Archive for June, 2011

Getting to Success

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

by Kathrine Glass

We are told our entire life to listen.  As kids we heard “listen in class”, “ask for permission to speak”, “don’t interrupt your elders”, “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason”, and a host of other sayings, all designed to perfect a lifelong skill – listening!  Listening is a tool that we use to capture information and information is the key to success!

We all sometimes forget to listen. It could be because we are nervous or because we are unprepared or because our managers are telling us to “sell this widget today!” Instead we immediately begin to tell.  We tell about our products, we explain the reason that we think our program is a fit, and we describe how our programs are better than all of the others.  Unfortunately we have done very little to engage the client and find out information from them.  We need the information because it is the key to success! How do we get our prospects to share the important information and help us unlock the door? Just ask!!

At Morrison and Abraham, our philosophy makes capturing information easy!  Just get answers to these five categories:

  • Product / Service
  • Target Audience
  • Partners
  • Timing
  • Budget

The number of questions and the type of questions you can ask are endless.  Just be sure you stay on point, listen and by the end of the call be sure you can check off on each category.  It should feel like a scavenger hunt and you are uncovering clues with every good question you ask. Hopefully you have done research and set up some of your questions prior to the call.  The more you know the better you will feel about the call, the more confident you will sound and the more credible you will be.While not ideal, even if you haven’t done your research, you can still set up questions on the fly by remembering the categories.  They will help you get where you need to go in the discussion.

The best sales people are curious!  Nurture your inner curiosity!

If you would like to learn more about how to build compelling questions to unlock important information needed for success, contact us at 781-986-2100 to schedule a telecoaching session or click on the link below.

Phone Skills Coaching, $200/hour Click here

Building Credibility by Telling Stories

Monday, June 20th, 2011

by Ginny Speaks

When was the last time you heard a really good story?  One that captured your attention and made you stop and listen.  Stop right now for a moment and give this some thought.  Do you have one in mind?  I would be willing to place bets that you can recite it with passion to others.  This is the power of storytelling.   A tool, as sellers and managers, that helps us establish credibility– especially when cold calling.  We only have a brief window on the phone to capture the attention of the prospect on the other end before they tune out and great stories do this quickly.

As anything in life, practice makes perfect; practice, practice, practice.  Take a look at your successes over the years, the programs that you are most proud of, the promotions that brought the best results and write them down.   Make a one-sheet of these successes and begin to recite them to yourself, to your team mates and to your family until they are ingrained and flow easily.  Make sure to limit the story to about 5 minutes and hit the high points.

For example, we worked with the VP of Marketing at a Credit Union out west and our assignment was to create a program that got men 18-34 with high interest car loans to refinance with their institution.  This particular Credit Union knew that their interest rate was the best in the market and if they could get consumers to see how much money they could save over the term of a loan, they would have a great chance of capturing new business.   Our Shift to Savings program did just that!  The results of the program doubled the projected loans.  We were able to create an integrated marketing program that captured 400+ loans worth 5.6M in dollars.  Now if you were a VP at a bank or a Credit Union and heard this, would you stop and take note?

Phone Skills Coaching, $200/hour Click here

Engaging the Consumer is Still the Buzz Word

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

by Susan NovickiSue Novicki

All of you are dealing with agencies in one way or another, some more often than not.  I hope that you constantly think about what you are presenting to an agency and how it is being delivered to the client.  And who are you talking to at the agency?  I was at the Radio Ink Convergence Conference in Mountain View California a few weeks ago and one of the speakers reaffirmed my belief that we need to be talking to the ultimate decision-makers.  Cari Jacobs is a marketing strategist for companies such as Sungevity Home Solar, Lexus, Coca-Cola, AT&T, P&G among others.  I know this may seem a tad cliché at this point, and we have been saying this for years, but customer engagement is still a “buzz word”.

Cari told the audience that anything that a company does needs to be engaging the consumer.  With Sungevity, for example, they have five agencies to help them connect to consumers.  But which agency are YOU talking to?  Cari told us that sometimes she stays awake at night wondering what her agencies aren’t presenting to her.

The customer has to be moved emotionally to act – to do something.  So any program needs to be robust to engage with consumers.  Each of you should be creating integrated programs to do this.  Spots, social media, endorsements, digital integration and on-site presence are all ways to create these programs and all of you are capable of putting these types of programs together.   But who are you talking to and what are you hearing?  Are you talking to a decision-maker that is the ultimate point of contact to sign off on a program?  Have you done a strong enough need analysis so you understand the five key directions from the conversation?

If a company like Sungevity works with five agencies – and this is not one of the largest companies out there – what are we missing by only dealing with one of them?  Why shouldn’t we be dealing directly with the ultimate decision-maker who is at the company not the agency?   And how are we helping these people to “emotionally move the consumers”?