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Relationships first, business second

Would you do business with a total stranger? If someone came up to you in the middle of the street and started to promote their business to you, what would your reaction be? Well if it is like most people, they would be on their guard and no matter how compelling the offer was, they would be a bit suspicious.

The more the other person pushes an idea, the more we back away – even though the may the very thing we are looking for. When networking you need to remember it is all about people and that means to get success we need to go with human nature.

5 Strategies for winning more referrals from networking

I spoke at a Speed Networking event last week on 5 Strategies for developing more leads and introductions from networking (face to face that is). These are the strategies we learn to apply on my Lead generation Master Class so that by the end of the day all attendees are starting to generate leads on the workshop! The strategies are simple but the challenge is applying them to your organisation such that they start working immediately.

So What? Who cares?

People do not buy products and services just for the sake of it, and especially not companies. You can safely assume that companies will not spend any money unless there is a profit motive (this may not be 100% true but assuming it will be a good discipline to have).Either they want to increase revenue or reduce costs. A company will increase costs in the short term to reduce costs in the longer term. They will spend more money in one area to save even more costs in another area.

Lead with the crown jewels

If you go to any car boot sale you will find an endless river of tables with what appears to be identical things for sale. There will be a pile of well thumbed books, a number of glasses that came free with 4 gallons of petrol and a collection of assorted tea cups, some of which have saucers! The visitors, seemingly desperate to add to their well thumbed book collection and stock up on their free glass collection, haggle over pennies as they go from table to table.

Why should they buy from you when they can buy virtually the same thing from every other table?

Aim to arrive pre-sold!

Relationships and trust are two key variables in a sale and it takes a lot longer to build them up from a cold call than it does from an introduction from someone who already has a relationship and the trust of your prospect.

How to overcome the fear of cold calling

how to overcome the fear of cold calling

The fear of cold calling stands in the way of many sales people. Whether cold calling is the best way of generating leads for service businesses is debateabe but if you do not have much in your sales pipeline then it is a good place to start. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of cold calling is to get clear of your target audience and why they would be interested in talking to you

'Cold Calling Techniques (That really work)' by Stephan Schiffman

The title of this book gives the impression that this will be a book full of gimmicks so common place amongst books on cold calling. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. This is a goldmine of great advice that closely mirrors my philosophy of selling with integrity. It includes much about working with human nature and keeping the whole process simple. It clearly explains in very simple and humorous terms how many of the gimmicks that others use (including most closing techniques) are not only unnatural but also counter-productive.

All networked out!

I was recently talking to someone about networking and he exclaimed he was ‘all networked out’. It was not working for him and that he resigned himself to endless cold calls. Whether cold calling was right for him or not is a different matter. I was curious as to how he could be ‘all networked out’. I can never get enough networking and have to limit my time!

Punch above your weight!

If you are an expert in your field then the internet gives you an excellent platform for getting found by your target audience, to be seen as an expert, and ultimately to stimulate an enquiry. How can you increase the chances that someone searching for your expertise can actually find you? That was one of the main topics of this evening’s webinar where I interviewed Dr Alan Rae in relation to his research for Brunel University into small businesses that are ‘punching above their weight’ in terms of marketing.

Does your network sell for you?

Last night’s free online sales training for members of the Accidental Salesman Business Development Club featured Dave Clarke, CEO of NRG Networks, telling us how to get our network to sell for us. It was a well attended event and lots of questions posed by attendees – obviously a subject close to people’s hearts. The prospect of getting an ongoing stream of high quality referrals into your target market is a highly attractive one – but how do you go about it?

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