Archive for March, 2012

Forming Good Habits to Build Your Book of Business

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Kathrine Glass

by Kathrine Glass

Ever feel like there is just too much going on to focus on your business development efforts? We tend to get so overwhelmed with day-to-day activities that the idea of spending a little time to focus on building our book of business feels like too big of a mountain to climb. However, a little at a time can go a long way to gaining traction and ultimately success.

Choose one category and focus on five to ten accounts within that category. This will help you to get comfortable and knowledgeable in the category. Plus, it helps you with efficiency. You can use the same success stories and similar idea starters. Once you have a good, solid voice mail script built, it will likely work well with other companies in the category. The same is true for your Dialing for Dollars questions, which can be tweaked for each company’s specifics.

Make an appointment with yourself. Time management is another key to successful business development. Mark out time on your calendar for your efforts and don’t let anything get in the way. That appointment time is set with a CEO – YOU! You are a CEO of your own book of business. You would never half-heartedly move or cancel a meeting with a CEO, would you?

Build up your funnel in bite size chunks to stay active but not overwhelmed. Systematically add activities for your accounts each day so that you are moving them through the sales process. This will help you stay focused and energized and increase your chances of closing!

  1. Research one company per day.
  2. Prepare your voice mail script and your Dialing for Dollars questions for one company per day.
  3. Landscape to find multiple decision makers for one company per day.
  4. Call! Call! Call! Remember….it takes at least five connections in order to get the decision maker to call you back. In fact, some research says it takes at least nine times! Don’t get discouraged! Think of it as a game.
  5. Email immediately after you leave a voicemail. Decision makers are more likely to contact you if the email is sent immediately after you leave your compelling voicemail. Don’t wait a day or two to send. Remember this is your first impression.

The most important thing is to stay consistent. We often find that our clients begin to form good habits but then just as quickly are sidetracked and their momentum fades. Our most successful AE’s are the ones that are methodical, prepared and tenacious. Getting in a rhythm and making business development a part of your daily routine will definitely make the process more fun and attainable — ultimately keeping your spirits up and your revenues strong!

Wisdom: What We Learn After We Know it All

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Ginny2012

by Ginny Speaks

I’m not a finished product. Are you?

Hopefully, this question made you pause for a moment. This is chapter 36 in the book, QBQ: The Question Behind the Question, by John G. Miller. This small jewel is one of those easy quick reads that will impact not only your business, but your personal life as well. I stumbled upon it under one of my piles of paper on my desk while cleaning up my office this week.

It’s about asking the question behind the question: what to really ask yourself to eliminate blame, complaining and procrastination. It’s about practicing the art of personal accountability at work and in life. Now that is a topic that bears discussion.

So, I ask you to stop what you are doing right now.   Take a moment, shut your eyes and think about a typical day. Visually see your day unfold. It might begin with the morning alarm, then the drive to work in traffic, the sales meeting, the numerous cold calls, the sales appointments, the paperwork — you get my point. During this process, evaluate your actions, thoughts and words.

Now, ask yourself these questions.

  • How did I handle the challenges that were thrown my way?
  • Did I become a victim of the day or did I contribute and rise above?

We all have the power within us each day to choose. Yes, we do have a choice. How we react to any given situation resides in our hands, we get to decide. As we begin to understand the power of our words and thoughts and how they impact our book of business, our attitude, our energy and workplace, we can begin to shift our thinking. When we shift our thinking to more positive outlooks and rise above the fray, we begin to develop stronger relationships not only with ourselves, but with others.

The once seemingly daunting task of picking up the phone one more time to make numerous cold calls becomes an investigative challenge and hunt to find a key decision maker and connect. The closed-minded prospect becomes the one that loses, not us. They miss the opportunity to work with a marketing specialist and organization that helps thousands of businesses grow each day. The examples are endless.

I encourage you all to pick up this book and add it to your reading list. I promise you, if you begin practicing the art of personal accountability, your business will grow. How powerful is that?

Leaving Breakthrough Voicemails

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

AmberNew

by Amber Brown

So, you can’t get a call back. Now what? Nothing can be more frustrating for a sales person than leaving voicemail after voicemail to a new prospect that never returns your call. This brings to mind that old saying about insanity…doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

Here are a few tips to help you breakthrough:

  1. Do Your Homework – There are many tools out there to gain insight on the companies and individuals that are prospects. Take the time to do some intelligence gathering before you get on the phone.
  2. Are you Calling the Right Person? Don’t assume that because someone has a title that they are the right person to call. Landscaping for decision-makers is part of the process and confirming WHAT they do is critical.   Often the reason a person won’t call you back is because they aren’t the right person!  I think it’s good to have multiple names….and leave message for more than one person.
  3. Be Brief, Create a Sense of Urgency – The voicemail should be a prelude and must quickly gain the attention of the prospect. Practice what you are going to say.   Bridge the conversation by injecting something you learned in your research that is relevant to the prospect. For example, “I have a unique opportunity to have active outdoor consumers engage with your new C class vehicle around the March launch”.   Be clear that you want a call back to discuss.
  4. Don’t Dig Yourself into a Hole – Remember that when you leave a message, it should address items that are important to the prospect. “Selling cars, moving cases, engaging consumers, driving traffic.” Be careful about using media jargon, call letters and make the message relevant to the prospect.
  5. Ask for ACTION from the Recipient….but don’t make too big a request!   Don’t just ask for a call back, but ask for a time on the phone that would work for both of you.   Let’s face it, phone tag can go on for weeks. You only need one call back at a time both of you can connect. Offer a few times that might work in the next week or two. Remember, Monday’s and Friday’s are the best day.
  6. Double Up – Always follow up with email, if you can. Make it a habit when finding contacts to ask for an email.   If you don’t have it, get creative, check LinkedIn or call back an assistant and ask for it.  In your voicemail, tell the prospect you will send them an email as well to start a conversation. Don’t wait to send the email, do it IMMEDIATELY! You want the prospect to receive both within minutes of each other.   Restate what you said and ask for a time on the phone to talk.

If you are still not getting calls back, then I challenge you to leave practice voicemails on your own voicemail. It’s often telling to sit on the other end. Ask yourself if you’d call back. What you hear might break through the Insanity!