How to Get High-Quality Sales Referrals

how to get high quality referrals

Every day, there are more than 2.4 million brand-related conversations in the US. Are people talking about your company?

Referrals transform a business from operable to booming. In fact, 65% of new business comes from referrals. As you increase your referrals, you increase your profit. Sure, referrals are hard to track, but they’re worth the work.

If you can master the art of referrals, your company will go from zero to 100 much quicker. Here’s how a lucrative referral process works.

Prime the Pump for A Referral

Talk about referrals before a customer even signs up as your client. Integrate key phrases like:

“Here’s why our customers send us referrals,”

“We’ve grown so much because of our customers’ referrals,” and

“People like to refer us because we work hard to take care of our customers.”

These remarks set the expectation that your clients refer new customers. And you should be straightforward about why you try to keep them satisfied. Tell customers you want them to be happy so they can send you other people to help too.

Ask for Referrals at the Right Time

People feel great immediately after they find relief. If you’re relieving a pain point for your customer, ask them for referrals as soon as their problem goes away. Otherwise, they forget how bad things were before you solved their issue.

Think about it like an illness. If my stomach hurt and your miracle pill made my stomach ache go away, I’d be so excited that I’d tell other people about it. But a week later, I may have forgotten my stomach ever hurt. If you wait too long to get referrals, the pain will have become too distant.

Plus, with the right timing, incentives for referrals become less important. Sure, it’s nice to offer a free month for a referral. But, if people are pleased with your product, they’ll want to recommend you to others with or without a bonus.

Know Your Referral Numbers

Do you know exactly how many referrals you got last month and where they came from? If you don’t, you have a problem. First, identify where your referrals come from. Anytime you get a client, ask them how they came to learn about your company. Make it part of the signup process.

People trust friends and family for referrals more than any type of advertising. Yet those referrals rarely show up as you calculate your website traffic or the effectiveness of your mailer.

So ask, “How did you find out about us? Did anyone recommend us?” every time you onload a new client. Then, if you see a trend, try to replicate it.

Say Thank You

Think about how much each lead costs. When someone gives you that lead for free, that’s cause for over-the-top gratification. You can’t forget to say thank you.

There are two ways to thank someone who refers you.

1. Refer them to others.

If they referred you, return the favor. Take the time to find a few people who may benefit from their business and make a recommendation.

2. Give a thoughtful gift.

A thoughtful gift shows how much you value the recommendation they gave. Consider giving gift cards to restaurants or other places you know they enjoy, or even choosing a bottle of wine. Monetary gifts are great, but thoughtful gifts help you stand out as someone who offers superior service.

Every customer has connections to at least three other potential customers. The only thing that keeps you from getting those referrals is failing to ask. Make referrals part of your organization’s culture and watch your business grow more than ever.

FreeEbook

4 Simple Strategies for Becoming a Better Sales Manager

becoming a better sales manager

No one likes having a manager. People like being a manager – keeping control, checking on everyone – but very few people would choose to be managed.

In sales, we think of managers as the bosses who make sure everyone else is doing their job. They monitor the team, hold others accountable, and deal with problems. But the best managers never need to check in. Why? Because they know what happens in the field without having to ask. They follow the activity of their sales team.

Strong, active salespeople leave a trail of sales and activity in their wake. Sloppy salespeople leave a mess behind them. Either way, a manager knows what’s happened based on CRM data re: calls and appointments.

If the manager ever has to ask a salesperson what they are doing, it means they aren’t doing anything. It’s like they’re sitting in a boat in the water without going anywhere – there’s no wake, no ripples, no activity.

So, if managers already know what’s happening, then their job needs to make a shift. It’s time to stop managing and start directing.

Change Your Title

A sales director benefits the organization much more than a sales manager. These words have the power to produce very different results.

Manager implies “boss”, while director implies “guide.”

Rather than manage, supervise, and evaluate, a director coaches and cues individuals to help them become more successful. Sales directors deploy their resources strategically to get the best results.

Cue Your Team

Most people need direction. Consider movie directors. They give direction to each actor and stagehand so that everyone knows the plan and understands when to do their part. Similarly, in orchestras, directors keep everyone on the same sheet of music and cue players at the right time.

A sales director does the same thing. They give direction to their team to produce the best product. Jack Daly illustrates this in the way he teaches about objections. He knows the best salespeople answer objections the exact same way every time. So he equips his team with successful responses to each main objection. Then they hear objections as a cue for their pre-planned response. Consequently, they overcome those objections more often than not.

Strategize to Reach Potential

Directors also empower their teams in a way that’s best for the organization. They figure out the strategies for working with different businesses. Then they put in the right reps at the right time to close sales. Directors come up with a plan, and then coach their team in how to execute it.

Foster a Coaching Relationship

A sales director also fosters better relationships with the team. When you change the title, you change the team’s perspective of the role. Directors act as more of a coach than a boss. Most people in sales are independent – and sales allows freedom. They want to be their own boss, not feel like someone is measuring their every move. When you act like a director, they’re more likely to see you as someone they can turn to for guidance.

With the mentality of director comes a proactive approach to working with salespeople, as opposed to a reactive management approach that only steps in when there’s a problem. So, if you’ve been spending your time managing a sales team, it’s time to change. Become their director so you can lead both your team and your organization to greater success.

FreeEbook

The #1 Reasons CRMs Fail

bvM3v3dU6jCL_vEG3xfocJZGX97LbVADknBGOcpuJUY

You can almost feel the collective shudder when you mention the words “new CRM” to salespeople. The last thing a salesperson needs is another thing to do! And adding a new CRM often feels like just one more responsibility.

Most people hate trying new CRMs (for good reason) because it gives them another task to think about but doesn’t generate profit. What they don’t realize, is that CallProof isn’t just another CRM. It’s a tool that eliminates some of their responsibilities, letting them focus on what they do best — sell!

Salesperson Buy-In

Managers — it’s time to start selling again. If you want a CRM to work, your salespeople need to use it. So sell it to them.

As you prep your team for CallProof, remember they’ve been through new CRMs before. Most (if not all) have created more work, making their jobs tougher. CallProof simplifies. It generates the reports so your salespeople don’t have to.

Here are three reasons why your salespeople will love CallProof and why it’s worth the learning curve:

1. It gives them more time to sell.

Those reports salespeople hate filing — CallProof takes care of them. Each call and appointment are filed by client and time. Then, when your salespeople need to see a client’s history, it’s at their fingertips. Now they don’t have to waste time filing reports. Instead, they can spend that time meeting new prospects and working with clients.

2. It streamlines their day.

Interrupting sales time to take notes and fill out spreadsheets diverts your salespeople’s attention. Toggling between “sales mode” and “report mode” disrupts their focus and makes them less productive. CallProof works alongside your sales team — automatically logging their appointments and calls. Also, they can voice-record notes on-the-go without ever having to sit down to document.

3. It communicates with you, the manager.

With automated reporting, as a manager you know what’s happening in real time. That eliminates the need for some of your salespeople’s check-ins, freeing them to focus on their daily sales. Then, if you see an area where you can help, you have the info you need to get the right tools in their hands.

Spend time explaining these perks to your sales team. Sure, learning a new process is a little painful in the beginning, but they’ll see a difference quickly. With this CRM, they can sell like they always do. The only thing that changes is that more tasks are automated so they can sell more.

If your salespeople don’t buy in, the CRM won’t work. But with a little time educating them about how much better their jobs will be with CallProof, you can have great reports, they can focus more on selling, and you all can reap the benefits.

FreeEbook

How Salespeople Can Eliminate the Pain of Paperwork

YwWpbXQrKoDxljWsi4OcNUG7rfGFC22chhIY8cnO7jw

Paperwork is a time suck. At least that’s how one of my salespeople put it. It feels trivial if you don’t know what happens to the data. It becomes redundant with form after form. But most importantly, it keeps salespeople from selling.  

Manual Sales Reports

Traditional sales reports require salespeople to document what they did throughout the week. Ideally, during or after each appointment, they write down the key points. In reality, note-taking interferes in the natural flow of the conversation. And after meetings, salespeople are too busy to write down what happened.

Salespeople aim to make money and keep clients satisfied. Paperwork derails them. After all, paperwork and sales require different mindsets. In sales, you enter “social” mode where you focus on having a conversation and pitching your product. In paperwork, you enter “report” mode where you zero-in on the details of spreadsheets and notes. When you have to switch between the two, your momentum slows down in both areas. You can’t maintain focus on your paperwork or fully engage in a sales conversation. Basically, it kills productivity.

A normal day for a salesperson includes unexpected phone calls, rushing from one appointment to the next, resolving issues with current clients, and talking to their boss when they call to check in. It simply isn’t practical to stop and take notes in the midst of all these demands.

Then, at the end of the day, they struggle to recall the details of what happened in each meeting. And missed details result in missed sales.

Automated Sales Reports

Fortunately, CallProof records data automatically, taking it off your mind completely. With these five automated reporting features, we log the details you no longer need to remember.

1. Calls You Make

Anytime you call a client, CallProof logs and timestamps it. It’s automatically documented and stored under the client’s name.

2. Calls You Receive

When a client calls you, we automatically file that as well. Again, it’s stored by name and time, with timestamps.

3. What Was Said

You can even record these calls so you don’t have to remember the conversation. Then, when you have time, you can listen to the call to follow up as needed. Again, they’re organized under client and time.

4. Appointments

CallProof clocks the time you walk into a meeting until you walk out. Then, as you leave, you can speak your notes and schedule your follow-up with two clicks on your phone.

5. Follow-Up

When you click to follow up after a call or appointment, CallProof saves that follow-up information to your calendar along with any notes or recorded calls associated with the client.  Then you can forget about it until your reminder sounds to reconnect with the client.

My CallProof Calendar

Selling is what should be on your mind, not figuring out when to follow up. This morning, I had five follow-ups that were automatically scheduled. I don’t even remember when I set them, but they all popped up today. So, when I started working, my to-do list was set for me. With a few clicks in CallProof, I refreshed myself on the details, then made my calls and sent my emails. It built a to-do list for me, so I could focus on my sales while it focused on my calendar.

Paperwork is not productive. Let CallProof manage the details while you make the sales.

FreeEbook

How Salespeople Can Maximize Their Time with Automated Routes (Introducing Callproof Routing)

2HeaT74Lum3fqqiJ8QQRlaLWm1E8hpTqyeyBqNLmhQ4

We all know the best sales tactic is to minimize drive time and maximize face time. Now CallProof routing does that for you!

Every salesperson knows visiting clients and prospects based on location optimizes their time. CallProof has always shown these businesses on the map so you could maximize your proximity. Now you just select who you want to see, then CallProof maps your day.

Plus, routing reports automatically. Sales managers love real-time data, but they love REAL data even more. Although we give salespeople all the tools they need for easy reports, that data still depends on someone entering it. Until now. The routing feature automatically reports the route salespeople take, and the appointments and prospecting that happens along the way.

How Routing Works

Using this feature is both easy and efficient. Routing allows salespeople to maximize their time and location by producing a turn-by-turn guide in just a few steps.

First, choose an area of town. When you pull up the map, you’ll see prospects and existing clients nearby. Then select the businesses you want to visit.

CallProof routing organizes those stops into the most efficient route, choosing the order and giving you directions from one place to the next. Along the way, you’ll know which contact is closest and the best way to get to them. And you’ll view it all through an interface you’re used to: Google Maps. If you plan to visit the area again, you can even save the route for future use.

Sales managers also reap a major benefit from routing. They get to see the exact route their salespeople took and the stops they made. They get data they can trust. Managers can then use that data to keep their sales team accountable and offer additional training as necessary.

At the end of the day, salespeople have maximized their time, mileage, and prospecting opportunities. Meanwhile, sales managers have equipped their team with the tools they need for great sales opportunities and received reliable data in return.

Phase 2: The Desktop Version

Managers, get ready for a desktop version of routing coming your way soon. With this tool, you’ll be able to build routes for your team. After creating a route, you can assign it to a salesperson, giving them a specific course for the day.

You’ll then be able to review these routes (and the ones they created) on your desktop, using the information to tailor your training and sales plan.

How It Simplifies

CallProof takes a map you already use and makes it even more efficient. You don’t have to figure out another mapping system. You just use the CallProof app (and soon desktop version!) to plan your day and optimize your time on the road.

No use copying and pasting the addresses from an app to a map. With routing, you’ll just click your stops and let the system do the work. Now you can visit even more clients, and boost your business.

If you’re an outside salesperson, you already use your phone and maps to get the best routes. This system ties them together without creating extra work.

FreeEbook

How the Right Mobile App Can Skyrocket Your Auto Glass Sales

sales tracking app auto glass sales

Would sales call software make a difference in your sales? Sometimes apps seem more like a convenience than a necessity, but the right sales app can change your game completely. Why? It actually gives you information and protects it like no spreadsheet can.

People only buy auto glass when they have an accident, right? When people need a new window, they call their insurance agent, not the auto glass company. So you face a unique challenge of influencing the referrer, not the buyer. To complicate it, you need to see as many people as possible during a day, maximizing time by location.

So how do you influence an influencer? Build relationships. Get to know local insurance agents. Become friends on Facebook so you know what to talk about (or not talk about). Remember their kids, hobbies, likes/dislikes. Why? You want them to remember you and be the one they recommend.

Benefits of a Sales Tracking App

Sales tracking apps help you do all that (and more!). It keeps you in those face-to-face meetings and minimizes drive time. Plus, it provides you real-time information on your clients while keeping your notes stored securely. Here are the top five ways sales call software improves your business.

1. Keeps Data Accessible

You need a place where you can quickly find your prospects’ data and access it easily. Here, you can see all your notes and data from past visits. CallProof takes this a step further and allows you to generate a map of these clients to optimize your day.

You can log into CallProof and see the 10 insurance agents you want to see that day on a map. Click on the agents you want to visit to optimize the route. Now you know which one to start with and which one to go to next.

When we navigate your stops, we generate an extra 25% increase in the number of people you visit. Any CRM can organize data; the key is organizing your route. Plus, it factors in current traffic issues to save you even more time.

2. IDs Prospects You Haven’t Called

Our system also reminds you to contact the prospects that you haven’t talked to recently. As it tracks your follow-ups, we organize the reminders from oldest entry to newest. This way, your clients hear from you in regular intervals.

3. Gives Up-To-Date Business Info

There’s a high turnover with insurance agents. We integrate with Google Business directory to see the most recent information on each company. With this tool, you can find new agents in the area and know when your old contacts have moved.

A lot of organizations buy leads but the data can be 10+ months old by the time it gets to the sales team. Some organizations we work with even come in using data that they bought years ago. When they start using CallProof, their contact world completely changes because their data is up to date.

4. Tracks Referral Sources

Sometimes it’s hard to know whom to thank for your referrals. And a thank you goes a long way. With CallProof, you can create special numbers for agents to distribute to their clients. Then, when a customer calls, you know who referred them and can give credit where it’s due.

5. Continues Relationships If Your Salesperson Leaves

You’ll have turnover in your organization. So set yourself up to easily fill the shoes of someone who leaves. If you’ve been using a sales tracking app, you know the clients for each of your employees. CallProof keeps track of call history, plays previous conversations, and documents each meeting. Plus, it’s out of the salesperson’s hands. If they decide to leave, good terms or bad, they can’t manipulate or deny access to their data. The manager always maintains access.

Sales call software works. Let it work for you.

FreeEbook

Sales Pitch Template: How to Create a Cold Calling Script

cold calling templates

Every journey requires a good map, whether you go old-school with the folded guide, or just download an app. Your sales journey is no exception. It starts with a cold call – and you don’t want to make it unguided.

A cold-calling script provides direction for both objections and recurring situations. It’s also a system that gives unity to the organization so your salespeople are on the same page. You don’t need a separate script for every person. Rather, each person starts with the same sales pitch templates and tweaks it to fit the prospect.

Most people get uncomfortable with objections, but a script provides a reference for how to reply. You can also create scripts for situational selling. If your competitor’s customers are dissatisfied, write a specific script that resonates with them. Use language that reminds them of the challenges and shows them how you’ll do better.

Tips for Writing Cold Call Scripts

Remember: the purpose of a cold call is NOT to make a sale. The goal is to schedule a meeting. Make a simple introduction as a means to build a long-term relationship, such as, “I’m new here at X and we work with companies like yours. I know you’re active in the community, and hopefully, we can meet one day.”

Think of cold calls like drip email campaigns. Don’t ask for anything initially. If you do, they may have a negative reaction and cut off communication. Instead, consider this phase one. Have a simple conversation and add value to your prospect aside from making a sale.  

Maybe you say, “Hi. I just wanted to introduce myself. I know you’re the key buyer at X. I’ve been here for a few months and you’re listed as a prospective customer for your organization. I’ll be sending you an email, just to give you some information. If you ever need anything, I would like to support you.”

Too many people are so eager to get the appointment, they skip building the relationship first. A cold call is just the first step. Don’t jump ahead.

What NOT to Say In Your Cold Calling Script

“I know you’re busy but…” is never a good way to start a conversation. If you have something valuable, it’s worth the interruption.

The full sales pitch doesn’t belong in a cold call either. Save your sales pitch template for the meeting. Remember: the purpose is to schedule a time to meet, not make the sale.

“When are you available?” gives your prospect an easy way out. Don’t ask for an appointment but rather tell them when you’d like to stop by. A good salesperson sells by territory and focuses on one location at a time. Don’t book one meeting in one part of town on a Monday and then book another meeting on the other side of town that same day. Instead, make your prospecting calls based on location and bring up a time you plan to stop by.

Creating Your Cold Calling Template

It only takes a few steps to build a cold calling script.

  1.  Introduce yourself.
  2.  Tell them you’ll stop by.
  3.  Base your script on time and location.

When you put it all together, it may sound something like this.

“Hi. I’m Robert. I work at X payroll services. We work with companies like yours so I wanted to introduce myself. If you ever need anything in the future, I’d like to support you. In fact, I’ll be on the east side of town Tuesday afternoon. I’d love to stop by and just hand you my card so you have a face to go with the name. Do you mind if I come by?”

You can also add, “I know you use an X vendor. I’d like to be your backup plan should that ever change.” I love using this language in a script because you never know when the provider is going to slip up and give you the chance to win over their clients.

If you’re in sales, you know you have to start somewhere. These cold calling tips get you on the road to meeting future clients with a positive, meaningful first conversation.

FreeEbook

Follow-Up Emails: When Should You Stop Pursuing a Prospective Client?

prospect follow up emails

Any good salesperson knows they have to follow up to get a response. Only 2% of sales occur at the first meeting, and if you didn’t follow up with prospects persistently you’d never meet your sales goals. But when should you stop pursuing a client? How do you know if it’s time to move on?

Spoiler alert: it’s probably not.

Before You Call It Quits

Remember, buying decisions are event-based. Whether it’s pain points or circumstances, the conditions have to be right for a sale to take place. So before you move on, make one last contact.

You never know when circumstances will change for your prospect. Recently, I found out a company we used was not honest in delivering the services expected from them.  Now it’s time for a new company. I get calls or emails from similar providers once a week. A week ago, I told them I wasn’t interested in changing.  But now, after a mistake like this, I’m a viable prospect. All it takes is one mistake for a prospect to go from telling you to go away to being willing to meet.

People make purchases based on pain points that they have today or expect tomorrow. If they don’t have pain, they don’t care about your service. So look for a potential pain point. Are they paying too much for the same service? When you point that out, you cause discomfort. Can you offer them incentives to sign up or give them additional benefits? When you show all they could gain with your company, you highlight the problems with their current situation.

Also, everyone has a different industry. If you know people become prospects seasonally, insert calls or emails before that time comes. If you sell landscaping equipment to landscapers, you know the season starts in February. Have your sales team work overtime in January to build those relationships and get your products delivered when the prime time comes. Look at the calendar, and plan the year down to a micro-level based on your industry highs and lows.

Not All Follow-Ups Are Created Equal

When you have a qualified prospect (but can’t make the sale), you may just need a different approach to your follow-up.

Sometimes you need to hit pause on the pursuit. If someone tells you no and asks you to stop emailing, set a reminder to check their profile once a month. As soon as they leave the organization, resume contact with the person who takes their place.

For those that aren’t responsive to your sales efforts, touch base for a different reason. If you see a prospect in a news article or featured in a blog, email them and say congratulations. Just set a Google alert for their name so you don’t miss an opportunity.

Also, look for introductions that benefit your prospects. Is there someone you can introduce them to that would help their business? Later on, they may return the favor. You can even just tell them, “Happy Birthday!” The key is to stay in their realm of contact. Stay on their mind.

You don’t always need to push the sale, but any communication that provides them value works in your favor.

How Do I Track My Follow-Ups?

Keep track of when you talk to your prospects so you can stay in touch regularly. At CallProof, we track follow-ups by the last point of contact and we organize this oldest to newest. That way, you know that your next follow-up should be with the prospect that you talked to longest ago.

The software automatically takes emails, follow-up calls or face-to-face meetings, and puts them into the database, so you know the last time you communicated. It also keeps the actual recording or email. I recommend going back and listening to those previous calls before you make the follow-up call. Then, reference things from that last conversation to show the client you’ve been paying attention.

Is It Time to Stop Following Up?

The only real time to stop following up is when someone isn’t a qualified prospect. Maybe you realize they don’t have the money for your product or aren’t the right size for your service. If the company is too small for your service to apply or too big for you to provide for, it’s okay to call it quits.

When you have a good prospect, don’t give up. Instead, get creative and clue in. The more intentional and valuable you are to your prospects, the more likely you are the close the deal, now or later.

FreeEbook

The Sales Manager’s Guide to Working With Millennials

sales manager guide working with millennials

Remember the “Fragile Egg” experiment? Back in Home-Ec class (before the days of automated baby-dolls), students babied an egg for a week. We prepared a shoe box, put tissue in it, and carried a raw egg around hoping no one would bump into us and break it.

Well, that’s what it often feels like to employ a millennial. Delicate. Stepping ever-so-carefully so you don’t “break” them.

Millennial salespeople aren’t always this fragile—everyone is different, of course—but certain issues seem to come up more with this age group. If you want to successfully hire and manage millennial salespeople, here’s your guide to millennials in the workplace.

Challenges to Working With Millennials

My generation grew up with our own struggles and our own challenges. It was the ‘80s. We worked at one job, we didn’t have the internet, and we had to figure out a lot of things on our own. Maybe that’s why millennials can seem hard to manage. We were raised in different worlds. But working together can work if we know how to bridge those differences.

Most of the challenges that come with millennials in the workplace center on the phone. Why? For one, phones bring distractions, and distractions keep people from selling. With incessant buzzing that delivers information, updates, and conversation, it’s difficult to focus on the job at hand.

Start by coaching salespeople who struggle with these distractions. Suggest they cut the problem off at the source by turning off notifications for anything not work-related during the work day. Then, rather than having to resist the temptation to check the chime, they can keep their mind on work.

Millennials also face the challenge of using the phone differently. Their phone use has little to do with talking, and much more with text and emojis. Back in the ‘80s, if you wanted to ask someone out, you called and navigated the nuances of conversation. Now, you swipe left. That being said, millennials may have great potential for phone conversations, but they lack experience. They need you to teach them how to make calls because it’s just not a skill they’ve had to develop.

Top Strategies for Everyday Management

With a predicted 3 out of 4 workers being millennials by 2025, you’ll be hiring one in the not-so-distant future if you haven’t already. And with an average cost of $24K to replace each millennial, you’ll want to make sure you hire the right ones.

Beyond coaching employees in phone use, these three strategies will equip you for navigating your sales manager responsibilities with millennials.

1. Find Their Motivation

Good salespeople want, even need, to prove themselves. When you hire anyone, figure out why they want to work there. Do they want to earn money? If you’re in a performance-driven workplace, that’s who you want to hire. Do they want to be the best? When they see sales stats posted, you want the person who does whatever it takes to be number one.

If you find someone who just wants the flexibility of a sales position, they’re probably not the right fit. 89% of millennials prefer to choose when and where they work rather than working a 9-to-5 job. Make sure the self-directed schedule isn’t the only reason they’ve applied.

2. Encourage a Friendly Culture

Millennials thrive in a relational workplace. They crave the real-world community and a place to belong. So foster a culture of friendship during the workday and after hours. Form a team in a kickball league, or do something else that gets everyone outdoors and active.

In regular operations, change up the sales teams and leaders so people get to know each other. Some companies have Friday lunch together. They all eat together at a certain place and time, and some even cater lunch for the whole office once a month.

Your goal is to facilitate conversations people wouldn’t naturally have. When people (of any generation) feel like they belong to their organization, the benefits abound. They take less time off, they find more motivation, and they stay there longer. It’s really a win for everyone.

3. Balance Criticism With Compliments

Most people don’t enjoy conflict, but it’s particularly avoided by millennials. You’ll inevitably have critiques for your younger employees, so phrase it intentionally and put the criticism in context.  

When I have a new hire, I let them know, “You’ll make lots of mistakes and that’s okay. It’s my job to give you feedback, so you can be the absolute best salesperson.”

Then, when I have criticism, I balance it with compliments. In fact, make the positives outweigh negatives. For every one critique, give seven compliments. This works to soften the blow criticism delivers. It’s not just constructive criticism you want, it’s contextual criticism.

When you hire the right people, shape your office climate, and critique carefully, you’ll help your millennial salespeople find success. Millennials are the most educated generation in American history. And with the right management, they can be a great addition to your sales team.

FreeEbook

Learn These Subtle Sales Signals to Increase Your Close Rate

 

sales signals to look for

Everyone has to start somewhere. Building your client list from scratch is tough, so where do you begin? Most salespeople hit the pavement and dial numbers, talking to one prospect after another, grasping at any potential lead. But the best place to start is getting to know your audience.

Think about who needs your product. Then look for the following signs that the prospect is ready to consider an offer. That way, you’ll work smarter (not harder) and generate a client list to be proud of.

Leadership Changes

Take advantage of changes in leadership with an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. With new leaders comes new potential for relationships. When buyers leave their companies, so do the connections they built. If they had a strong relationship with a vendor, their exit opens the opportunity for a new relationship with a different vendor.  

LinkedIn gives you a snapshot of these changes. That’s why you should always connect with prospects on LinkedIn, especially when they’ve told you no. Why? The person, not the company, told you no. When they leave that organization, you have another chance at the deal. Plus, you may have connections to the new buyer that give you an edge.

Related: Salespeople: Fix Your Elevator Pitch to Get a Meeting With Anyone

Unfortunately, leadership changes are also the reason you’ll lose your best clients. If your key contact leaves and the CEO doesn’t know you, the door is open for other people to come in and sell. Too many salespeople fall into this trap. Realize that changes mean opportunities. If your buyer leaves, it’s time to build a relationship with the new buyer before someone else does.

New Jobs

When buyers transition into new positions, don’t let them go that easily. Reach out to them. They may pave the way for you to work with their new organization or help you do better with their past employer.

Take them to lunch and pick their brain. Ask, “How would you do business with your past employer if you were me?” They may give you special insight or even help you navigate the sale. Now that they’re gone, they have nothing to lose.

Weather- or News-Related Opportunities

There’s also a lot to gain from being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes, sales signals just fall in our laps.

Bad weather creates numerous needs in home repair and preventative services. If you’re serving an area that’s just experienced storm damage, capitalize on the needs that surround you.

Related: The #1 Question You Should Ask During Your First Sales Appointment

Also, stay aware of marketplace news. If there’s a story about your company, your competitors, or your product, seize the opportunity of raised awareness. Prospects are primed for you to reach out and build relationships with them.

Obvious Needs 

Keep your eyes open to the obvious needs that surround you. If you sell signs, look for businesses that have bad signage. If you sell uniforms, look for prospects that have worn-looking uniforms. Sometimes you’ll make a sale simply from noticing the blatant needs right in front of you.

Government or Legal Compliance Changes

Be aware of laws that affect your target markets. In Tennessee, we recently passed some of the strictest laws in the country on data breaches. If someone steals data, even if it’s encrypted, we now legally have to notify all affected people. If I were in the business of data security, I’d present to potential clients about what that means for their companies to capitalize on the ramifications for not having the service we provide.

Recent Funding and Hiring Posts

If a new series of funding hits or you see posts for hiring, those are indications that the company is doing well. Their success suggests they may now be ready to buy your product.

New Locations

When companies relocate or expand, they’ll need services for their new site. Pay attention to location changes and take the chance to meet their upcoming needs.

Looking for the right cues makes all the difference in the success of a salesperson. When you tune in to these signals, you’ll discover one sales opportunity after another.

FreeEbook