4 Little Sales Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

by Shannon Fandler Not to make you paranoid or anything, but we’re guessing that you regularly make at least one of these 4 mistakes. The scary part: at some point in your career, you’ve probably failed to close a big deal due to a seemingly minor offence. So to increase your awareness (and keep you obsessively checking yourself) here are 4 slip-ups we see a lot. 1. Getting a detail wrong. If you’re in a hurry (and who isn’t!) it’s easy to write an email to Dear Daniel instead of Dear Danielle, use Mrs. instead of Ms., or otherwise slip up on a small but important detail. Errors happen, but you can avoid ruffled feathers by triple-checking the prospect’s full name, gender, and the name of the company. It’s worth the extra couple of seconds. If you aren’t sure, check Linkedin; your contact’s profile is sure to have the correct details. 2. Asking an unnecessary question. Imagine how many times your prospect has repeated his key company stats! With a little digging around online, there’s no need to ask basic questions like “What do you do?” and “How many employees do you have?” Too many sales reps fail to get to the point quickly, because they are establishing preliminary facts. Thorough pre-call research can help you arrive at solutions based on the prospect’s company size and industry before you even pick up the phone. 3. Forgetting to get permission. If the prospect is annoyed that you interrupted her, those feelings […]

Question of the Month: How do I call a leads list without feeling pushy?

by Shannon F. So you’ve been given a leads list of companies planning an office move. If you’re a moving company or an organization that provides office furniture, equipment, and services, this is actionable information that could have lucrative results – but you lack confidence when pursuing these prospects because they didn’t disclose their information directly to you. You would hate to come off as pushy or invasive. The truth is: top sales reps buy as many lead lists as they can get their hands on. Effective salespeople know they should keep adding lead sources until they can’t handle any more, but they also know that there’s a right and a wrong way to handle prospects who did not directly disclose TO YOU their plans, needs, and intent to buy. 1. Be selective. Scrutinize the leads list to see which prospects are a good fit. By doing your research ahead of time, you won’t waste time pursuing leads that are outside of your territory, too small, or otherwise not a good prospect for you. 2. Try to find a better contact in the company. Do you have an associate or friend who knows someone in the organization you are approaching? See if you can get an introduction. The rule that people do business with friends (not strangers) still holds. 3. The first time you contact a lead, you should NEVER try to sell. Send an email with free information, suggest a blog post or article that might be helpful, or […]

Question of the Month: How many times do I have to call to get an appointment?

by Shannon F. The numbers may surprise you, but they’re really true: 80% of sales are made after the 5th through 12th attempt. A common beginner mistake after receiving a leads list is to call each contact once or twice and then let it go; in fact, only 12% of salespeople persist after the third attempt. Unfortunately, one or two calls will barely register with your prospect. Think about how many times you need to be introduced to a particular brand before it immediately comes to your mind when you have a need. (According to an early advertising guide, 20 times is the magic number.) The Right Attitude Keep in mind that your prospect is, at best, distracted and, at worst, overcommitted, stressed out, and struggling with a fragmented attention span. Those are merely the realities of the workplace today. In many cases your first call won’t be lucky enough to catch the prospect on a good day. You may be sent straight to voicemail, which is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be hung up on or lied to. It is essential to believe that your prospects need your product or service and that it is your duty to help them improve the way they run their business. Without confidence in the importance of what you have to offer, it can be difficult to make the 5 to twelve – or more – prospecting calls that you need to set an appointment and close the deal. Is the […]

Question of the Month: How Do I Write a Better Prospecting Email?

by Shannon F. Almost everyone has room for improvement when it comes to writing an effective sales email. If you don’t have a marketing department to help you strategize in this area, you may feel a bit lost—after all, sales is your area of expertise, and perhaps you don’t know the finer points of crafting a compelling paragraph. It’s not as hard as you think. We’ll cover 5 common missteps and show you how to correct them. Before long, your emails will be soaring through spam filters and delighting your prospects. Misstep #1 Salesy or spammy language If you’re sending emails like this one, you may be in trouble: Dear Benjamin Klein, Want to save money on your phone bill? Cut costs the easy way. Call ABC Telecom today to get a free quote. The email above makes a few mistakes. For one, it auto-fills Benjamin Klein’s first AND last name, making it pretty obvious that you are sending a generic email template. The body of the email also uses the kind of language that triggers spam filters and also makes the prospect unlikely to give it a second glance; “save money,” “cut costs,” “easy,” and “free,” should be used sparingly, and never all at once. The biggest fault of the email is that it fails to build trust or engage the prospect. A better version of this email might sound like this: Hello Benjamin, I just wanted to reach out and invite you to an informative webinar we are […]

Check out our booth at Neocon East!

We’d love to meet you in person at the the premier design expo and conference for commercial interiors on the East Coast. Visit us on Wednesday, October 15th and Thursday, October 16th at the Baltimore Convention Center. Furniture dealers and manufacturers: ask us how you can close more deals with our integrated lead management and engagement marketing system.

What should I do when my prospect lies to me about their trigger event?

In the past, we’ve discussed how trigger events such as an office move are the best indicators of an impending purchase. But what happens when a prospect refuses to admit that the trigger event is actually happening? This is a customer scenario that we see frequently:


Sales Rep Bob contacts a confirmed office relocation lead, and the company (let’s call them ABC Co.) promptly tells him: “You’re the fifth salesperson to contact me today. I don’t know where you got your information, but we’re not moving our business.” Sales Rep Bob becomes discouraged and assumes that ABC Co. is telling the truth: they’re not moving. He gives up on the lead. Several months later, ABC Co. relocates their office, using the services of Bob’s competitor.