Expandmenu Shrunk


  • Tag Archives sales training
  • Closing is a Series of Stoplights

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Does this frustrating situation sound familiar? You get to the end of your presentation and ask, “What do you think?” Or, “Do you want to move forward?” Then, your prospect responds with “Sounds good, but I’ll need to think about it.”

    You did not get the prospect to move forward because you did not create enough momentum to get your prospect over the proverbial fence. Your prospect is left on the fence and you are left without a signed agreement in hand and nothing in your pocket.

    • To create the momentum that you need, one technique that works is the yes-momentum close. It is a series of questions designed to create momentum. The first question in the series is often a general yes question. This is a question to which you know the answer is going to be “yes.” And, you got it- the point is to build momentum.
    • The second question that you ask may be an alternative choice question. When you give people a choice of two positives, whatever they pick is fine with you. It is a question of how they will move forward rather than if they will move forward.
    • Next, you can ask a tie-down question. A tie-down question is a selling statement with a little hook on it, to get you to agree with the selling statement. The “hook” may sound like: “wouldn’t you agree,” “isn’t it,” “don’t you,” “right,” “aren’t you,” etc.
    • Last, you might ask a boomerang question. A boomerang question is when you respond to a question with another question. For example, at the end of the of the presentation, if your prospect is over the buying line and you have started to take them down this closing funnel, and they then ask you “how much is it,” you may answer with a question, “as long as it fits in the budget does this sound like something you would like to move forward with?” If they say “yes,” they have essentially said yes to working with you.

    Now, all you need to do is use an assumptive close and say, “Well, to get started, I just need to get your okeedokee right here.” If you take your prospect down this closing funnel, they are agreeing on minor points along the way to make the major point of working with you a foregone conclusion.

    Closing is never just one question that you ask at the end of the presentation. Closing is a series of incrementally more committal questions that funnels someone logically to a point of agreement. Think of it like a series of stoplights. If you get a green light you go to the next question. If you get a red light then they are a “no,” and you can stop. If you get a yellow light, then you have an objection to answer. Take someone through a series of questions rather than just asking one scary big “do you want to do this” kind of a question. Make closing feel smooth an natural by using yes momentum.

     

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • THREE REASONS WHY YOU DON’T GET REFERRALS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Anyone reading this would agree that referrals are a good thing. Referrals that trickle in because someone heard about you from one of your clients don’t come often enough.

    There are 3 reasons why you don’t get enough referrals:

    1. You don’t ask
    2. You ask passively
    3. You ask incorrectly

    Here is a list of common reasons given for why you didn’t ask for referrals:

    “I shouldn’t have to ask. If I do a good job, people will refer me.”

    “I don’t want to come across as pushy or salesy.”

    “I ran out of time before my next appointment.”

    “I’ll ask later. I need to earn their trust first.”

    “If I ask, I will look like I need the business. I want to look successful.”

    They are all rationalizations- rational sounding lies believed to be true. The truth is professionals make time to ask for referrals and they do it in a way that the client actually gets excited to help them.

    YOU MUST ASK FOR REFERRALS!

    Some people ask but are fearful. Fear causes you to ask passively or ask with trepidation: “I really appreciate referrals. If you think of anyone who would benefit from what I do, please connect them to me.” You mention that you like referrals. You don’t ask for them directly. You don’t get them.

    YOU MUST EXPECT TO ACTUALLY COLLECT REFERRALS WHEN YOU ASK!

    Others don’t ask for referrals correctly. You ask, “Do you know of anyone who. . .” You actually set yourself up to get “I can’t think of anyone right now, but I will let you know if I do.”

    Other objections you get when they ask poorly include:

    • I need to think about it.” “Can you call me next week?” “I’ll get back to you.”
    • The “Hermit” objection: “I don’t know anyone.”
    •  “Sure you can call him, but just don’t use my name.” “Let me talk to  him first.” “I’ll have him call you.”
    • “I don’t give referrals.”

    Referral

    YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR REFERRALS THE RIGHT WAY!

    Here are just a few tips that we teach at Southwestern Consulting:

    • Always ask “who do you know who . . . “ instead of  “do you know anyone who. . . ” or “is there anyone who. . .?”
    • Pause after you ask to allow them time to think. Break eye contact. And, look down at your paper ready to write.
    • Use memory joggers. For example, there are certain life events that trigger people to think about insurance. Anyone who is getting married, buying a new house, buying a new car, having a kid, retiring, or changing jobs is a great prospect. Ask who they know in each of these categories.

    The number one way to get referrals is to give someone any opportunity to give them to you. If you are not asking, start there. Then, work on your attitude. You must expect to collect names and numbers. Next, use the above techniques. You will be amazed by how many referrals you get!

     

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • Ice Melting Lines

    ice meltingGuest Post By: Dave Brown

    Have you ever felt a little awkward after that first five seconds of an initial sales conversation? Using those “Hey, how you doing?” mundane type of initial phrases that lead to you just talking over your prospect and not making a quick connection. I hear and see it all the time!

    Everyday initial conversations starters DO NOT work in the selling world, and DO NOT forward your sales conversation. If you’re wondering why you’re not growing, as you should be in sales, this may help you break through. Shake things up a bit. Make your lead in phrases you!

    Where do we start?

    Bring your personality into it…literally your personality!

    Examples:

    • “Hey is this John Smith? Great, do you have 79 seconds for me really quickly?”
    • “John, I’ve been trying to catch you for months I literally thought you were    kidnapped man, were you kidnapped?”
    • “Hey John, this is Dave, are you ready for this?”
    • “John, how is your office staff running over there today? (don’t let them respond) Who’s winning, you or them?”

    Shake things up then lead into what you are doing and what you’re calling about. You’re melting away the tension that could exist when you use those icebreaking lines that can immediately connect you with your prospect because you’re different. If you are a prospecting master, you are an “ice-melter” with these types of initial phrases!

    Let me leave you with your prospecting golden nugget for the week…

    When prospecting, be YOU. Nobody in this world has your design. Daily you choose to cater to the world, or make it your masterpiece. Make it your masterpiece when you are prospecting today. Get out there and melt the tension, use your ice melting lines to get in and connect with your prospect quickly.

    What are some of the ice melting lines you have used? Tweet them to me @davebrown_swc #meltingtheice #southwesternconsulting

     

    Dave Brown is a senior partner and executive level coach at Southwestern Consulting and author of the upcoming book Painless Prospecting. Dave was a record breaking salesman for Southwestern Advantage, knocking on over 50,000 doors before the age of 25. He has spoken and trained over 100,000 sales professionals across the globe with Southwestern Consulting.


  • Without Vision People Perish – Tonight’s FREE CALL !!!

    Members of the Southwestern Consulting™ team will deliver a motivational message on vision tonight – May 09, 2013. This call is free so join us! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best!


  • FREE TRAINING: Mastering Your First Impression Conversation

    conference_call_xsmall3

    Just in case you missed last month’s sales training conference call, we are making it available to you here!  Each month Southwestern Consulting™ brings together our finest Top Producers to train on today’s most relevant sales topics.  These calls are free and you don’t want to miss out on these opportunities to learn from the absolute best.  Some of our past topics include closing, referrals, prospecting with LinkedIn, follow-up and selling with social media.

    Listen to last month’s call on Mastering Your First Impression Conversation When Selling:


  • Sales Tips: 5 Scripts to Handle Blow Off Objections

    From: Dew Tinnin

    Dew Tinnin

    When I started my sales career, I was given a script and I started dialing. Like most salespeople, I was given basic scripts to handle common objections like price. But I wasn’t trained on how to overcome blow off objections – the lame excuses I heard when someone was just trying to blow me off.

    • “Send me some information.”
    • “I’m happy in my current situation.”
    • “I need some time to think about it.”

    I lost deal after deal until I finally learned how to keep from being blown off. Just like any objection, the best way to overcome the blow off is to write out a power statement script that is in your own words. I’ve started some sample scripts for you – feel free to take these and make them your own.

    1. “Can you just send me some information?”

    “Absolutely, what’s your email address? Now [name], I want to be absolutely sure that the information I send you is what you’re looking for. If you were in my situation sending information to you, what would you be sure to include?”

    For the rest of these tips visit Sales Coach Dew’s blog here.


  • Sales Tips: Characteristics of a Great Closer

    From: Gary Michels

    Gary MichelsAll great sales closers have a few things in common. They are:

    1. Great closers have a burning desire to close the sale. They know that closing one additional sale per day, per week, or even per month will greatly increase their income. As I have traveled around the country with great closers, I have noticed that they often have a score sheet on the wall or in their car and they can’t wait to fill in the numbers after closing the sale.
    1. Great closers really believe that their prospect is going to buy. Believing the customer will buy and selling with conviction greatly increases your chance of making the sale. Great closers expect success. They don’t think it was just “their lucky day.” In the car on the way to the presentation, they do a lot of positive self-talk, assuming the person is definitely going to buy. They say things like: “I am now pulling into the parking lot of my next big client!”, “I know that I have the best product and the best price for this customer, at this time. Now I will prove it to be true!”
    1. Great closers are sincere. People can tell when you are not sincere. Sincerity will always sell more than anything you do, and your lack of sincerity will almost always kill the deal. Look people directly in their eyes and tell them how it really is. Listen and really care about what they are trying to accomplish.
    1. Great closers talk low and slow. When you are calm and talk low and slow, your prospect will listen and believe you. If you talk too fast in a high pitched voice, you come across as pushy and tend to sound like someone they cannot trust.
    1. Great closers keep the close simple. Your prospect must fully understand what you are talking about.
    1. Great closers ask a lot of questions that will elicit a positive response. The more you get prospects saying “yes” during your presentation, the more likely they are to say “yes” during the close.
    1. Great closers realize the importance of names and examples. They will “name drop” appropriately throughout the closing process. Once again, remember that the close is supposed to be a natural ending to your presentation that makes people feel comfortable to move forward. By using names of other people whom they know, you subtly make them feel comfortable because they feel they are not taking such a huge risk. After all, others they know have done well with your product or service, and so should they.
    1. Great closers never argue with their prospects. They agree with objections and continue closing the sale. Whenever they must disagree with a prospect, they do it in a light, agreeable way. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is: “If I win the argument, I lose the sale!”
    1. Great closers never lose their cool. They let customers upset them occasionally, but they never show it. They always keep their voice low and a friendly expression on their face. If you get the reputation as a friendly sales rep, you can more easily build a large client base. Remember, more often than not, if people like you, they will overlook some of the bad points of your product or service.
    1. Great closers are politely persistent. They are not overbearing, yet they give prospects a number of chances to buy before judging whether or not the sale will actually happen. The key here is to walk the fine line of trying a little harder to get the sale without the prospect feeling any pressure from you.
    1. Great closers leave people happy. They make sure their prospects are in a good frame of mind before they leave. They want to brighten people’s day. They are also aware that their reputation precedes them in the community. Additionally, they know that by leaving prospects happy, they, too, will be happier, thus increasing their chance of making a sale at the next appointment. When I walk out the door of a prospect or client, I always say to myself: “I hope he or she thinks I am a cool guy!” If the prospect thinks that, I will likely get to work with that person at some point in the future.

    To learn more about Gary Michels visit his website here.


  • Building a Strong Company Culture – JOIN US THURSDAY 5/10 ON OUR MONTHLY CONFERENCE CALL

    JOIN US FOR OUR MONTHLY SALES TRAINING
    TELESEMINAR THURSDAY, MAY 10

    TOPIC: Building A Strong Company Culture

    Featuring Sales Experts:
    Gary Michels, Amanda Johns, Kitty Barrow

    The Southwestern Consulting’s Top Producers share tips that will give you the edge over your competitors – The TOP PRODUCER’S EDGE!  Take control of your own success.  Develop super sales skills.


    DIAL IN:  712-432-0404 (code 555575#)

    Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM EST
    (7:00 PM CST, 6:00 PM MST, 5:00 PM PST)

    LIVE Q&A DURING CALL ON FACEBOOK FANPAGE

    Gary Michels – Building a Clear V.I.S.I.O.N in Your Business
    Amanda Johns – Creating Loyalty by Creating Opportunity
    Kitty Barrow – Beginning With the End in Mind

    For more information on our Sales Experts, Click Here.

    ALSO join us on our Facebook Fan page for LIVE Q & A during the call at www.facebook.com/southwesternconsulting

    The dial in phone number is 712-432-0404 (enter code 555575#)

    Limited to the first 100 callers!


  • Facebook Timeline for Pages: Guide to understanding the new changes!

    Main Facebook Page Changes Effective 2/29/12
    “Mission control for your business on Facebook”

    In the words of Facebook: Pages are the essential place on Facebook for businesses to build connections with people. It’s where you connect with fans by announcing new products, sharing news, and gathering feedback. Your Page is also where you create unique brand content that can become ads and sponsored stories. It’s the core place for businesses to manage their posting and advertising content.

     

    Pages allow you to:
    1. Express your identity with features like cover photo and Page timeline.
    2. Reach and engage your audience on the web and on mobile.
    3. Respond to people in a quick, more personal way.

    <DRUM ROLL> The changes:

    1. You Can No Longer LAND on a Custom Landing Page or Tab! Welcome pages and tabs still exist, but you can no longer default to land on any tabs. As with the timeline on your profile your photos and apps show in the central section in boxes, which means we can add a nice looking graphic to our Welcome pages and tabs to encourage people to click on them. Here’s what FB say about the central boxes:
    Photos, likes and apps are now at the top of your Page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first.

    2. Cover Photo. This is the large picture at top of your screen. This is where your page branding can be done. Facebook has placed many restrictions on what you can and can’t have on your cover photo:

    Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain: Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website” Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

     

    3. Your Profile Picture which will initially be the top part of your avatar must be square and at least 180px wide. It should also be scalable to 32×32, because it shows up in many other places (posts, ads, etc.).

    This entire picture is the avatar (180x540px). The part taken for your Profile Picture will only be the top 180×180 (see the red square).

    4. You Can Pin Posts to the Top of Your Wall. You can now move posts to the top of your wall and have it remain there for 7 days. You just hover over the post with your cursor and a pencil appears, you click it and there will be a choice of items: Pin to Top, Change Date, Reposition Photo, Hide from Page, Delete Post, Mark as Spam. This is a great feature, b/c your important post stays visible for as long as you’d like. The other option you will see when hovering over the post is a star. When you click the star, you can feature your post because it covers the width of your page so it’s double-wide and draws attention.

    5. There’s a new admin panel. Everything is in one place. You can see your notifications, new likes, insights and the new private messages that people can now send you from your page. From your admin panel you will also see the Manage button which gives you access to the main editing section of your page (Basic Info, Manage Permissions, Apps and so on). Not much has changed in there apart from the Manage Permissions section which no longer has the default landing tab section. Also from the admin panel, you can access Facebook ads, a function to share your page and to invite friends, plus access to ‘help’.

    6. You can now get Messages on pages. Your fans can message you directly on the Facebook Page. The messages will show within your admin panel and you can respond from there. This is a HUGE because you can now message, individually, your fans. There is real two-way communication!

    7. Tab Pages are now BIGGER. The official size is 520px wide and unlimited length. Tabs were the items that were listed under your profile picture before (videos, blog, YouTube, questions, etc.). Now they are under the Cover Photo and larger. Only 4 appear at a time and the others are available in a drop down menu. These can be moved around, but the PICTURES tab cannot be moved. This is where all of your “old pages” will appear, including your Welcome or Landing Page.

    8. You will AUTOMATICALLY get the new design on March 30th. So jump and play around and make the most of it, because it’s coming whether we like it or not!

    Why do need to know about social media? That’s where the people are. As a sales professional, you are continually seeking to meet new people. You attend networking events, you are cold calling, you place ads, you put a listing in the yellow pages, and you create flyers all as a way to meet new people to build relationships with, to become prospects, referrals, and business partners. The main function of social media is to meet people. “Your customers hang out in social networks.” – Seth Godin

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to email at [email protected] or post a comment below and we’ll help you in the transition. If you want more information on Selling with Social Media, email us for more information on some upcoming workshops.

    Dawn Beauvais

    Social Media Marketing Consultant


  • CREATE A BUYING ATMOSPHERE

    How to create a buying atmosphere

    We’ve talked about how building trust is a crucial facet of selling. So, how do you make someone like and trust you? At the Southwestern Company they teach how you need to create a “buying atmosphere”–a non-pressured environment that allows your prospect to open up their mind and allow you to truly demonstrate the value of your product or service.

    Creating a “buying atmosphere” can be established in a sales situation by using statements such as “Well, Erin what I’m going to do is show you how this works, and if you like what you see that’s great…but if it’s not a fit, that’s no big deal. I just want to make sure you understand how it works. Does that sound fair?”

    Any time you feel like you are over pressuring the client be sure to use a buying atmosphere statement like the one above or even something as simple as “if you like it, great. If not, no problemo.” The sales experience shouldn’t mimic that of a used car lot. It should be the kind of atmosphere that encourages discussion, fosters relationships and builds trust. ALWAYS create a buying atmosphere that keeps both parties comfortable and engaged.

    DUSTIN HILLIS