Your prospects don’t have to be nice to you. 5 mean moves you can counteract when cold-calling

by Shannon F. Busy prospects don’t always appreciate getting your call in the middle of their day. Every salesperson has a cold-calling story about someone who reacted badly to repeated attempts at contact. Here’s how to deal with 5 ways that prospects may behave in a less than civil manner. Your Prospect Ignores Your Calls. Aren’t they ever in their office?! When you’ve made your 7-12 cold-calling attempts and still have not gotten your prospect on the phone, it’s time to accept that he or she may be ignoring your calls. Best Fix: Mix up your approaches. Try sending an email or even a personalized letter. If you use InsightPRM, try sending an instant email from the PRM at the same time as you are leaving a voicemail. Set up your email template to say, “I just called and left a voicemail for you regarding_________. I’d love to have a chance to discuss this with you in person.” Some phone-phobic prospects respond to emails in an instant. Last Resort: Schedule your next follow-up call for a few months out, and try again at that time. Your Prospect Lies to You. You know for a fact that they are moving their office, but they insist they are not in the market for commercial moving services. Chances are that your prospect is withholding the truth in order to get you off the phone. Sound improbable? Consider that the average individual is lied to as many as 200 times in a day. That […]

Know Your Trigger Events for B2B Sales

by Shannon F. If you sell a B2B product or service that depends on perfect timing, you must focus on trigger events that introduce the need for whatever it is that you sell. Every purchase involves a trigger event, but only some purchases can be predicted based on that event. These two types of purchases—purchases that can be predicted based on trigger events and purchases that cannot be predicted—must be handled in two distinct ways. We’ll start with purchases that cannot be predicted. Typically, when a company needs to make a sudden purchase, the decision comes down to particular features and—detrimental to your bottom line—price. Decision-makers research options themselves, not giving you a chance to consult. By the time you arrive at the scene of the bidding war, you are essentially just a number. Unpredictable Purchases For example, someone forgot to water the bonsai tree in the lobby of XYZ Co, and the plant has sadly expired. The decision-maker at XYZ Co quickly researches local nurseries and gathers prices for various bonsais, ranging from $200 to $1000. Your company, a corporate plant service, is among the “bidders.” You may have to sell a bonsai practically at cost in order to win the deal. The benefit to you? You can check in regularly with XYZ Co to see how the bonsai is holding up and charge them to prune it, water it during holiday weekends, etc. You can also convince them that they need bonsais in other areas of the office, […]

Understanding the new buyer process

by Shannon F. As you have likely experienced, today’s business decision-makers rarely turn to salespeople first when they need to make a purchase. They rely instead on the information, guides, and product comparisons they find online. Be honest; you’d rather research a need online instead of first talking to a person who is going to try and sell you their solution. There are some positive benefits to this new level of buyer independence (buyers are savvier and better-informed, so by the time they get to you, they are ready to have a high-level conversation about your product; buyers may find you online and give you a call—that’s a lead you didn’t have to work for!) But in general, salespeople must work harder than ever to compete in this new buyer climate. Here are the cons to buyer independence: -Buyers form strong preferences and requirements in the early stages of realizing a need, defining the need, and researching options. If you are not involved in this discovery process, you will have zero chance to influence the buyer’s vision. -Forrester Research reports: vendors that are involved in the early phases of the buying process (1 through 3 in the graphic above) will get the deal 65% of the time. The problem is: many salespeople are powerless to get involved in the early stages, since buyers purposely exclude them. -By the time the buyer finds you online and contacts you, you’re reduced to a bidder. It’s too late to get in as a […]