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Boost Your Sales Campaigns With Social Media

using social media for sales contests

Are the regular leader boards and contest boards feeling old and stale? Try adding social media (like Facebook, Twitter, etc)

If your company or department doesn’t have a Facebook and Twitter page, you’re missing the boat!

This is a quick, easy and best of all FREE way to promote your current contest campaign. Let’s say you have XYZ campaign going on… Each time someone reaches a milestone like a completed presentation or a delivered sale, it only takes a few clicks of the mouse and typing a few words to not only promote your contest or sales campaign but most importantly provide recognition to your sales person.  This is far more important to your sales force than you may realize!

As you know, sales people thrive on positive recognition. The more positive recognition we as managers and business owners can give to our sales reps, the better. Of course, our sales men and women love to earn plaques and awards for being to “top dog” but the little things we do to show that we notice them go a long way and social media is a great way to do this without spending a single penny.

Social media is such a powerful (and again FREE) way to promote your contest and also your business!

Almost every day, one of our reps will “share” our Facebook post on their personal Facebook wall. Think about it. Of course they are… We are bragging on them! They want their friends and family to see that they are doing great things! Not only is this a plug for them, it is also a plug for your company!

You’ll know your social media efforts are worthwhile when you have days like I do. I get texts and phone calls from all over our territory telling me what they have accomplished. Yes, they want my approval but most of all, they want me to put it on Facebook. I manage a sales team of approximately 50 people but our territory has about 200 awesome people. I automatically put “my” team’s successes and contest progression on Facebook but since they whole territory knows that I manage our company Facebook page, they are sure to text me right away with what they have achieved because they know it will be on Facebook within 5 minutes, regardless of the time of day.

Funny enough, I am typing this at 7:30 at night. I am off of work. All of our sales calls are completed for the day. As I am writing, I get a text from a sales person who is in my territory but doesn’t work at our office. He got a sale. Why would he let me know that this time of day? He knows it will be on Facebook.  That’s powerful.

Even though I am at home and off the clock, I make sure to take a second and put it on the company’s Facebook page. It is totally worth it.

Try this simple, easy and free way to promote your current sales contest and let me know how it goes!

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

santa_gifts

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!!

The Power of a Punch Card to Increase Sales

The Power of a Punch Card to Increase Sales

Have you ever been to a barber shop or a smoothie place and they offer you a punch card for repeat business?  I don’t know about you, but I keep quite a few of them in my wallet.  I have one for a local nail salon, another for a make-up store, yet another for an oil change spot and I keep coming back again and again to get another punch on my card so I can save a nominal amount the next time I spend money with them!

Punch cards are tangible objects that your sales force can use to measure results!  Use them!  They work!

We just recently implemented punch cards again (we discontinued them for a few years) and within two weeks we saw measurable increases in sales and sales calls!  The results were virtually instantaneous!  It was amazing to see our sales representatives doing the things they needed to do in order to earn a punch on their card.

 Make qualifications relatively easy to achieve so they will be excited about completing all of the punches!  

For our company, we had three different ways to earn a punch.  You may be surprised that NONE of them involved actually making a sale.  I am a firm believer in the theory that if you do what it takes to make the sale (generate leads, phone calls, etc) the sales will happen.  With that in mind, we concentrated on activity required to make the sale.

You may want to make your qualifications to earn a punch phone calls or appointments scheduled. 

Our particular qualifications are:

  1. 10 qualified leads gained from a prospect
  2. 10 cold calls to potential prospects
  3. 1 appointment completed that was gained from either of the above

In our case, it is just a matter of getting qualified sales leads or completing qualified appointments.  We know that these things will ultimately results in sales and revenue for the company.  Knowing that, the qualifications for earning a punch card will result in more sales and more revenue.

Our punch cards take ten punches to pay out.  The reward is roughly $25 of product they can use to sweeten the deal on sales calls or to use personally.  This makes this a win/win for us! Not only are our guys trying just a bit harder to do the things that it takes to make sales happen, they are given “free” products that help make even more sales happen!  Not only that, the customers like to help the sales people earn more punches on their cards!

 Your representatives can use the punch cards to entice our customers to help!

If done properly, your sales representatives can use the punch cards to get your customers to help them earn more credits!  Train your sales people to show your customers your punch cards.  If your sales people have made friends with their clients (lets hope they have!), your clients will want to help your sales people earn bonuses and punch cards are the perfect way for them to help!

The cards are very affordable.  You don’t have to spend a ton for them to look top-notch.  Personally, I use Vista Print for our cards at the office.  For $20 plus shipping, we have earned literally THOUSANDS in the first two weeks!

You will be surprised at how well the punch cards work and how excited your sales team will be to participate in the promotion provided that the prize they win once the punch card is complete is good enough.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for this to be a success!  Just think of how little the payout is for the ones you carry in your wallet (free oil change, free smoothie).  Are you as shocked as I was when I realized how much I value those cards for how little they are actually worth when cashed in?

Vista Print has a very user friendly interface to create your own cards.  Within 10 minutes, my order was completed and the cards were on the way.  Within a week, I had them in my hand (I am not affiliated with Visa Print in any way, I just highly recommend them).

Give it a try and share your results!

Good luck and have fun!

 

Boost Your Sales Contest With Bonus Entries

Boost Your Sales Contest With “Bonus Entries”!

This is an easy and, best of all, free way to give your sales contests a proverbial shot in the arm when the initial excitement has worn off.  You can also use bonus entries to get your sales representatives to do a little extra that they normally wouldn’t do.

This simple contest booster will not only help you generate more sales, it makes it more fun for everyone!

There are many ways to use “bonus” entries into any contest but for now, we are going to  focus on the two I use most often and with the most results.

  1. Mid-stream bonus tickets
  2. Extra effort bonus tickets

Mid-stream bonus tickets:

Maybe you have a quarterly sales contest in where your sales representatives have the chance to win a cruise for two.  You’ve done all the groundwork to make sure the contest kick-off went well.  You decorated your sales meeting room with fabulous posters explaining the contest and each of your sales representatives has a contest flier that tracks their progress.  You even have your contest board up and update it daily so everyone can see their progress.  Slowly, you start to notice that your sales team isn’t as excited as they were when you first kicked off the contest.  What do you do?  That’s when bonus entries come into play!

Typically, for a quarterly contest, the first month and sometimes even through most of the second, I find the excitement level of the guys to be pretty good.  Usually, by the third month, the majority of them have lost the “oomph”.  It is easy to get it back up just by giving them double credit for the last month of the contest.  You can also have certain days that are usually not big producers and give them triple credit for those!  Make a big deal out of those bonus entries and be sure to point out that this gives the ones who had fallen behind a little bit a way to catch up quickly!

Not only do you have newly motivated sales people, you have more sales!

 Extra effort bonus tickets:

Every sales company is different but they always have the same problems (and usually the same solutions!).  I don’t know what your particular industry is, but I do know that there is that one thing that your sales people just don’t like to do.  For my industry, it is what we call “customer follow up”.  They HATE following up with their sales.  They have made their commission and have moved on to the next sale and fail to see the importance of following up with past customers.  For my particular industry, I may put up a regular sales contest but give bonus entries for every prior customer they successfully follow up with.

What is a small, relatively easy thing for your sales representatives to do that they consistently avoid?  How big of an impact would your business have if they did it?  How HUGE of an impact would it be if they were to accomplish it without being told to do it and they did it with a smile on their face and with purpose?

 That one simple thing could have a HUGE impact on your bottom line!

To implement this, add bonus tickets or entries to your regular sales contest.  For maximum impact, use this method only on your short-term contests like daily or weekly.  I have found that they don’t continue to motivate people on a monthly or quarterly contest.

To make those bonus entries even more special, use a different color raffle ticket or some other way to designate that those entries were for the “bonus” efforts.  That way they can see how much those bonus entries really mean to them and their chances of winning the contest.

The great thing about the “extra effort” bonus entries is that you can use it to fix whatever your sales team needs help with NOW.  The effects are immediate!

Always remember, have fun!  Sales is just a game, play to win!