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  • Lessons on How Not to Sell

    Business Phone Call photo from ShutterstockThe introduction began on the right footing. An agreement was made to be a guest on the radio show.  The station boasted having many thousands of listeners and that people were clamoring to be interviewed. Instead of the usual 30-60 minute timeslot scheduled by other stations, this interview was allotted only eight minutes.

    At the end of the interview, the host relayed that the producer of the show would be calling. Intuitively, it was recognized that the forthcoming call would be a sales call.  Two hours later the call came through.

    A few nice words were exchanged, but then the conversation quickly turned into the expected sales pitch. A show host opportunity was revealed. The question was, how much will this cost? It was ignored as the Producer kept talking. The question was repeated, but once again it was ignored. With exasperation, the Producer sternly said, “I’ll get to it. Hold on.”

    It certainly wasn’t the Nice Girl way.  Talking, selling plus lack of respect were all that was heard. The missing detail of the “opportunity” was finally revealed. According to the Producer, a show host slot would cost a mere $6,000. “No” was the next response.  An objection with a reasonable answer was provided but was completely ignored.

    Even worse each time “no” was heard, the price kept plummeting and finally rested at $1,000. In other words, the Producer devalued what he was selling and reduced the price by an alarming 84%!  Negotiating that steep a drop is normally unheard of, but what was heard was the phone slamming down without a goodbye.

    Improve Sales Strategies

    1. Lead conversations with questions so that you understand what your prospective client is thinking.
    2. For example, ask, Why did you agree to meet? You then know how to start the conversation.
    3. Upfront, ask for the budget so you know what to offer. This eliminates wasted time and walking away empty handed.
    4. Learn the root cause of objections and offer new perspectives through question and answer. Is money the issue or is it something else? Find middle ground to move forward.
    5. Use question to find 3-5 buy-ins or mini agreements to move closer to Yes!
    6. Dig deep for needs, wants and desires. Listening to answers, your prospect will confide what they truly are seeking and the full amount they have available to spend
    7. If next year is the preferred target date, with a smile in your voice, ask, which month, date and time.  Mark it on your calendar.
    8. END your call – meeting with,  “Thank you for your time.” Repeat the date and time you are to call. If the date is next year, wish the person a great holiday season.
    9. Upon reconnecting with your prospect, cheerfully remind them they asked you to call. Suggest you update one another prior to getting into a serious discussion.

    Throughout the process, your price point was never dropped. By asking the budget upfront you know precisely where you need to be and if you can meet the requirement. You maintain your credibility, and establish a highly professional personal brand.

    Following these steps, you will have an easier time with the next phone call and far more likely to find the Smooth Sale!

    Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences and authored three books: The International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and her second best-selling book, “HIRED!” stems from community service. Stutz' newest book, "The Wish: A 360 Business Development Process to Fuel Sales" provides readers with a comprehensive plan for building a global audience. Kred ranks Stutz as a Top 1% influencer; CEO World Magazine named Stutz as one of “The brightest sales minds to follow on Twitter”. She speaks and consults worldwide.

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