All Posts By

Rebekah Butler

All Bar The Selling

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One of the most common issues we see in organisations is the lack of focus on actual selling. Before you start thinking, “this isn’t for us,” then let me add that we see it across all sorts of organisations, large and small.

There is a lot of talk about selling, particularly among management. There are platforms, methods, reports (usually ad infinitum) tools, add-ons, KPIs and metrics a-plenty. But, sadly there is often a lack of selling. Too few in the organisation are actually ‘doing’ any selling, and sales slip when that is allowed to happen. Here are some reasons, and logically what you can do about it.

Firstly, it stems from the top. Nobody is singularly taking responsibility for the selling or lack of it in an organisation. Too few are out with the team, making sure that selling is actually taking place where it needs to. There is a lack of coaching, mentoring, assessment and generally getting alongside the team. When that happens, there is no accountability and we all know what occurs next.

Next, if the selling is shared amongst other jobs, then I can almost guarantee that the other jobs will win priority every time. After all, how hard is it to pick up the phone and make some sales calls, as opposed to answering emails or manage inventory? Almost always, there is a lack of ‘the buck stops here.’ Selling needs to be intentionally carried out.

Finally, there simply isn’t enough selling going on. One of the first things our Sales Directors look for in a business is, where is the rhythm? What is happening daily, weekly, monthly and so on, such that there is real responsibility being taken on by those doing the selling. Are the right conversations being had that are clear and to the point, are we taking orders on a regular basis, are we constantly on the hunt for new business (the #1 indicator incidentally, for business growth). I could go on, but basically, are we selling?

Quite simply, there is a lack of selling in many, many businesses that we see. People just don’t seem to focus on it. If you’re in any doubt at all how important it is, then when we were able to recently implement some of this into a client of ours, revenues doubled in 9 months. Don’t let your business become all bar the selling.  Changing things around in this area is one of the best things you can do in your business.

If our Sales Directors can assist in any way, we’d love to help. Give us a call and see how responsive we are!

PH: 1300 384 733

Surprising Sales Techniques…All About Responsiveness

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Effective sales techniques have long been the subject of discussion. Cold calling, door knocking, email marketing, direct mailing – there are a myriad different ways to get customers’ attention… but how do you convert them to a sale?

While the debate rages on about the most effective sales process and medium, some enlightening statistics have emerged:

  1. 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
  2. 80% of sales require 5 follow up calls after a meeting…44% of sales personnel give up after 1 follow up.
  3. If you follow up on online or phone leads within 5 minutes, the likelihood of conversion is 900% more.

So while we may spend our time strategising and agonising over the best ways and means to reach our target market, it seems that what customers want is attention. Like a jealous girlfriend they want us to prioritise them, respond to them immediately, take one overture as a sign for renewed contact. Customers want to feel like we value them enough to keep pursuing them (in a non-stalker way of course!). But its more than that – it’s about how responsive we are to our customers and prospects, and how timely our responses are.

The digital age and the advent of smart phones, has only amplified what has always been around – people look for responsiveness. We knew of a client who would step out of meetings to take or make calls to prospects, so that he could speak to them within 5 minutes of them sending a query. His sales were off the planet from this single factor alone.

Why then, when we go into sales teams, do we find fresh enquiries put into the in-tray, while we decide to work on admin functions.

Let these facts about responding to customers provide the basis for all future engagement with prospective customers. So the next time you hear a *ping* or a *zzzt zzzt*, no matter where you are, stop and respond. Give yourself every chance to make that sale.

If our Sales Directors can assist in any way, we’d love to help. Give us a call and see how responsive we are!

PH: 1300 384 7331

Written by Rebecca Laskary

You’ve Got Mail

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For those of us who can’t face the prospect of cold-calling, thank heavens for email! Campaigns can be prepared in advance by a marketing genius and sent out via an automated process. It’s a quick, easy, cost-effective and measurable way to market your products and services. It’s often the most popular means of marketing for generating sales as it involves the path of least resistance and is relatively unobtrusive for the consumer – we assume that they will simply delete any unwelcome emails or opt out.. while leaving us with an electronic trail of what actions they are taking. A win-win situation.

If you do decide to go down the route of EDM (electronic direct mail) then there are some things to bear in mind, even if you set up automated process for dissemination.

· The best time to email prospects is either 8am in the morning or 3pm in the afternoon.

· Thursday is the best day of the week to send out sales emails, followed by Wednesday.

· Email is almost 40 times more effective for new customer acquisition than Facebook or Twitter.

And while disseminating information at optimal times is extremely important and can enhance the likelihood of success, the content of the email is what will ultimately determine whether there is a conversion to sale. A smooth and easily transitioned sales process will facilitate click throughs and purchase, but the power-balance of the transaction lies in the content and how compelling it is.

Content needs to be:

· Enticing – containing compelling reasons for why the consumer would want to purchase your products/services.

· WIIFM – articulate the benefits to the consumer from their point of view. Don’t sell – offer them a solution to a problem they currently have.

· Factual – highlight the key features of your product/service.

· Special offer – offer an incentive for an immediate purchase and it will quadruple your chance of securing a sale.

· Attractively presented – appearance is everything and is especially true for sales emails. Make yours stand out by having it professionally designed to get attention.

· Monitor and measure – one of the key benefits to an e-campaign is that every click can be monitored and analysed. Always give consumers what they want – and a digital footprint will tell you what interests your recipient.

Here’s one last thing to think about; emailing with a follow up call, can increase a response by 8x, as long as the email is well constructed and relevant.

If you require assistance with your marketing content then one of our Marketing Directors can assist, or for a fully automated sales process and campaign call our Sales Director Centre.

Written by Rebecca Laskary

Will we ever learn? The 3 defining (f)laws of successful sales

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As anyone who’s ever had to generate sales knows, it takes a certain type and skill set to get on the phone and call prospective clients. Irrespective of whether you are cold calling, or following up on an in-bound lead response, picking up the phone to sell something seems to be anathema in today’s “you don’t need to sell anymore” business culture. We seem to have constructed a “PC-version of how to sell” around business, yet nothing is further from reality foe the majority of businesses still. From the receptionist to the MD, every individual needs to be selling their organisation, or it will fail.

While not many of us have much sympathy for interrupted mealtimes from telemarketers selling us something we really don’t want or need, there are countless times during a business day, when we need to pick up the phone and sell. Personally, I spend at least two decent chunks of time a week on the phone talking to people, selling our proposition – and that’s just with prospective ones.

The statistics we will turn up in the next few weeks are not new, in fact they are extremely well-known, they just happen to be largely ignored. We get asked endlessly by our clients for structure and strategy around their selling, but for many, simply building these statistics into their rhythm would vastly improve their sales performance.

We hope you see the value too and implement!

Recent research has turned up some interesting statistics:

1. 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.

2. It takes an average of 8 call attempts to reach a prospect.

3. The best time to call is between 4:00pm-5:00pm; the second best time is between 8:00am-10:00am.

As the statistics show, it can be a worthwhile exercise that’s the best way for some businesses to sell their products/services. However certain skills are mandatory in these circumstances.

Perseverance – You’d need to be self-motivating enough to keep dialling regardless of any response you receive. Even as the resounding “no’s” accumulate, you’d need to keep dialling.

Politeness – Regardless of the way you are spoken to, you’d need to mind your own manners. It’s not a personal call; you represent a company and their reputation is at stake. If someone doesn’t want to talk to you or listen to your spiel, then thank them for their time and wish them a pleasant day.

Respect for the consumer – Sometimes you will go through an entire conversation and not make a sale. Or you will be part-way through your sales dialogue and the consumer will tell you that they’re not interested or that they have to go. You need to respect them and respect their time. You can always ask if you can call back at a more convenient time, but if they decline, you need to wish them well and move on.

Honesty about your product – You may be asked about the qualities and benefits of your product/service. If you don’t know, then don’t make something up. Or if your product/service can’t deliver what they’re asking for, then don’t make any promises it can’t fulfil. For more information direct them to your website or give them a customer service number to call.

A thick skin – Above all remember that these are business calls and you represent a business, so don’t take it personally.  This is not The Bachelor, and you are not being rejected – your product/service is.

If you really can’t bear to pick up the phone and talk to your potential customers, then at least call us and our Sales Directors will help. Don’t forget, good sales people pay the wages of an entire organisation!

Written by Rebecca Laskary