“Just make a friend.” That was some of the first advice I ever got when I became a frontline salesperson. Dutifully following my manager’s advice, I did just that.

At the end of the week, I had a lot of friends. One even invited me to their home for a weekend meal. We had a great connection … just like all of the people I’d seen that week! But here’s the thing: I had a lot of friends, but no sales.

That happened many years ago. Today, the idea that making friends will lead to sales has again reared its friendly head. Only now, it goes by a different name: Authenticity.

“Just be yourself.” “Just tell your story.”

But these maxims are incomplete. Just be yourself and tell your story, and then what?

The way I’ve heard it, rainbows and puppies will appear, fairy dust will start swirling, prospects will fall madly in love with you and race to relinquish their credit card.

Let’s stop the madness!

Of course you have to be real and genuine in sales. You’re supposed to be real and genuine in life! But that’s not the end-all, be-all.

Here’s the real story: Sales requires technique and strategy. It’s an art that needs to be learned. It is imperative that you sell from an authentic and genuine place. (Note: Everyone knows when you’re not being genuine.)

But just “being authentic” isn’t enough to turn interest into a sale.

As a former manager of mine would say: “That, my friends, makes for mighty thin soup!”

What if your “authentic self” is a bore? Or talks too much? What if your “authentic self” is abrasive? There are plenty of people like that, you know.

The moral of this story is as old as the ages.

There is no quick fix. Sales, like most things in life, requires skill, technique, and mastery. You have to have a deep understanding of many different steps of the sales process in order to consistently perform as a top producer month after month.

Sales is as messy as life is, it is a heartbreak and a high all at once, and it is a never ending endeavor. If you can do all of that and be authentic … then you’ll get somewhere!

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

“Just Be Authentic?”

  By  |  0 Comments

How to Handle: “I haven’t looked at the information yet.”

Of all the objections sales reps get when they call a prospect back to close them, this is perhaps one of the most frustrating – and the reason is because it’s usually caused by the sales rep! Here’s what happens: Sales reps send an email or brochure or link about their information out to a prospect, and when they call back, they invariably open the conversation with:

“Hi, I’m just calling to see if you received the information I sent out to you?”

OR worse:

“Hi, just following up on the information I sent to you – ah, did you have a chance to go through it yet?”

What do you think the prospect will say? Nine times out of ten the prospect will give you the stall: “I haven’t looked at it yet…” And then the sales rep is stuck and usually ends the call trying to schedule a time to get back with them…and you can imagine how this goes.

So, the first tip is to STOP asking IF the prospect has received/read/gone through the information, and instead open your calls with this assumptive opening:

“Hi this is _______ _________ with __________ calling about the information on our _________________ service/product you wanted me to send to you. Now I’m sure you’ve gone through it a bit and probably have some questions for me. What stood out to you the most?”

And then hit your mute button and begin listening to what they say, and how they say it.
If at that time you get the stall that they haven’t gone through it yet, no problem! Just use any of the responses below to counter and move past this objection:

“I haven’t looked at the information yet.”

Response One:
“That’s fine, in fact we can go over it together, and this way I’ll be able to answer any questions that come up for you. Can you open that email up for me? I’ll be glad to hold while you do….

Response Two:
“It sounds like you’re as busy as me! No problem, though, here’s what we can do: while I have you on the phone, let me point a couple of things out to you so that later when you have more time to go through it, you’ll know what to look for. Can you open that email briefly for me?”

Response Three:
“That’s O.K.; I know how busy you are. If you have just a minute now, I’ll be happy to quickly point out some of the points that would appeal to you most. That will save you time later when you go through it. Do you have that handy?”

As you can see, the best way to deal with the “I haven’t had time to look at the information yet” objection is by not causing it to begin with!

Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!

“I haven’t looked at the information yet.”

  By  |  0 Comments

If you’re anything like me, your to-do list might look something like:

  • call 100 leads
  • schedule 50 appointments
  • send 100 follow up emails
  • generate 200 new leads
    … and so on.

So, when my friend mentioned I should read the sales book he just bought, it sort of went in one ear and out the other.

My top priority is to hit my quota for signing up new accounts, so reading a sales book just didn’t seem worthwhile. I went on with my days forgetting about this book, until I learned that one of my co-workers read the book and it was actually helping him hit his quota faster.

By not reading the book, I knew I was letting my friend down, but what I didn’t realize is that I was also missing out on valuable sales insights. Like the story of how Aaron Ross transformed the Salesforce.com sales team without any traditional cold calling and scaled the business into a $100 million sales machine. Or the enlightening findings from one of the largest studies ever done in sales.

Determined to see the same results as my co-worker, I dedicated 10 hours to read the book my friend recommended and two other books I heard had proven results:

  • SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath
  • Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross
  • The Challenger Sale by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon

In a very short time I started hitting my quota quicker. I cannot do more than urge you to do the same and I hope this brings you the same — if not better — results.

Happy Monday, Happy Selling!

K. Frisch

P.S. We have all three above mentioned books in the office. Should you wish to borrow any of them please feel free to stop by and pick up a copy.

The 3 Books That Helped Me Hit My Quota Quicker!

  By  |  0 Comments

There have been several studies and they’ve all determined the same thing: People like things that are easy to think about. In other words, humans want to make an easy decision, not a hard one.

If you’re in sales, this is the angle you need to work in order to be successful.

But this raises a question: How do you make a decision easy for someone?

We’ll make it easy for you. Here are five quick tips to help a prospect make the “easy” decision.

1) Prepare down to the essentials.

Customers don’t like to be overwhelmed with a ton of information, but they do like to hear about the specifics that pertain to their situation.

This means that sales reps need to know the ins and the outs of their prospect’s business to deliver the most mentally palatable presentation. By spending a few extra minutes researching your customer, you’ll be much better informed about who they are and what they want. Check all the usual places, including LinkedIn, company blogs, and social media, as well as any industry-specific forums.

2) Ask questions.

Instead of you trying to convince your prospect that they need your product, asking questions prompts them to reflect on their circumstances and come to their own purchase conclusion. And a decision a person comes to on their own always seems easier than one forced upon them by a third party.

Asking open ended, simple questions is key here.

3) Help rally the troops.

An average of 5.4 decision makers are involved in every B2B purchase. That’s a lot of people. As a sales rep, it’s not only your job to convince the person you’re speaking with that your service offers value, but also the other people who get a say in the decision.

The easiest way to do this is to offer your assistance. Once you “sell” the first decision maker, it’s time to start a conversation with the others. That could be as easy as asking for their phone number or email and setting up individual calls, or one large presentation. Either way, helping your champion convince the rest of their team makes the decision much easier to sign off on.

4) Respond as quickly as possible.

Keeping it simple also means that you’re quick to respond so your prospect doesn’t have to wait around all day for answers to their questions. One study conducted by Heinz Marketing found that the average response time is 61 hours. Yep, 61 hours. If you’re able to do better than that, not only will you beat the average, but you’ll also make a tremendous impression on the prospect. Getting an answer to a pressing question from you will seem as simple as pressing an “easy” button.

The best way to improve your response time is to set up an email system. When you receive a message from a prospect, give it a quick read and decide if you need to respond at this moment or not. Remember, great sales reps go the extra mile for their customers and prospects. Commit to answering all customer emails within a certain timeframe, and stick to it.

Happy Monday and Happy Selling!


Simple Tips to Get Them to Say YES!

  By  |  0 Comments