literate discussion with that prospect.
At this point some prospects will give you a fake/legitimate excuse that they won't be in during those times or they'll say,
"Sure. Come on by. I should be in."
NOW'S the time to grow a spine and say these words,
"Great, Mr. Prospect, should I pencil you in for 2 pm on Friday or should I write it in ink?"
That question will take between 3-4 seconds to squeeze out and it will cut your no-shows by 80-99% (emergencies will always pop up from time to time so nothing is 100%.)
When the prospect stammers out or even chuckles and confirms you can write it in ink you conclude with, "Fantastic. I'll be on time," which takes another 1.5-3 seconds, bringing your total "spine time" to somewhere between 4.5 and 7 seconds.)
You conclude with that last sentence for two reasons:
- To hold yourself accountable.
- To stand out in the mind of your prospect because I promise you he's never heard that from any other sales person that calls on him or her daily.
To survive, thrive and succeed in sales you must differentiate yourself or you're forced to compete on price. (I wrote about the pain and suffering of competing on price and the benefits of making quality products the market place wants.)
If you'd like to accelerate your path to profound profitability give me a shout. I'll gladly share my Rolodex to get you in touch with the expert(s) you need to reach, exceed and even set your goals, which is the first step in your new journey of gutsy sales.
One night over drinks, a sales rep from a Fortune 50 company that retained me to help deliver a series of two-day training sessions on sales processes and CRM utilization, admitted that he had boarded planes and flown halfway across the country to see key prospects that stood him up and he was not alone.
This came up because during that day's training session I mentioned how much more diligent I was at asking numerous, detailed, even "tough" questions of prospects because all travel time and expenses came out of my own bottom line as the owner of my business. When every dollar is your own and you have a family to feed you get down to the nitty-gritty every time or you starve. And if you know me you know I like my food!
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:
- Make Every Sale
- Hire The Best Keynote Speaker
- Infusionsoft Review
- HubSpot vs Infusionsoft
- Ontraport vs Infusionsoft