Think about the beaver and its dam.
The beaver is strategic, analyzing every day the holes in its house and recognizing weaknesses and areas that can be built larger and stronger. The beaver is tactical by by immediately going to the woods and finding the solution to strengthen and grow its house. The beaver is fearless as it attacks big projects, trees that are thousands of times its size. The beaver is skillful at knowing how to fell a tree, get it to the river upstream so it floats to the dam, and then positions it into the right place in its house to add the needed support and safety. The beaver is hard working, waking up every day and repeating the core processes again to protect and improve its future. (although, as people we get vacations where we pre-plan to take time away from work to recharge.)
What part of your sales strategy, tactics, and fearless attack do you need to do today?
Is it possible to network too much? It depends. We’ve talked here before about how to network and where to network, but not about how much to network. Can you overdo it? Let’s go back to how networking is part of sales strategy and process.
Sales starts with identifying a prospect. For most people, networking is a way to avoid cold calling to identify prospects which is a pretty good reason to network. Cold calling will never be as effective as receiving a phone call from someone who got your name from a networking partner who said you were the person to solve their pressing need. Networking is a tactical way to meet prospects and contacts who can fill your schedule with pre-qualified prospects who want to talk with you.
We network to start the sales process, not get in the way of it. I had a client tell me one time that he was too busy networking to set sales appointments. That’s backwards and very dangerous. You should network as much as it takes to meet enough people to fill your sales schedule—and no more. If you are networking so much that you cannot follow up in a timely fashion, then you are probably not taking advantage of maximizing your new contacts. If you are having trouble fitting sales calls in between your networking meetings, then you are definitely putting the emphasis on the wrong activity. Remember, we network to meet prospects and contacts because without them, it’s really hard to make that monthly sales quota.
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Article by Jeff Bowe
“I can’t sell when I network, I’m there to build relationships.”
“I have lots of one on ones, but no one I meet is a prospect.”
“I network all the time but I just don’t get anything out of it.”
At the risk of upsetting a very large apple cart, it’s time to debunk some myths about networking.
Selling with Your Eyes and Ears
by Jeffrey J. Bowe
Over the past several months, I’ve had the opportunity to travel on sales calls with several clients. It’s always fun to watch someone in action, but it’s also frustrating to see simple lessons forgotten in the heat of the moment. If you want to have better results in your sales calls, here are three things to watch and listen for.
The Two Most Dangerous Words in Sales are Not “No” and “Maybe”
by Jeff Bowe
“No” and “Maybe” are bad words in sales when it comes to getting cash in your pocket, but they pale in comparison to the worst two. Without a doubt, the two most dangerous words in sales are, “I think.” It is not that I do not want sales professionals to think. Rather, I want them to know. I want salespeople to know why their last customer bought from them, why this prospect bought a similar offering from a competitor last time, and how much this prospect will gain from purchasing from them. Why is “I think” so dangerous?
Let’s look at the difference between “I think” and “I know.” The former is a guess of questionable reliability while the latter is a fact that can be substantiated. When you “think” you know the answer to a question, you are hoping that you are right. You are making an assumption. You are playing the lottery that the reason you pick is correct. Just like the lottery, the odds of being right are stacked against you. CONTINUED (The Two Most Dangerous Words in Sales)
Cold calling–those two bone shivering words that 98% of all sales people hate. The goal is to build a networking, referral, and alliance base so that you can avoid making cold calls. If you haven’t yet built that, stay tuned for tips on how or email me for insight right away.
Today I want to talk about cold calling when you already know the other person. “But that’s not a cold call!” you object. Sure it is. How many times has someone that you have met called you, and in the conversation you realize that you don’t know exactly what they do or the results gained by their customers? If it has happened to you as the answerer, it has also happened to you as the dialer.
Today’s tip on cold calling your warm prospects is to purposefully use your framing statement in your call to bridge from pleasantries to why you are really calling–which is to get an appointment to talk with someone who you already know specifically about how you can help them. Since you know the person, you can use that to your advantage. “Joe, you know that we keep business owners out of the secret IRS jail (your multi-purpose framing statement), but we have never talked about how we might be able to keep you out of that jail. Could we spend a few minutes next Tuesday or Thursday talking about that?”
Try this for a week. Call people you know and maybe even those you tried to sell a year or more ago, and start over. Your framing statement is your best line, so lay it on them. It beats starting at A and working towards Z and I bet you will find more appointments and more sales.