Why Sellers Should Never Give Up
<b>(by Sean Luce)</b>
The average sales call is closed after 5.3 calls/attempts. Most sales reps never get past the first few calls, nor do they have the determination to keep working on a qualified business prospect. A rep will simply quit. In many cases, they are so close to the finalizing sale. The same can be said for prospecting. Having more than one arrow in your quiver can be a key to getting the appointment with a busy owner/manager. Whether it is a market of 3 million people or 3,000 people, the rules are the same. A sales rep needs to rise above the clutter and be different than other reps when trying to set an appointment. This point is especially important for media sales. I have found over the years that the more knowledgeable a business is about marketing, the tougher it will be to get an appointment. I want to share some ideas I have on how to set up those tough appointments.
Recently, I was riding in the field with a rookie named Brent. He is one of the few new reps that could repeat everything that we discussed. He was also diligent in knowing his product. As I was training in another market, I thought of Brent and his fellow trainees. I decided to send them an email. In the email, I talked about what distinguishes a “sustaining resource” sales rep from all of the other reps. A sustaining resource rep is in the top 1% of all sales reps. I also described some of the techniques that make the sustaining resource rep different from those reps who put in the “hours.”
Here is the email thread from the past couple weeks…
Subject: Seeding articles
Have you used RAB.com yet to find some seeding articles? How many seeding articles have you sent out? Go to research and hit articles on demand. I prefer to go to the right hand side and use the Quick Find categories. Look for the most recent article that applies to the targeted business that you are prospecting. For existing customers, check out the articles that show you are educating yourself on the customer’s industry. Check out Luce Performance Group Module 4 for exact ways to seed a prospect and client.
I used to work on seeding articles from 7am to 8am every day. In my sales rep heyday, I sent 30 per week. Each article was highlighted in yellow with a simple note. Make sure to hand address the envelope. It is the personal touches that make the difference, and always hand stamped. The letter should always be stamped then lick it with a kiss and send it off to the prospect. The letter will go through the gatekeeper and right into the hands of your prospect or client.
I'm teaching new reps here in Missouri how to bust through the clutter to get appointments. I want the reps to set themselves apart from other reps that just use the phone and email. I'm taking them to the local auto parts store to pick up some dice, and to a local men’s store to get some socks. Why might you ask are we doing such crazy things? We are doing it to rise above the clutter, and let them know we mean business. We aren't afraid to go the extra mile to earn time in front of a prospect for an appointment.
I suggest including the following note with the dice: “Please be assured that you won't be gambling with KCAL when I bring you my great ideas!” This is the note that I suggest sending with the socks: I have an idea here at KCAL that will knock your socks off. Here's another pair, so you have some extras.
Of course those notes are handwritten and put in a small box. You can either hand deliver to the prospect or mail the box to them. Mail is cool and seldom used by the competition. The client will love it, and it gets you the appointment 90% of the time. Next, you use your knowledge to stay in front of the prospect, and secure the money to help them increase their business. Go to work!
Here is the email that I received from Brent shortly thereafter:
A couple weeks ago I read an e-mail you sent a few of us here at the KCAL/KOLA family, and I decided to act on some of the advice within the message. I had been seeding a car dealership and after your e-mail I drew the conclusion to step up my game. I went out and bought a pair of dress socks, put them in a priority mail flat rate envelope with a message, “I have an idea here at KCAL that will knock your socks off. Here is another pair so you have extras.” I called two days later and spoke with the secretary. The G.M. loved the humor. However, I still couldn’t get through to him. A couple days later I sent the dice, letting him know he’s not gambling with KCAL. Tried calling again and still straight to voicemail. Well after 3 seeding articles, a pair of socks, some dice and $27 to the post office later I said, “heck with it.” I drove down there, introduced myself to a sales man (he knew who I was because of the socks) and he found the G.M. for me. I was able to speak to him for about 2 minutes as he was on his way to a meeting, but in that 2 minutes I got an appointment to come back 2 days later at 11:10.
Sean Note: I think anyone can sell someone something once. I think very few get up to bat and get the chance to make that sale. Here’s to the Students of the Game!
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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