There are 5 different ways to ensure you lower your interchange and overall processing fees.
1. Negotiate with credit card processors
This is the most available and reasonable step to lower your processing fees. First of all, your processing fees are 100% based on interchange, and your markup. If your processing is above 0.10% and $0.10, then you seriously need to negotiate that with them. When you look at the markup, you need to ask youself the question, "Does my rep deserve/earn the markup which they wrote my account at?" Meaning, they wrote you at a particular pricing stance, and is that stance justified by the level of service they provide to you? If not, make sure they omit the Early Termination Fee in your Merchant Processing Application.
2. Reduce risk of credit card fraud
The higher security risk you pose as a merchant, the higher your credit card processing fees will be. You have two primary ways of reducing the risk for credit card fraud: swiping credit cards and entering security information.
"Swipe as many cards as you can," Gehrs said. That's because the rates set by the card brands like Visa and MasterCard are higher when the cards are keyed in based on fraud risk, he explained. "With new technology like cell phone swipers offered by full merchant-service providers and micro-processors like Square, there are few excuses to not be swiping the majority of your cards."
Merchants can also lower the risk of fraud by providing security information that protects the cardholder and validates the purchase. An effective way is to always enter the billing zip code and security zip code when prompted, Gehrs recommended.
"This seems like a small nuisance, but bypassing this step could cost your business over 1 percent of each sale," he said. "Similar to keying in sales, foregoing this process means a higher rate due to fraud risk." The funny thing, is that the majority of small business would rather pay the 2.95% to use the Square device. In the end, if they claw money back, they hold it for 6 months (minimum per the policy). Then, I get calls to help. Sorry. You can help yourself, you processed the card by yourself with your Square.
3. Go straight to the source
Did you know the banks you deal with don't actually process any of your payments?
Did you know that your brokers are actually 2-steps closer to processing your payments than you banks or reps are? Let me explain. As a broker, I am direct with Tsys, First Data, Global, North American, and even First American. This allows me to pass on my buy rate to my merchants and include a mark-up which I call a service fee. I blatantly call it a service fee as I will service you account 100%, and on site. If your rep, bank or broker isn't doing that -- dump their ass. Does PayPay come on site and assist you? Doubt it. Does Square help you ensure your money is deposited next day? Never that.
4. Properly set up your account and terminal
Full discloser of your business and it's processing is 100% the best way to ensure you will never get charge backs or other unwarranted fees. If you do not disclose information to you rep/broker, you may be at risk of getting chargebacks.
5. Ask a credit card processing expert
Most small business owners know next to nothing about credit card processing. Get a better understanding and have an advocate by your side by consulting a credit card processing expert. Not only can these professionals help debunk credit card processing myths, but their knowledge and relationship with processors can also help you get lower rates for your business.
"Here is the secret that merchants are always shocked to find out: Regardless of their size or amount of volume, virtually all credit card processors buy their rates directly from Visa, MasterCard and Discover for the exact same price," said Robert Livingstone, president of IdealCost.com, a credit card processing consulting company. "Therefore, all credit card processors have the capability to resell these rates at the exact same price to different businesses."
Knowing insider information like this can help small business gain an edge with vendors, for instance, as leverage to attract lower rates.
Blind leading the Blind
In looking at most companies that have sales departments, sales teams, or simply have sales people. The oldest and most effective way of generating sales was to put people into a space, give them a phone, a computer, software to track calls and direct them to call. In these calls they would make claims the organization couldn't support (picture the used car salesman).
The Cons of this approach
When the customer would sign up, they would be locked into a legal document that held them in check for x-amount of months. This is why the selling profession is so looked down upon in today's society.
The New Rules
Let's look at the industry as a whole. Everyone is still doing this, today. However, the ones who are excelling in their field are doing things quite a bit differently. There are statistics which support this new change, and it's not a fad. Let's look at our habits as a consumer. Where do we look for information on a product or service? We are all looking at websites, looking at social media sources and then looking for others to validate our decisions by viewing reviews and/or blogs.
Does this sound familiar?
PSCHHHYEAAAH IT DOES!!!
Of course it does! I'm not a freaking idiot. I've owned a marketing firm for 8 years and have witnessed some massive changes in consumer behaviors over those years. I've made those adjustments for my clients and they have benefited from this, exponentially. However, most corporations today are still in this same old school of thought. Why is that? Do we know? Is it because they're so large, they're less agile in their approach and require multiple chains of command in order to make such a simple change? or is it because they're not part of the innovators and early-adopters?
Numbers don't lie
The numbers don't lie. That's a simple title, but let's back that up with numbers. The numbers are directly from Google. Google has indicated that consumers are 72% ready-to-buy when they call you, return your call, or answer your email. Let me go back. Consumers are doing research online, via social media, blogs, and consumer reviews to research and investigate your company. This is where a good/solid marketing department can do wonders for you. They can post blogs, publish content, call customers and take surveys for 10% off their renewal (hint hint...). I actually use the 10% off for a survey because it's a direct case study I can develop, use them for referrals, and generate valuable insight to their business operations. So, back to Google and 72%.
The new rules + new strategy
The new rules and new strategy are here, right here. Let's look at the Google statistics. If consumers are gaining 72% of their buying confidence from online sources, why aren't you online and engaged in social media, keeping your website actively engaged with consumers, online content, then publish a blog, or leverage consumer reviews? Why? 72% buyer confidence. When you cold call, you are at 0% buyer confidence. It takes 8 calls from a sales representative to gain 80% - 100% buyer confidence. It takes 2, yes just 2, follow up phone calls from a sales representative to say, "Hey I noticed you hit our website just now" or "You downloaded our eBook last night, did you have any questions about the content?", as well as "I see you had some interest in Direct Response marketing, what problems are you trying to solve?" These are people who have viewed your information, viewed your videos, looked at case studies, and those who have downloaded ebooks or white papers. They're informed consumers and simply need you to call the play to get them into the end zone.
Let's look at this quick.
1. Let go of .... Your image / Ego:
Most of these companies are utilizing advertising, and statistics say that less than 2% of customers buy from an advertisement. If you use advertising in a multi-channel marketing strategy, this may work. In the real world. Advertising is simply to stroke the ego of the business. Nobody gives a shit about your image, your ego, or your self-imposed benefits which you decided on. Your customers buy because they need to solve a problem.
2. Unique Selling Proposition:
Most ads are image ads. 10% off for May. Why are you giving away 10%? When you price sell, you're removing any type of value you have built with your consumers/clients who are following you on social media (if you have one), or your website (if you have an engaging one) or your blog (if it exists). Remove your image ads and replace them with ads that sell a value that is unique to your company. I have competed for years with other companies, larger companies, companies with 100+ employees, and I have always won. I sell a unique value specific to the client. I do that by researching their industry. What is one challenging plaguing their industry? I then create a campaign around that and sell the shit out of it until someone buys. The secret is, they all want to buy especially when they realize that their competition is leveraging your solution to solve that plaguing problem.
3. Lead Magnets
Let me first say this. Nobody, I mean nobody, even marketing agencies know of the term Lead Magnet. I was blown away when InfusionSoft put out a report in 2010 about Lead Magnets. I took that information, developed my own variations of lead magnets and have been using them for 6 years. Yes, 6 years. Lead magnets are simple. They are common in marketing whereas you include something in social media, a blog, a 3rd partner source or even on your website. This could be something as simple as, "Wisconsin business increases sales by 50% by using this one simple trick." The click through could be an opt-in form where they receive a free case study on exactly how the company used simple direct response marketing to increase sales 50%. The goal of marketing is to communicate with your target market, it's that simple. If you're not communicating with them, you're doing nothing more than old school mass advertising. We all know that generates less than a 2% response.
4. WIIFM (What's in it for me)
Once you realize that each buyer, customer or consumer has numero uno in mind, you'll be able to start marketing, selling and generate revenues. Until then, you'll be a cranky old man/woman upset that someone didn't buy from you because your funnel isn't full enough and you're taking each rejection personal. The best thing to do as a sales representative is to realize what your customers are looking for, create a campaign around this. Drive leads to an opt-in page where they can receive free information on your products/service, self-educate and view alternatives. The best part of this type of marketing is that you're in the driver seat and have so much content about usage, benefits, features and advantages of using your solutions.
Companies world-wide are missing this mark, and realistically if a company were once an industry leader and have fallen off, my guess and most logical guess is that they're getting passed up by those who do publish content, educate the masses with social media, blogs, results-driven websites, and consumer reviews. It has nothing to do with less-skilled sales reps, or lazy sales reps. The old school days of call centers is truly fading out. Did you know Amazon.com is the world's leader in consumer spending? They have zero call centers. They have all of the above; blogs, websites, consumer reviews, and third party sources to validate buying decisions. Yet, your call center isn't even close to the automation they provide.
Your Friend & Consultant
Optimize Business Solutions
Picture this... You send out an email blast to your pipeline in your CRM, whether you use SalesForce, HubSpot, InfusionSoft or whatever else you might be using. You send it out to 500 people. If you sent out a good email, you would include follow up steps or "next steps" as indicated in your CRM software. It may look something like this.
I'll follow up with a phone call this afternoon to see if you have any questionsLet's say you get one of your prospective clients on the phone. "Hello this is Bob." You would normally follow up with, "Hi Bob, this is [Your Name] from [Your Company]. I sent you an email earlier today. Did you have time to discuss it?"
Does that sound familiar?
SUCCESS #1: Made phone call
I'm going to commend you on making that first phone call, as 48% of salespeople don't make that phone call. 48%, that's 52% of your sales force that actually takes the initiative to make that phone call. That's scary!
CHALLENGE #1: Made Contact
Now that you made contact, now what? Let's see what happens when Bob answers, "Hello this is Bob." "Hi, Bob, this is [Your Name] from [Your Company]. I sent you an email earlier today. Did you have time to discuss it?" What happens when Bob says, "No. I didn't have time to read it. What are you selling?"
This is a trap! Don't take the bait. 83% of sales people jump into their presentation which they have rehearsed over and over, and over and over, and over and over. What did you do? You jumped into sell, sell, sell. You never once asked what the prospect was looking for, what his business challenges were, and what he plans to do with his business in the next 3 to 5 years.
MY RECOMMENDATION: Discovery
This isn't anything new, innovative or inspirational. You need to ask Bob the questions to find out about his business. I always recommend starting with the 5 W's. It's really simple. "Okay, Bob. I can go into deep detail about our solution and how we have solved our client's challenges but I need to first make sure it is something that is of value to you. Would you agree that I need to understand your business in order to make recommendations?"
SCRIPT EXAMPLE: Explain and State Intent
"Let's grab 20 minutes and sit down to discuss your business, what you're trying to accomplish, why those goals are important to you, who you're currently using, where you see us fitting into your long-term growth and when you would like to engage in business with us. My intent is to earn your business and we only want to work with businesses that have serious long-term goals of increasing sales. Does that sound fair enough?
OBJECTIVE: NO, I don't have time
Bob, I understand you don't have time today. What time works better for you; this evening or tomorrow morning? I only need 20 minutes to determine if this is something that is of value to you and I cannot help you determine that unless I align your goals with our solutions. Does that make sense? This evening or tomorrow morning?
OBJECTIVE: Yes, let's sit down.
Bob. Perfect. Does this evening or tomorrow morning work better for you? Perfect. Do me a favor, write down my name, [Your Name], and next to it write [Your Objective: Ex: 23% increase in sales]. That's what this 20 minutes is going to be worth to you.
That's an example of a successful cold call. You need to remove the fear of closing the guy on the first contact. In fact, only 2% of all sales calls, office visits or email transmissions close on the first contact. If you make 100 calls, only 1x, you'll only close 2 sales.
I hope this was helpful.
Your Friend & Consultant
Optimize Business Solutions
Intention is powerful. We must also learn to use it properly. I like to give you all real life examples of what I experience as a person who solves the problems of small to medium sized businesses. Realistically, when is the last time you received a bail-out from the government? I'll give you a hint; never. So, we must learn to survive, stay afloat, grow and develop on our own.
Over the last 8 years, I have studied sales strategies, sales methods, and ever "sales secrets." I came to the realization that a business cannot exist without sales. So, we must learn the aspect of sales, study the sales process, and become effective in our efforts to sell our products and services.
Now that we know this is all about sales. Let's move on. Simply speaking with people until they buy seems like a strategy that is similar to throwing darts. If you're in the sales game, it is far from shooting darts. Humans are emotional creatures driven by habits, desires, and demands. If we simply treat them as proverbial darts in our metaphorical dartboard of commissions, then we're simply missing the point altogether.
The first topic I learned from the books I read. In all sales books dating from Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy and even to Jeffrey Gittomer or Jordan Belfort ($8,000 Sales System). They all speak about the first step in sales, building rapport. Now, what does this typically look like? "Hi, Mr. Green. How is business? Sure is beautiful weather." All of this would not build any rapport with me, and in my experience does very little for the sale other than reduce your presentation time. If you know the individual, sure, speak about sports, weather, kids, last night's game, etc. Don't waste the prospects time. Rapport building when done incorrectly wastes the time of the prospect by forcing him/her to make small talk. I like to try a different approach, and it works.
THE POWER of INTENTION
This sounds very stick-up-ass-like, however it wastes absolutely zero time. Let me elaborate...
Instead walking into your sales meeting and asking, "Hi, Mr. Green. Are you enjoying the weather? What kinds of things are there to do in this town? How about them Vikings? " Unless you're in the business of weather, events/activities, or the Minnesota Vikings, you're better off keeping these topics at bay.
What happens if you throw away the 5 minutes of... blah, blah, blah... and replaced it with the following:
Hi, Mr. Green. My name is Curtis and I represent ABC Company, we help various businesses increase their sales by 22% and decrease marketing expenses by 35%. Now if I can prove that here today, I'll be asking for your business. Does that sound fair?
The power of stating your intentions is that you're not asking them for anything, you're simply stating the benefits of doing business with you, then informing them that you'll be asking for their business today.
BENEFITS OF STATING INTENTIONS
I really enjoy this technique I started using. It does a couple of things.
The Power of Intention is far greater than that of building rapport and tricking the prospecting into signing on the dotted line.
I had this experience today. I met with a prospect, I told them I was there to find out about their business and if I could prove to them how I could assist their business growth strategy and assist in their future developments that I would be asking for their business. They agreed that it was too early to make a decision, but they wanted to hear how I could assist them. We went into the presentation on level footing, and realized that I was there for one thing, to provide them a solution which included my products and services as well as earn their business.
A successful appointment doesn't include a conversation. Communication is critical for finding out their business challenges, business successes, and providing a solution that will minimize their challenges while helping them maximize on their successes.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
Optimize Business Solutions
As I have stated multiple times, in the past, I have came across multiple salespeople. There are salespeople who are money motivated, those who are solutions-oriented, and those who are devious in their approach for purposes of generating new accounts. All of these types of individuals have a particular reason why they sell.
After all, sales is the single most effective way to actually make some good money. If you sell, you make money. But it's how you sell which determines your particular type of motivation.
Now, I'll start with an ethical position. First and foremost, selling a product or service needs to be for purposes of solving a problem. Let's look at buying a car. How many times have you been directed to a car that was not what you were looking for, not ideal in your specifics, and not a solution that solved your challenges. When I shop for a vehicle, I look for a vehicle that is fuel efficient, a vehicle I plan to drive into the ground, meaning I'll pay $6,000 for a fuel efficient car I can drive for 3-4 years and totally devalue the vehicle. I have yet to find an auto sales consultant to find me a solution that inspires me to look at a $15,000 vehicle, which is usually what I am pointed to. Did they attempt to solve my problems? No. They were looking to get me in a higher priced vehicle that produced greater commissions for them, and in return put me in a vehicle that would devalue at a much greater rate than a $4,500 - $6,000 car that is true value and would devalue at it's particular rate of miles, wear and tear -- vs yearly depreciation.
I worked for a company 2 years ago that was all about selling, selling, selling. I am good at getting appointments. I could get them in bunches. I was able to get appointments, then the sales manager would request to put me on the phone with the decision maker. He would push them, push them, and say, "We need to do this, you need to this" and spout off multiple untruthful scenarios for the business owner. In the end, the clients would call me and say, "Dude, what the hell... why are my fees more than what you said? Why are they increasing month after month?" I would look like the bad guy.
I, then, started selling for another company with a seasoned representative. He would break down the pricing, breakdown the need to understand WHY they needed to get a solution that fit their needs, then explained the industry and how they exploit smaller companies and take advantage of them, lock them into contracts and how they make money. I learned this process, and have since been utilizing this approach to build value.
Now, I work on building value by solving problems. In past experiences, I would price sell to get accounts. I would slide in and beat their prices by 20% and get the new account. It was great. But, when I needed to get some real accounts, the price sale wasn't as effective. They were looking to have their problems solved. I learned this REALLY quick. I then had to reassess my positioning and find new ways to have my products and services solve real world business problems.
Today, I make sure to ask questions. I like to find out what pains them with their current solution. What works for them, what they like, what doesn't work, and what they do not like. I also like to take it a step further and find out where they intend to take their company in the future. I make sure I have a solution that is scalable. A solution that will grow with them as they gain more customers, more sales, and more employees. There are times when a simple solution works for them now, but may become obsolete when they start selling $50,000 - $60,000 per month. We need to get beyond price selling.
In short, if you're solving problems, you're actually building value and becoming an expert with a solution that your prospect sees value in. I'm an experienced business consultant, and utilize that experience to help them understand how this solution impacts their technology, sales, expenses, management, operations, productivity, and finances in the long run. If you look at a solution that helps you increase your sales, that's ideal. When you reduce expenses, this allows room for them to invest in other areas to increase productivity, or increase sales. How about speaking about management. What if you could help them gather data, scrub that data and make real life business decisions about how they manage their employees, supply chain and customers? What if there were a technology that was 10% higher in price but increased productivity by 27%, is that solution worth the investment?
As salespeople we need to break the clutter of devious salespeople selling a price-sensitive solution to becoming an expert and building value. We can build value by addressing their critical deficit areas. Whenever a prospect says, "That's too much money", or "Can we skim an extra $100 off the top, somehow?" I like to stop in my tracks and go back. I'll say, "I'm sorry. I really must have failed to build the value of this solution. I want to make sure I'm getting you something that's going to build your business. If $100 is your problem, I wouldn't do this. If you're worried about $100, you don't want to do this. If $100 is your problem with my solution, you have a much bigger problem than $100." I'm talking about increasing your sales by 22% and decreasing your expenses. What does that NET look like?" I make sure it is very clear that it is an investment they're purchasing vs my solution becoming an expenses they put on the financial statement. I want it to become something they look at as a system to help them grow, a system to help support their goals, vs having a few items they price-match and go with the lowest price.
Your Friend and Favorite Consultant
Dialing for Dollars: How to make a cold call
I can name on one hand the people who make effective cold calls. Again, I've known many sales individuals who are in a selling capacity that spout the statement, "I hate making cold calls", or "I'm just not good on the phone."
What that tells me, and their managers I'm sure, is the fact that they aren't trained or educated. Realistically, whatever it is that fears you the most is where your greatest of growth can come. Let's look at a quote to solidify this point.
"If it scares you the most, run towards it, because it's amazing on the other side"
- Sherri Shepard
So, let's look at how to utilize a solid 60 - 90 seconds to help you increase your sales.
STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL COLD CALL
Obviously this may include a few objections, such as, "What exactly do you do?" This isn't a bad thing. This is a great thing! You have now captured their attention and they want to know more. Objections are opportunities to win the appointment. Objections are opportunities. The best part of a pitch is that you can make a BIG claim, get the hook, then when objections are still continuing, you can build more value and make the offer sticky.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
Communication is King. Conversation is Crap
I'm back for another content rich blog post to discuss the sales process. How many times have you heard a salesperson, sales manager or director of sales talk about "Building Rapport?"
I've been blessed to be a self-taught sales professional. I've never had a sales trainer teach me about building rapport, having ice-breaking conversations, or making a personal "connection" with the prospect and potential buyer.
Let's start with the crap and get it out of the way. Crap is what kills sales, Crap is what wastes time, and Crap is what derails your purpose and intention of going to visit with a potential buyer.
Conversation is Crap
How many times have you been told to build rapport, have a conversation that breaks the ice? In reality opening an appointment with a potential buyer with a conversation about the weather, about the NBA Finals, Superbowl, etc, is disrespectful to the prospects time. They are carving out time to meet with you and hear how you're going to help their business. You take 10 minutes to talk about the weather, fishing, and sports. Make sure you handle business, first. That's what you came there for. Once you ink the deal, feel free to ask them if Steph and Klay will win a back-to-back championship, ask them about the weather, hell ask them for a lapdance for all I care. Ink the deal, first and foremost.
Communication is King
Here is where we want to be. We want to reside in Communication. Communication allows you to ask questions that relate to their business, ask questions that help them better understand your products and solutions, and ask questions that help them see the light and separate yourself from the competition. The only thing that will ever make you money is communication, not conversation. Ask questions.
If you need a quick-start guide to communicating with a prospect and potential buyer, please refer to my "Building Value: The real MVP" article. it's a quick and simple snap shot of questions you can ask to begin the communication and move you closer to the Closer's Continuum (Coming soon).
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
Building Value: The real MVP
The biggest struggle most sales people have is truly building the value of their product, service and/or solution. I've came across salespeople of all walks of life.
This includes exceptional phone sales people, pavement pounding professionals, prospecting superstars and door-knocking artists. However, the one glaring weakness on all of their processes and procedures is that they lack the ability to build value. They simply provide a price that beats the competitor, or price sell and drop the price to win the account. This isn't true salesmanship. You need to build the value of your product, your service and your solution. Let's look at it.
Let's say you do a fantastic job of getting an opportunity to discuss your product, services and solutions with a gatekeeper, a decision maker and C-level executive. That's great! Most people actually don't struggle with this type of activity. This isn't the problem. The problem is pitching benefits and features out of the gate, they go into "selling mode" too soon. What happens when you do this? You're seen as a peddler and looking for commissions rather than providing the business with a solution that helps them operate more efficiently by reducing expense or increasing revenue. The value comes in providing them with a solution that will do one of the three, two of the three is great, but the magic is in helping the business accomplish all three aspects of the Closing Continuum.
How to build value:
There are five simple steps to start building value, which I have used for close to nine (9) successful years now in my B2B sales experience. I like to take these 5 simple steps to start the process of building value.
The 5 steps are 5 questions. Simply walk your prospect through 5 questions and you'll find yourself in a position to help them solve their business challenges.
Once you accomplish this basic 5 step value-build process, you are now in a position to continue your sales process, and move onto the close. I'll reveal more of the selling process and work you to the close in later articles. Continue following me for more information on successful sales approaches and ethical closing.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
Hello! Is it leads you're looking for?
I don't know about you but I absolutely love this meme, it makes me laugh each and every time I see it.
Let's expound upon leads, today. I'm a huge fan of analyzing leads. Some salespeople don't really understand what a lead is. They think a lead is a lead is a lead, and that's it. They don't realize there are four stages of a lead. Let's look at them a bit, shall we?
In your sales, you'll come across four types of leads; hot leads, warm leads, cold leads and dead leads. What's the difference?
Here are what the leads are and what they actually mean, to me. This may help you better understand how to treat your leads, how to nurture them and how or when to ask for the sale.
The one common theme I see with leads is the fact that they all need to be educated. Let's work backwards and see how we handle these types of leads.
HOW TO HANDLE YOUR LEADS
Before we just into how to handle these folks, picture this for a minute. The 4 types of leads can be antiquated visually by thinking of them in terms of a football team. A football team takes a kick off and are able to return the ball or let it go into the end zone for a touch back. In that instance, the average starting field position is the 23 yard line, 25 for round numbers. Let's keep that in mind as we move forward.
These are the folks that start out at the 25 yard line. Your job is to take them 75 yards to score a winning sale. That's a lot of work. These folks aren't at all excited about speaking about your product or service. You need to do some work, here. First, you want to ask them questions that pertain to their business. Typically, there are questions they have never been asked, topics they have never covered, and challenges they have never considered. Your job is to build the value of your solution, creating a situation of why they should choose you. The biggest aspect with Dead Leads is that they see you and your solution as an expense. They justify it with a budget objection, a time objection, a need objection, and even times you'll get the trust objection.
These are the folks who start out at their own 40 yard line. They had a great kickoff return, have an efficient special teams and are effective with what they do. They need less work to get into the end zone, as they're already halfway to the end zone. Again, these folks simply need education on the product and service. They need to know how it works, why you arrived at the pricing for which you quoted. How the solution can help them increase productivity, justify pricing and return-on-investment, and provide examples, case studies and white papers on how it has helped others achieve the same goals they're striving for.
These folks start off at the opposing 40 year line. They're only 40 yards from a score and 10 yards from a sure score in a field goal. However, you want to help them score. These are the folks that know the plays that need to be called, are ready to call the few plays needed to punch the ball into the end zone. Alright, enough football analogies. These folks obviously require less work and they're already prepared to score, you simply need to guide them through the process, make recommendations and call the right plays that walk them into the end zone for that winning sale.
These are the folks that are already in the red zone, they're ready to score. You simply need to call the plays to do so. They know the plays, but need you to hike the ball to start the play. They're ready to buy, ready to give you their money because they believe in your play calling abilities and your track record. There are always opportunities to probe a little deeper and upsell them on various other products.
Now, the common theme of all leads include EDUCATION. You're constantly educating them about your solution, your business and you as a salesperson. A qualified lead is an educated lead, plain and simple.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
The Farmer and The Salesperson
Imagine you were a farmer and planted a crop of only one seed. What type of harvest would you expect down the road? You wouldn't expect to see much of a harvest at all. However, if you planted many seeds, and properly cultivated those seeds, you would typically expect an abundant harvest at the end of the season. Selling, and in particular prospecting is no different than farming. Some would say they're both exhausting and difficult fields to be in, but for the most part two very rewarding fields
The seeds that you plant are your cold calls, doors you knocked on, and people you stopped on the street. Plant one seed, or make only one cold call, and you cannot expect to have an abundant harvest at the end of your sales cycle. However, plant many seeds, or make many cold calls, and like the farmer, you can expect an abundant harvest at the end of your sales cycle.
I am sure all of us are too familiar with those desperate feelings that often accompany business development and sales. We ask ourselves, "Why didn't they call me back?" or say, "I have to get that appointment and make that sale!" I used to get like this all the time. I used to sit back and boohoo around the house and worry about my bills, my mortgage, and if I had enough month at the end of the money. The remedy for me was The Law of Sowing and Reaping which then yields The Law of Averages.
I have created a system for myself, I tested it, validated it, analyzed the data, and then tweaked it to ensure that my numbers were actually accurate. Once I scrubbed the data, I refined it even further, then, took that same system and deployed it for myself and my business. Ever since I went to this new system, I have trained aspiring entrepreneurs and taught them how to take this same system and boost their sales organically WITHOUT start up capital, WITHOUT business loans and WITHOUT investors.
This particular system is called the "Tenacious Twenty", and it's a very simple 20 day cycle of building your prospecting database, the output are prospects filling your pipeline, accounts turning over, and then you have a solid base of clients, hot leads, warm leads, cold leads and dead leads.
For more information on the Tenacious Twenty, feel free to contact me to discuss how it works and I'll assit you with the planning, prospecting, meetings, selling, closing, to upselling and asking for referrals.
Your Friend & Favorite Consultant
Curtis DeCora is the Chief Executive Officer with Optimize Business Solutions and also a Senior Account Executive with Integra Business. The experience and expertise is backed by 8 years of B2B sales, starting 44 small businesses, and helping clients save an average of $9,381/year.