The Power of One – By Kelley Robertson
One is a very tiny number. However, it can have a tremendous impact on your revenues. Here are some ideas to consider:
* Make one more cold call every day. One extra call a day equals 260 calls in a year. How many meetings could you set up with this number of calls and how many of those meetings could you turn into sales? Consider your current conversion ratio and think of the impact on your business.
* Suggest one additional item to every customer. This is particularly important if you sell lower priced items or work in a retail environment. Too many sales people are focused only on getting the initial sale. However, almost everyone has additional items, products, or services that could be beneficial to their customers.
* Invest one day per month developing your skills. Many of the most successful people in business invest in themselves. They attend workshops, conferences, and participate in webinars and tele-seminars on a regular basis. Considering that the majority of people do not invest in developing their skill, you can quickly out-pace your coworkers and competition.
* Read one book every month. Expanding your knowledge will help you become more successful. Read books related to your industry or that will provide insight to helping you improve your skill in a specific area.
* Ask one more question during each sales call. Before you start “pitching” your product or service, ask your prospect one more question. This question might give you the additional insight you need to more effectively position your product or service.
* Pause for one moment longer than usual before responding to a prospect’s question or request. Known as the pregnant pause, this often prompts the other person to blurt out something they had not intended to say. The secret behind this strategy is that most people are uncomfortable with silence and will begin talking to fill the “dead” air space.
* Get to the office one hour early. Remember the expression “The early bird gets the worm”. That one extra hour first thing in the morning can be the most productive time of the day. You have a better chance to reach decision-makers, there are fewer distractions, and you can often achieve more in that 60 minutes than in several hours.
* Address objections one more time before giving up. Too many sales people give up too soon when faced with objections. I’m not suggesting that you beat your customer into submission in order to close the sale. However, I do recommend that you tackle each objection one more time before you give up.
* Send one more email to the prospect who has been sitting on the fence. Sometimes, people need that little push and encouragement to move forward. But, many cases, their time is occupied by other projects and priorities which means they are not focused on your solution. Gentle reminders are often appreciated providing you don’t follow up so frequently you appear to be stalking them. Even though they may not be ready to make that particular buying decision, you will help keep your name in their mind.
* Ask for an endorsement or testimonial one more time. Endorsements and testimonials are greatly underutilized by most people in business today. Quite often we ask a client for a testimonial but because they have other priorities, they forget. Call them or send an email and politely request the testimonial again.
* Suggest one more idea to help a customer improve their business. Schedule a breakfast meeting or lunch with your customers but instead of trying to sell them something, focus on learning more about their particular challenges. Offer solutions that do not include your products or services and your customers will begin to see you more as a partner than a supplier.
* Send one more thank you card or note. Very few sales people make the effort to thank their customers. You can stand out from the crowd by sending handwritten notes to thank customers for their most recent order, meeting with you, or sending an on-time payment. You can also send a note when you see their company mentioned favorably in the news.
Although it is a tiny number, one can make a very powerful impact both on your top line sales and bottom line profits. One extra sale every day, week or month – depending on your business, can make a significant impact on your sales by the end of the year.
The next time you think about giving up on a high-potential prospect, consider the fact that you might be just one phone call, email, or letter away from making the sale.
© 2006 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.
Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them increase their sales and motivate their employees and has helped thousands of sales professionals and business people improve their results. He is also the author of “Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven Sales Techniques To Turn Browsers Into Buyers.” Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his free sales and motivational newsletter available at KelleyRobertson.com. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@RobertsonTrainingGroup.com.
Like me I’m sure you found lots of good sales advice in the above article. Here are a few points I’d like to call special attention to if you’d allow me to be so bold 🙂 …
Kelley’s right on when he says, “Make one more cold call every day.” Visiting or calling on a prospect isn’t the easiest thing to do, that’s why they call it cold. However, the sooner you get over any reluctance you might have over doing so, the sooner you will see your success in selling improve.
Try to make a game out of cold calling, instead of counting down the number of calls you make till you can call it quits for the day, you might try and identify the number of calls it takes you to secure an appointment or sale. For example, you might find that for every 6 or 7 calls you make, you get an appointment. Give this a try and you’re likely to be surprised how over time it follows a trend. As your skills improve the “game” becomes more fun because you’ll start to notice that it takes less calls. You’ll also notice that by simply making a few more calls your number of sales will go up as well.
Another point I’d like to touch on is…
“Suggest one additional item to every customer”. You may have heard this referred to as upselling. Think of it this way, you’ve just helped your customer to purchase a new video game player. Doesn’t it stand to reason that they might also be receptive to you when you mention that they might also want to buy a certain game? I think it would — especially if you’ve taken the time to see what sort of particular game would most interest them.
Finally, I think this is a terrific point…
“Gentle reminders are often appreciated providing you don’t follow up so frequently you appear to be stalking them. Even though they may not be ready to make that particular buying decision, you will help keep your name in their mind.”
I can tell you from personal experience that I get a TON of email (yes, that’s Ton with a capital T). It’s not that I don’t want to personally reply to each one as fast as humanly possible, but try as I might sometimes it’s just next to impossible to do so. It takes time. It’s for this very reason that I actually appreciate people taking the time to follow up with me, and you should as well.
For one thing, if it’s a person that’s interested in doing business with me in some respect it shows me that they are persistent enough to get an answer one way or the other. The key here is to be overly polite when doing follow ups. Do so and you’ll put yourself leaps and bounds above those who neglect the all important rule of following up.
To your sales success, Josh Hinds 🙂