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5 Easy Trip & Tricks to Keep Your Business Thriving Through the Holidays

Five Easy Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Business Thriving Through the Holidays

Some businesses wait all year for the holiday buying season. Black Friday actually derives its name from this! It is called Black Friday because it was at that point during the fiscal year that a typical company went from the “red” (losing money) to the “black” (making money).

Other businesses are lacking at that time of year because potential customers are spending their money on gifts and decorations and travel instead of the more “boring” things like a new roof, appliances, new flooring and so forth.

Utilize the power of your customers being in the buying mood and make a ton of money while helping your customers too!

1. Customers WANT to buy during the holiday season!holiday-sale-shopping

People are in a buying mood. They are bombarded everywhere with sales and deals! Use this to your advantage! It should be obvious but so many small businesses just don’t do it! Create a Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) campaign! Have holiday specials! Give a free gift with purchase!

For a small business, your budget is limited but something as simple (and cheap!) as free gift wrap goes a long way! This can work for any product. Selling new appliances? How about a free saucepan to complement that stove?  Selling flooring,  a nice welcome mat would be a great “buy now” gift!

2. Give potential customers free gifts to just listen to your sales pitch or test out your product

The trick is to have the freebie be in sync with your product. Your clients love free gifts! It can be challenging to get customers to honor appointments this time of year but you would be surprised what they will do for something free! It’s not an accident that banks are known for giving away free blenders for opening an account. It’s marketing and it works! Own a salon? How about a free sample size shampoo with every wet cut? Does your company sell furniture? You could offer free delivery.

You can use this technique at any time, but to tie it in with the gift-giving season, call it your “Holiday Special”. It’s “your gift to them”!

2. Change your telemarketing or telemarketer phone script for the season

In order to get the most results during this time of year, cover the holiday objection before your prospect even brings it up! Try using something like this:

“Prospect, we know it is the holiday season and you are busy! We are too! What we are doing for our customers who do XYZ right now is offering THIS REALLY COOL FREEBIE! We know you could definitely use it this time of year. I have an appointment available at this DATE/TIME or this DATE/TIME. Which is better for you?”

We have used this to give away free a free ham or turkey right before Thanksgiving with HUGE results! All the prospect christmas_giftshad to do was listen to our quick 45 minute sales pitch and they got a $25.00 gift card to Wal-Mart to get their ham or turkey.

We will be doing the same thing right before Christmas as well. The only change to the phone script will be “just for taking a peek at our product, we will be bringing you out a gift card for a free ham or turkey or would you prefer a $25.00 Wal-Mart stocking stuffer card?”

It is the SAME EXACT card but it changes the potential customer from thinking whether or not they want the sales call to what free gift they want when we do our presentation.

3. Train your sales representatives to explain how having your product or service HELPS them during the holidays!

Regardless of what product or service you offer, I am sure you can find a benefit to having that product or getting that service before the holiday. For example, do you sell cars? How about taking that road trip to see grandma in a brand new model instead of that tired old one? What if you are a massage therapist? Wouldn’t a nice, relaxing massage help you unwind before you go visit your mother in-law?

Find a benefit and sell it!

4. Give back to the community!
My company typically runs a food or toy drive for charity during the holiday season. For each presentation, we allot a minimal amount to go to that charity. It all adds up by the end of the month! We then present the donation to the appropriate charity with a BIG CHECK and have their picture taken. This not only gives back to your community but it also helps your company maintain a positive reputation in your area. You may even get some publicity out of it! For Veteran’s Day, we teamed up with Sports Clips on the “Help a Hero” project. They came to the office for the big check (and the real one) and will be featuring our company as one of the contributors to their fund raising efforts. .

 

Sales is supposed to be fun! If you, as the sales manager or business owner, gets stressed out over the holidays, your sales team will too!

Plan to have a successful holiday sales campaign, put it into place and then go have fun selling!

7 Telemarketing & Appointment Setting Tricks That Work!

Seven Proven Telemarketing & Appointment Setting Tricks That Work!

Are you having trouble getting your telemarketers or sales people to set appointments? Try out these proven methods to get immediate results for your business!

1. Act like you already know them.
Your script should read like this:
“Hey, ________ (prospect)?!?! (sound like you would when calling your friends!). You don’t know me but this is __________ (your name) from (your company) and I was calling you about _______ (objective of phone call).

The purpose of this is to catch them off guard. If someone calls me on my cell or at the office and asks to speak to “Mrs. Smith” I am immediately putting my guard up. If someone calls me and says, “hey Mary?!?!!!” I think I already know them. That is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to phone work.

2. Smile!
I know this sounds simplistic but it is so important I had to include it. You project what you are thinking whether you like it or not. Imagine your mom calls you. All she does is say “hello”. It is easy for you to tell by the tone and timbre of her voice if she is upset, excited, nervous or scared. The same thing goes for you. A smile transfers over the phone. Smile. Every single phone call.

3. Dress for Success
You don’t have to put on a full suit and tie but if you are trying to make phone calls in your pajamas, that reads over the phone. If you are dressed for work, it shows! It is the tiny nuances in phone calls that can spell disaster or success. This is one of those tiny things that makes a big difference. I love my PJs as much (or more) than the next guy but I sound completely different on the phone when dressed in a suit than I do dressed to cut the grass. Dress the part. It pays off.

4. Create a Sense of Urgency
A “do it now” mindset really helps propel your business. Push for the first appointment time you have available, the sooner the better. Like NOW. Like today. Fudge a bit and say you have an unexpected opening in your schedule. Records show that any appointments scheduled for more than 3 days away are far more unlikely to happen than something scheduled for today or tomorrow. Make it happen NOW.

5. Be Enthusiastic
This may be something you already know. The thing is, is it something you are already DOING? Probably not. Between me and you, I really HATE phone work. Without telemarketing, my business would be non-existent. It is a necessary evil. To generate enthusiasm, I envision myself actually on the appointment, making that sales call. I drink coffee. I read jokes. Whatever I need to do to put myself in that enthusiastic happy frame of mind, I do it. It works!

6. Have Your Objections Prepared
Every industry has standard objections. Have your objections planned and prepared. Make sure you focus your objections on getting the appointment secured and not on them buying or not buying your product or service. A generic one would sound like “I know you are not in the market to buy right now but if you could give me ____ minutes of your time, I’d like to show you how XYZ product can help make your life easier.”

We all know that the secret to sales is just to be able to pitch your product or service. By telling them you “know” they aren’t buying, they are actually more inclined to do business with you once you get in the door because they don’t feel pressured. People don’t buy under pressure.

7. Call to Action
Immediately following any objection and your response to the objection should be “I have an appointment available at _____ (day/time) or (day/time). For example, “I know you are not in the market to buy right now but if you could give me ____ minutes of your time, I’d like to show you how XYZ product can help make your life easier. If you are interested in learning more, I have an appointment available this evening around 4 pm or would tomorrow around 1 work better for you?”

Offering two different dates and times changes your prospects mindset about IF they are going to let you make an appointment to WHEN you are going to set the appointment. It works!

BONUS SECTION
I know I promised seven but I had more and kept going!! I hate making phone calls but I love the results!

8. Name Drop
Whether you talk about previous high-profile clients or people that they know if you work off of referrals, drop those names! This gives you credibility. Mention clients you have dealt with in the past in an offhand manner. For example, “_________ (impressive name) sat down with me last week and was really impressed with the results. I’d love to show you what my gizmo could do for you!”

9. The “On My Way Home” Trick
This one is a gold mine for late day appointments. Use all of the above methods and just add in “I could come by on my way home and make it a quick one. My (husband/wife) is expecting me home early so I will have to make it a quick one!”

Believe it or not, this works more than most anything (I’m saving my best material for last). When your customers perceive that you are just “swinging by” “on your way home”, they are much more relaxed about the appointment which means they are much more likely to buy whatever product or service you are selling!

10. Use Your Contest
Most all sales companies and telemarketers are in a daily, weekly or monthly contest. USE THIS! Let your potential customers know they are helping you by just letting you meet with them. Even if you aren’t getting contest credit for the appointment, more appointments leads to more sales so it does help you.

In a telemarketing conversation it might go like this (using the previous successful methods as well) “Mr. Prospect, if I could swing by on the way home, not only do you get to see what awesome thing I have to show you but you also help me earn credit for my most awesome contest I am in. If you can help me out, I have an appointment available this evening at ____ or tomorrow at ______. I appreciate your help so much and I promise, you don’t have to buy a thing!

11. Squeeze You In
This is the last one and it’s my favorite. You have probably seen this one before on my blog and that’s because it really works. That little phrase “squeeze you in” makes so much money it’s unreal!!!

After you have implemented everything from above, just add “I can squeeze you in tonight around 5 or tomorrow around 1. My schedule fills up really fast but I know I can guarantee those times. Which works better for you?”

PS. You may have NOTHING on your schedule but you NEVER want your customers to know it. Busy people make things happen. Be busy!

As an award-winning phone room / telemarketer manager for over 5 years, I know these methods work. Whether for an individual sales person or for a marketing or phone room manager, try some of these for a day or two and see the positive results you get. Above all, HAVE FUN!!

Fun and Funny Holidays Your Company Can Celebrate

Fun and Funny Holidays Your Company Can Celebrate

People like to have fun. Sales people like to have even more fun!

What’s more fun than celebrating some obscure holiday nobody even knows about? I mean, Christmas and Easter are easy to create sales contests around but what about my personal favorite Talk Like a Pirate day? It is traditionally celebrated on September 19th. Imagine your sales people going around the office talking like a pirate! Too funny!

On a more practical note, you could encourage your guys to contact all of their sales leads that start with “arrrrr”. It’s all about having fun!

Here’s a list of some other obscure and fun holidays your sales team can have fun with:

January 19th – Popcorn Day
Have your sales guys offer a free bag of microwave popcorn to your customers to celebrate the holiday! I promise, your customers will get a kick out of it too! Plus, they get to have a snack on the house! Or how about a freshly popped bag of popcorn for every customer that comes in that day?

February 26th – National Pistachio Day (its nutty!)
Have your sales reps follow up with their “nuttiest” customers! How about getting your sales reps to “get out of the box” and do the scariest thing they can think of when it comes to sales? Maybe have them go completely “nuts” and challenge them to knock doors?

March 14th – National Pi Day
Contest your telemarketers to make 314 phone calls. Challenge the whole sales team to bring in 314 sales leads. Bonus sales that have the number 3 1 and 4 in them. The possibilities are endless! Have an actual pie at the end of the day for the sales people who rose up to the challenge. Everyone loves pie!

April 13th – Scrabble Day
Have each sales person draw a scrabble tile. Whatever letter they draw, they target prospects beginning with that letter. I pity the poor guy who draws a “Z”. If someone draws a blank tile, they get to pick whatever letter they choose! You can find extra scrabble tiles at Aamazon.com here( Scrabble Tiles (100 Letters Tiles))for less than five bucks.

May 11th – Twilight Zone Day
Twilight Zone is the “5th Demension” Use this to get your sales team to do something “weird”. Maybe you could have them go out of their “zone” and do something that makes them uncomfortable like making phone calls or go cold calling. Contest the weird activity!

June 18th – Go Fishing Day
What a fun holiday! You can use this to have your dealers go “fishing” for new leads! Each fresh “fish” could be a $5.00 prize. What if you have your sales team go “fishing” through their sales leads and each appointment set is a prize? Have your sales manager dress up in fishing attire!

July 21st – National Junk Food Day
This can be fun in so many ways! How about offering your potential customer a free bag of chips (in celebration) just for setting an appointment? You could reward each sale made that day with a big order of nachos from the nearest Mexican restaurant. How about a pot luck junk food party? Each sales person could bring their favorite junk food and everyone shares after your daily sales meeting. Definitely a winner in my book!

August 27th – Just Because Day
This is the day your guys get to do what they want… Just because! It could also be the day YOU celebrate your favorite thing “just because”! A great way to celebrate this day is to donate a certain amount (maybe 5% of the sales total) to your sales people’s favorite charity for each sale made that day “just because” you care. People are more likely to do business with your company if they know you care about charitable organizations.

September 1st – My Birthday (also the 22nd is Elephant Appreciation Day, no relation)
How about free tickets to the local zoo? What about challenging your sales personnel to take on their “biggest” client and land a big sale? A prize for the biggest sale made that day? This is one you can surely have fun with!

October 5th – Do Something Nice Day
This is a great one! Who doesn’t want to be recognized for doing something nice? This would be a great day to have your sales reps write thank you letters to their last 30 customers! You could offer a special “Do Something Nice” discount for your customer’s for that day. Another idea is to have a drawing for each sales rep that completed a sales call to be in a drawing. You draw out one sales persons name and give that person a free gift applicable to your business. What about a free tank of gas or a free dry cleaning? Little things go a long way with contests like these.

November 6th – Marooned Without A Compass Day
I am in love with this one! Have a sales meeting and have all of your guys imagine what it would be like to be stuck in a strange location without a compass and their objective would be to make sales happen in order to be to be rescued. What is the one thing they would want to have with them?? Is it fresh leads? A good phone script? A hot prospect? This makes such a good sales meeting!

December 7th – Letter Writing Day
Actual written correspondence has become a thing of the past. The benefit to us sales people is that it is now almost guaranteed to be read. Think about it. We all get those emails we just delete and that junk mail we throw away. When we get an actual hand-written piece of mail, we open it!

Have your dealers write 10 actual letters to potential or past prospects and watch them get results! Make sure you cover the postage too!

Have you had fun reading through some of the crazy holidays we have? I know I had fun researching them! Believe it or not, there are literally hundreds of more crazy fun holidays! Make the most out of all of them!

Use Daily Recognition to Boost Sales and Contest Results

Use Daily Recognition to Boost Sales and Contest Results

There is one little thing that you are probably not doing and should that will boost your sales with very little effort and ZERO money. Recognition. That one simple thing can make a HUGE difference in your sales

Think of all the ways you can recognize accomplishments on a daily basis and use that to boost your contests:

Sales Meetings:
Have yesterday’s top achiever’s names on the white board. Make sure you include how much contest credit those sales representatives earned for their efforts.

“Casual” Remarks”:
When passing your rep in the hallway or meeting them at the coffee maker, make sure to mention how great they did yesterday and remind them of their progress on the current sales campaign.

Phone Calls:
All it takes is a 3 minute phone call to make a huge difference in your representative’s day. Just pick up the phone and tell them you noticed how well they did XYandZ yesterday and how excited you are that they earned extra credit in the weekly or monthly contest.

Social Media:
Whether its Twitter, Facebook or whatever the latest greatest social media is, giving your sales representatives a little praise online is always a winner. We post pictures with sales contracts, mention their names when they have outshined their peers and make sure to recognize anyone who has met the daily goal.

Text Messages:
This is probably the easiest! A simple “Great job yesterday! You’re well on your way to win XYZ contest!” goes a LONG way in encouraging and motivating your sales representatives to do the same thing today. Sent first thing in the morning, it is a nice way for them to start the day off with a smile.

If you really want to take your sales team to the next level, utilize ALL of these! You will be surprised how well your representatives respond to the positive attention!

If you really sit back and think about it, it doesn’t take much positive attention to motivate your sales people. It is up to you, as manager and leader, to recognize their accomplishments! Sometimes, recognizing and praising small accomplishments can lead up to bigger and better ones. Positive reinforcement is so much more effective than negative.

You want to be the person they look to when they need encouragement, not the person they are afraid of when they have had a bad day.

Above all else, remember that sales are supposed to be FUN!

Hit It & Get It vs Chance to Win Contests

Hit It & Get It vs. Chance to Win

How do you structure your contests? Do your sales representatives earn chances to win or do you put up a goal and reward them with cash or prizes for achieving the goal? Each sales contest structure has it’s place but how and when do you decide which to go with? There are advantages with each one. With “hit it & get it” contests, everyone knows what they need to do in order to receive the prize. With “chance to win” contests, everyone who accomplishes certain tasks knows that they are in the running to receive the big prize.

The big question is, how do you decide which type of contest to run?

Hit it & Get It

If your guys have had a bad go of it for the last few weeks, a “hit it & get it” is definitely in order. Put yourself in their shoes. They haven’t had any success lately. Their numbers are down. They are embarrassed in the sales meetings. Now is the perfect time to put up a “hit it & get it” so they can win a prize and get that sense of accomplishment. As the old saying goes, “a little success breeds a lot of confidence”.

Confident sales people make more sales. That is a fact. There is no easier way to instill confidence in your sales people than to have them win a contest. In a “hit it & get it” contest, I rarely contest sales. Usually, I contest the activity that results in a sale. This will be different for every industry but for us, it is contacting prospects and cold calling. Look at what it takes in your sales company to generate sales. Is it phone calls? Do personal visits to potential clients lead up to a sale? Whatever the tasks are, make those things the requirement to earn the “hit it & get it” contests.

With this type of contest, you want to keep your contest budget very reasonable. By reasonable, I mean cheap. I’m not one to advocate cheap sales contests but in this case, you want to make sure the budget allows for EVERYONE to win! For us, our salespeople use their personal vehicles to make sales calls. A gas card or free oil change is a big hit with our sales personnel. Even something simple like company t-shirts or ball caps work! You want to have your payout $50.00 or less in order for it to be a successful sales campaign.

Chance to Win

These contests are geared towards the more competitive sales people in your organization. Most sales people are competitive by nature so this will cater to their egos and make them strive to have the most chances in the contest. With “chance to win” contests, you can contest several aspects of the sales process and give your representatives tickets (or chances) for each aspect of the process. In the sales business, leads generate sales calls which generate sales. For a “chance to win” contest, we may give 5 tickets for 10 leads, 5 tickets for each sales call and another 5 tickets for a completed sale.

The way we typically pay out on the contest is your name has to be pulled at least 5 times to win the big prize.

The sales reps can qualify to win in several different categories and oftentimes, we stack the odds for the things that really need improvement (bonus tickets for activity that the company needs). These contests usually run on a monthly basis. While running a “hit it & get it” contest, make sure that your guys don’t rule themselves out as winners.

You may find that some of your sales representatives rule themselves out before the contest even begins if you make the qualifications to difficult to achieve. Make sure that it is relatively easy to qualify to enter but the producers have the most chances to actually win. The great thing about sales contests is that they give you and your sales team an opportunity to fix whatever problems you are having regarding the marketing of the products you are selling and everyone has a fun (and profitable) time doing it.

The most important thing about a contest is to have one! Remember to always have fun!!