THE NEXT QUESTION

right question“We are currently having issues with our supplier on…” You think: “Great! I now have something in which to make us look better than the competition.” You think this because you have yet to achieve the art of the next question.

Questions form the solid base to any sales calls. This should now be entrenched in everyone’s mind. The question then becomes, what kind of questions should you be asking?

I wish I could give you a list of questions to ask, but I cannot. Every situation is different, every prospect/client is also different and every industry is unique in its own right. However, this does not mean you should not have questions ready to ask.

SAY IT

say itConfucius said: “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Why is that?

There are many times during a session of The Action Suite I get: “Joe, it can’t be that simple.” to which I reply: “Yes, it truly is.”

There are so many out there in the area of sales that are expounding all sorts of techniques and tricks as well as manipulative ways to get to the bottom of what the prospect may be thinking or feeling. Here is a thought; ask.

VERBALLY VOMITING ON YOUR PROSPECTS

VERBAL VOMITAs most of you know, I am a voracious reader and I love to read business books primarily to do with leadership and business development.

I recently picked up a book on a new sales program and how to implement it. With most of these books, I can glean a nugget or two and think about it how it can enhance my own program. This book, not so much.

However, I took the book and read the part where it stated what you should do if someone asks: “What do you do?” After reading the two paragraphs to my group in The Action Suite, there were some interesting reactions.

BEST TIME TO MAKE THE CALL

making the callI have been asked many times: “Joe, when is it the best time to make a cold call?”

Dr. James Oldroyd, from the Kellog School of Management in studying over a million cold calls from approximately 50 companies came up with a few observations:

  • Thursdays are the best day to call.
  • Friday is the worst day to call.
  • Between 8 am and 9 am are the best followed by 4 pm to 5 pm.
  • The worst time to call is between 1 pm and 2 pm.

With all due respect to Dr. Oldroyd, I am going to have to disagree for the following reasons:

  • How many industries were the 50 companies in? Was there a good cross section from high end IT products, to manufacturing machinery as well as simple commodity retail products?
  • Is the best day and time to call dependent on industry-specific organizations or even the level of the person that you may be attempting to connect with? By the way, if you are trying to connect with the purchasing agent, you are wasting your time. Therefore, stop it!
  • Was there consistency as to the objective/outcome for making the call.

I would like to provide a concept of the best time and day to place a call. What opportunities are you uncovering by not making the call? Go ahead take a minute to think of the answer. Right, there are no bad times or days to make calls. However, there are really bad times and days for not making the calls.

This goes also for special times of the year. I would like to share a personal story. Back in my corporate life my team and I were selling construction marking and measuring systems and commodity items. The summer months were thought of as a dead time as everyone had already purchased everything they needed and were being productive at work and further, had no time to talk to us. Generally speaking, September was the next time that everyone got a big rush of orders to get the projects done before the weather closed it down.

Summertime is where my team and I put the pedal to the metal for a couple of reasons:

  • First, everyone always runs out of something and as long as you are front of mind they will always call you first.
  • Secondly, because you were there during the summer and planted all the seeds, who do you think they are calling in September for the big fill in last push order?

We did exactly the same thing over the Christmas holiday period. When it came time to start up again, who do you think they called? Also, a lot of companies have leftover budgets that they need to spend at the end of the year, but how many of us fall into the trap of: “There is no business over Christmas.” Decembers were some of my highest months throughout my career.

You will never know the right day or time for your industry unless you actually make the call. However, make sure you are ready to make the call. If you waste their time and have no objective or goal for the call, all you will do is annoy a potential client. Is that something you really want to do?

We invite you to join The Action Suite to make sure you are prepared as you can be to make the call that has to be made in order to turn that prospect into a happy, loyal and satisfied client.

By the way, the answer to the question asked at the beginning is always: “Right now.”

LET’S TALK

lets-talk_origMore and more business is being done from the comfort of home while wearing an old pair of sweat pants, t-shirt and favorite slippers. However, in my opinion (three words that always get me in trouble), I have noticed not only the proliferation of the number of emails that I get offering me programs and training but that people are trying to have a verbal conversation, digitally. Newsflash; you are annoying your potential customer.

“I SELL FUN.”

i-sell-funThe last time someone asked you: “What do you do?” How did you answer? If you got an answer such as “Oh.” In all likelihood, they did not resonate with you and that individual has officially tuned out. The reasons are many such as: no need, no interest or even, no money. However, it could also be that you verbally ‘vomited’ all over them and now they are just looking for an escape route to get away from you.