What You Can Learn About Sales Hustle From an 8-Year-Old

Sales hustle

Eight-year-olds think they know everything. Trust me — I’ve got one.

They think they understand how life works and they don’t want help from anyone.

Now, as the adult, I can easily look at a situation and see the problems. But, if I ask my daughter, “Hey, can I help you with that?” or “Why don’t you try this instead?” the answer is a quick and determined, “NO!”

See, kids like to figure things out on their own — and so do your prospects.

The Sales Hustle Fail

If we’re honest, we’ve all got that little eight-year-old kid inside us — and we see it clearly in a sales hustle.

Here’s how it plays out:

  1. The customer is interested.
  2. The customer signs up to learn more.
  3. The customer is bombarded with emails, phone calls, etc.
  4. The customer says, “Not interested.”

What happened? They showed interest. They opted in. There was something they wanted more of — but then they declined. Here’s why.

Over the last 10 years, there’s been a big push to start the sales hustle as soon as someone shows interest. They give us their email or phone number and we put them into our sequences. We focus less on outside sales and more on the internal sales team’s follow-up strategies.

Sure, our internal sales teams have great systems for following up, but in creating them, they’ve sacrificed the customer experience.

Dial Back the Hustle!

How do you get back to really connecting with potential clients? Dial back the sales hustle. Focus on the customer, not the sale. Truly put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.

  • What did the customer actually want when they signed up?
  • Why did they sign up for a piece of content?
  • What are they responding to?
  • If you had that need, what sales approach would be comfortable for you?
  • Would you want someone calling you immediately?

Yes, the customer showed interest — but they don’t want someone looking over their shoulder while they figure out what to do.

As a customer, this is where our inner eight-year-old comes out. Maybe it’s best for someone to call immediately and tell us exactly how to solve our problem, but we want to figure it out on our own. When we feel too much pressure, we say, “No!”

Give customers the space to learn more without hovering over them. Sure, you know more than they do. You know how to solve their problem. But they THINK they know more… and they don’t want to hear otherwise.

Check this out: The Psychology of Sales: 4 Important Principles to Help You Close More Deals

When people give you their info, they’re obviously interested in what you sell. But don’t scare them off by asking too much too soon.

Use the Cold Call Perspective

Consider the people who sign up to learn more about your offer “new leads.” Don’t assume they’re ready to buy. Don’t automatically push them three steps down your sales funnel.

Instead, treat these prospects like a cold call list. Reach out and get to know them. They’re in the market for something. They’ve clicked through your email sequences and shown interest. Now it’s time to start a conversation.

Give them a call — not to close the deal, but to book an appointment so they can learn more.

People want the real deal. When they’re ready to buy, they want to deal with a person — not an automated sequence. So let them know who you are. You can even say, “Hey, I know you’ve seen some of our content, so I wanted to touch base. If you’re happy with your current situation, great! Stay with them — good partners are hard to find. But if you’ve become disenchanted with your current provider, I’d love to have a conversation with you. I want to earn your business, but only when the timing is right. And if you just want some advice, I’m open to that too. I’d like to get to know you.”

Related: Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone: A Lesson in Sales Cold Call Training

They’ll see you as a real person who’s willing to help. Then, once they think things through, they may be ready to have a sales conversation about the next steps.

Identify +/- Triggers

You don’t have to ditch the sales hustle entirely. I’m not telling you to abandon your internal marketing strategy. It’s obviously effective to some extent.

But you do need to look at what triggers your prospects to bail and what might win them back. We can’t give you these triggers — they’re specific to your sales approach. But if you can figure them out, they can play a big role in your sales conversion.

For example, a friend of mine owns an e-commerce company. When prospects go through the purchasing process, entering their name, email, and phone number, but bail before they buy, someone calls them immediately and asks, “Everything okay?” With a simple phone call, they recoup about 70% of those sales. It works for them.

Finding what works for you will take testing. But once you find a trigger that works at least 60% of the time, you’ll know you’ve found a way to better reach your customers.

We all like to believe we know what’s best. We like to control our own destiny. So, if your prospects are showing sudden signs of disinterest, take a look at your strategy. You may be coming on a little strong.

Yes, you could fix their problem if they let you, but remember, they’re acting like an eight-year-old! Let them know you’re available, then give them a little time and space. Eventually, they’ll come around!

 

The #1 Conversation You Should Never Have With a “Non-Decision Maker”

Conversations

Some people could be professional time-wasters.

You know the kind. They piddle, browse, and fidget their days away. But although we know some of the obvious wastes of time (like drifting into the social media vortex), other time-sucks come disguised.

Want to know a great waste of time? Trying to close deals with non-decision makers.

This is a classic hamster-on-a-wheel scenario. You’re working your tail off, but without the decision maker, the deal won’t go anywhere.

Trying to close a deal with a non-decision maker is simply a waste of time. However, non-decision makers can help us in other ways.

How to Identify the Decision Maker

As you navigate these early conversations, first understand who you’re talking to — what’s the person’s real role and responsibility in the company? Are they an asset owner or asset custodian?

Here’s the difference.

Asset custodians work for the company, but don’t own it. They’re building a resume and trying not to get fired. They don’t carry the weight of the company’s success or failure.

Asset owners bear the responsibility for the company. They’re personally invested in its success. They make the final decisions and are held liable for them.

Let’s say you sell software. When you talk to your contact in the IT department, you’re talking to an asset custodian. They’re looking for a cool program with awesome features. They don’t necessarily care if the sales or accounting departments like it. They’re not worried about the usability of the program. If it fails, they can likely justify why they chose it and pass the blame to someone else.

The owners, however, have a different perspective. They’ll purchase software based on what it can do for the company — not how cool it seems. It’s their company, their data, and their success at risk. Their motivations are different.

When you make a sale, you need both the owners and custodians onboard.

The asset owners are likely going to make the final decision to buy — so speak with them. It’s up to you to help them understand how your product will solve their problem. Don’t rely on your IT contact to just relay the information. Remember, they’re not the salesperson — you are!

But you still need your asset custodians to buy in. When it comes to everyday use, the asset custodians likely drive the success of the program. If they believe in your product, adopting it becomes much easier.

What You CAN Discuss With Non-Decision Makers

Once you know someone doesn’t have the power to make a purchase, change your objective. When you talk to a non-decision maker, it’s not about making the sale — it’s about fact-finding, planning your next steps, and generating buy-in.

Non-decision makers may not be able to close a deal, but they can give you some good information. You’ll likely be able to gauge how many employees work for the company and understand the scope of their need. You’ll also start to glimpse their pain. If there’s a problem, the gatekeeper isn’t shouldering all the responsibility for it, but they still have an idea of the issues at hand. Once you understand more about the company, you can better know how to approach future conversations.

Conversations NOT to Have With the Non-Decision Makers

Ultimately, your goal is to speak with the decision maker. You want to hear the pain-points directly from the person with purchasing power so you can explain how your product solves the problems. Your most important relationship is with the owner.

Related: 7 Rules for Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Yes, you ultimately want the asset custodians to buy in. But you have to choose your conversations carefully — otherwise you’ll never make it past these gatekeepers.

Here’s what NOT to do:

1. DON’T Give the Pitch

Don’t pitch your product to non-decision makers. If you tell them everything they need to know, you’ll never speak to the decision maker. Remember, your goal is to get to the asset owner. If you tell the asset custodian everything, they’ll just act as your middle-man and pass the info along. They’re not a salesperson, so the owner won’t hear the best pitch. Hold out to speak with the owner so they hear the pitch directly from you.

2. DON’T Write Them Off

Maybe you’re not talking to the decision maker, but you are speaking with an influencer. Everyone has their part to play and you want influencers in your corner.

In many situations, you’ll hear, “My boss asked me to look at different solutions and tell him the ones I like best.” That requires a different conversation than the pitch.

Tell the story that makes you relatable. Maybe you’ve been in their position and know what it’s like to try to narrow down solutions. The goal is to connect with them without launching into a full pitch. Always end with, “We’re interested in your business, so let me know what our next step is to earn it.”

3. DON’T Forget the Goal

For every conversation, set a goal. With a non-decision maker, the goal is NOT to close the deal. The goal is usually to book an appointment with the decision maker. Then make sure your conversation leads you to that goal.

Related: Make Yourself a Better Salesperson by Focusing on the Sales Activities That Matter

When we sell based on value (not price), we have to choose our conversations wisely. Every conversation is important — and every conversation is a stepping stone leading to a decision point. Don’t waste your time pitching to a non-decision maker. The key is knowing who you’re speaking with and driving the conversation accordingly.

7 Conversations You Should Never Have With a Prospect via Email

Email is easy. But easy isn’t always best.

People try to send emails instead of having conversations all the time. Sometimes it works. But in these seven situations, it just doesn’t.

Even if you’re tempted, don’t have these conversations via email. It’s time to pick up the phone.

1. Anything that starts with “Just”

I was just emailing…
Just following up…
Just checking in…
Just dropping a note…

NOPE.

Call them instead. When you’re speaking with someone, you can control the conversation and really take their temperature. Listen to them and propose something that’s reasonable.

If you think they’re a hot prospect, they’re worth a call. Say, “Hey, making sure you have everything you needed. When should I follow up with you next?” They’ll tell you where they are.

Maybe you thought they’d close next week, but they tell you, “Well, I need to run it by this person…” Now you know they’re not ready, while your “just” email would have likely gone unanswered, leaving you wondering where you stand.

Related: Use These Sales Follow-Up Strategies to Replace “Just Checking In”

2. Negotiations

Don’t negotiate over email. No one gets your inflections so it’s tough to communicate nuances. It’s difficult to distinguish between value and price in text. Everything is literally black and white while negotiations work best in the gray. Sometimes negotiating via email is unavoidable, but avoid it whenever you can.

3. Introductions

Pick up the phone if you can (and if it’s appropriate) to make an introduction. The point of an introduction is to connect with a new person — and email doesn’t provide the best channel for connection. With a phone call (or better yet, a face-to-face opportunity), you’re better able to put a personality to the name and establish a connection they’ll remember.

4. Become Someone’s Friend

Email isn’t the place to build rapport and make friends. You’re not pen pals. Again, there’s no inflection in text. We all read emails according to our moods — which leaves too much to interpretation. Save rapport building for a conversation.

5. Cancel Vendors or Customers

If you have a customer or vendor that’s not a good fit, still give them the respect of having a conversation about it. You need to listen to them, and you can explain why the relationship isn’t working out. If the conversation goes well, you may even get a referral out of the deal.

You’d never get a referral from email. They’re not thinking about that. But every time you talk to someone, as long as the conversation goes well, you have the opportunity for a referral. If you ask them about it in the course of a conversation, they may know just the person to send your way.

6. Apologies

It’s too easy for an apology to be misread via email. It’ll be misconstrued depending on what the person wants to see. If you keep an email apology too brief, it seems like you don’t care. If you make your email too long, no one will read it.

Plus, it always takes too much time. It probably took you 45 minutes to craft the message that’ll be misread anyway. Just call them or make an appointment to meet so you can apologize the way you intend.

7. Pitch a Sale

Sales pitches rely on interaction, which makes them near impossible to do via email. Even if you send a video sales pitch, you end up guessing about the client’s needs. You’ll spend a lot of time on disclaimers, “I think this is probably what you’re looking for based on…”

If a client asks for an emailed pitch, you can always try it. It won’t be as effective as a face-to-face pitch, but you’ll miss 100% of the shots you never take.

Related: Tell the Story, Make the Sale: Sales Conversation Starters to Improve Your Pitch

Sales is all about the relationship… and emails don’t allow for the back and forth you need to have the conversations that build sales relationships. So, whether it’s time to negotiate, check in, or apologize, pick up the phone. It’ll be worthwhile.

How to Create a Sense of Urgency in Your Sales Team

Sense of urgency

As an employee, it’s always nice to hear, “It’s okay. Just wait until tomorrow…”

But if you want to build a winning sales team as a sales manager, you need to build a sense of urgency.

You need your sales team to get excited, to crave a win today, and to move on leads quickly. And as their manager, you have to lead the charge. It’s your job to instill a sense of immediacy. You’re the one who emphasizes the importance of taking immediate action.

So how do you do it? It all starts with casting a vision. Then you help them get there with the right tools, fewer distractions, and accountability.

Here’s how to create a sense of urgency in your sales team that keeps them focused on meeting those goals ASAP.

Clear a Line of Sight

Set clear goals for your team. What are you trying to accomplish? Cast the vision and sell them on it.

Tell them, “Here’s where we need to be by the end of the quarter. If everyone does their part, we’ll get there. If we don’t get there it’s on me — but I’m not going to fail.”

Whittle Down the To-Do List

After you set the goal, look at what tasks help salespeople achieve it… and what don’t. Start eliminating the things that seem productive but aren’t — like research, filing emails, or anything that doesn’t result in an immediate sale. You can even tell them, “Hey, we all spend time (researching, filing emails, etc. ), but we’re not going to do it for 90 days. Instead, I’ve made arrangements for how we’re going to handle it.”

It may seem that the time spent doing these non-urgent tasks is minimal, but it adds up. And when your team takes some of the little things off their plate, they’re better able to focus on more productive work.

Brainstorm Together

Get your sales team involved in figuring out how to achieve those goals too. Explain how activities lead to sales. Then ask for input:

  • What tasks do they see as non-productive?
  • What time-sucks keep them from making a sales?
  • What “jobs” have nothing to do with meeting people and making a sale?
  • What ideas do they have for getting stuff done in a different way?

People are probably harder on themselves than you would be on them. And the more involved they are in thinking of ideas, the more dedicated they’ll be to acting on them.

Look at the Pipeline

Also, look at each person’s pipeline. Salespeople should not have 50+ leads in their pipeline — they should have about seven. Look at each contact in their pipeline and ask the salesperson what the next step is. If the next step isn’t, “I need to call them,” “I need to get this from them,” or “I need to find out…,” move them out of the pipeline.

Related: How to Increase Sales By Returning Calls Faster

Only keep the leads you can act on now. The pipeline is not the place for delayed action. It’s the place for leads you can act on immediately.

Communicate Consistently

As their manager, communicate regularly and consistently. If you can, have salespeople call or email you after every appointment or meeting. We call it an “after-action report.” If they know you’re in the loop, they’ll automatically be urgent.

Without accountability, people move at their own pace — which often isn’t as efficient as it could be. You’re not their babysitter or their auditor. But you are holding them accountable. This kind of communication is all about sharing, working together, and staying on the same page.

Should you pay them more or offer incentives for reaching goals?

Honestly, they don’t really help. Incentives won’t fix a lack of urgency.

Creating a winning sales team is all about establishing the right culture — a culture that feels a sense of urgency and gets things done!

Gear Load-Out for Outside Sales Pros: 11 Essentials to Have With You in the Field

Gear load out

We’ve all seen the frumpy sales guy come into a meeting fumbling through his stuff. His pen doesn’t work, he’s scattered, and his breath stinks. Don’t be that guy.

You want to be the guy who walks into a meeting cool and calm. You know your stuff and you’ve got the right stuff.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A Mobile Device

A mobile device is a must. Have it charged and ready to access your calendar, email, and a speech-activated CRM. But keep it in your pocket until it’s relevant. Turn all notifications off and resist the temptation to check it haphazardly.

Only pull it out when you need to send your contact information to the person you’re meeting or look at your calendar.

A Swiss Army-Style USB Charging Knife

Keep a swiss army-style charger in your pocket. You probably won’t need it since your phone is already charged, but someone else in your meeting might.

Digging for a charger is a sign of inferiority. Sure, people have legit excuses about why their phone isn’t charged, but it makes them look bad. Pulling out the cool charging knife shows you are one step ahead of the world. If someone’s phone dies, just toss them this tool and move on.

Five Sugarless Breath Mints

With breath mints on hand, you keep your fresh breath AND you have a literal exit strategy in your pocket. If the meeting is going long, keep listening intently while you pull out a breath mint, pop it, and lean back in your chair. They’ll take the hint and start wrapping up.

Pro Tip 1: Take mints out of the package so they don’t rattle. Either put them in a plastic bag or an immaculately folded napkin.

Pro Tip 2: Only buy sugarless mints — sugar causes bad breath so you’ll end up with worse breath than you had before.

Two Pens

Sales meetings aren’t the place for your Mont Blanc, but you will need two functional pens. You don’t want your pen to distract anyone from the conversation. You want them to focus on you.

And if one runs out of ink, you have another.

Two Sheets of Folded Copier Paper

Take these two sheets of paper, and fold them into a square. Leave them in your jacket pocket — don’t just set them on the table. When you need to take a note, pull them out and write down what you need. Do not unfold them unless you’re just refolding to get a clean space. After you jot down your note, put them back.

Why plain paper? Sheets of paper are easier to deal with later. If you write your notes in a journal, you may just tuck it away and forget about them. But if you have loose paper, you’ll read it right away and do what’s needed.

Plus, journals and legal pads make you look like a secretary — you’re not. Don’t try to take minutes on the meeting. If you’re only writing down selective notes, it’ll highlight what you’re paying attention to. And it’ll make the things you write down seem more important.

Five Tissues

If you need a tissue during the meeting you don’t want to pull out a bulky tissue packet, but you also need enough for yourself and to offer to someone if they need it. I always put tissues in my back left pocket with nothing else. Then, when I pull them out, nothing else comes with it.

And don’t use a handkerchief — they’re outdated and kind of gross.

Five Business Cards

Don’t hand your business cards out like candy. These are a last resort — only hand out a card if someone directly asks for it.

Your first choice should be an email. (Pro Tip: Have a My Contact Info email queued up on your phone ready to send when the need arises.)

Try to avoid participating in the business card exchange at the beginning of a meeting. When everyone starts passing around their cards, pull out your mobile and email or text them directly. I typically say, “I have cards if you need them, but I’m sending you my info now so you don’t have to type it in later.”

You don’t want people looking at your card — you want them looking at you.

A Sport Coat or Suit Jacket

The sport coat is a pro’s briefcase. Use the inside pockets only (never the outside) to store your essentials. I put my paper and pens in the left breast pocket and my phone and mints in the right. Everything is always in the same place so I never have to search for what I need.

Edge Dressing on Your Shoes

Keep your dress shoes looking brand new with edge dressing. If you can’t take care of your shoes, how will you take care of your customers?

Taking meticulous care of your shoes makes you look intentional. If you pay attention to details like this, your clients will know they’re in good hands.

A Nice Wallet

If your wallet comes out of your pocket, it should look like the nicest thing you own. In a sales meeting, a high-powered wallet with no money is worth infinitely more than a beat-up wallet with $700 inside.

(A Few) Keys

Of course, you need your car keys to get home. You don’t want to be the guy waiting on AAA in the parking lot as everyone else leaves. However, bring the smallest number of keys possible, make sure they don’t jingle in your pocket, and never pull them out in a meeting.

Related: The One Essential Habit That Transforms Good Salespeople Into Rainmakers

You can also use your keys as an exit signal. If the “walk you out” lobby chat starts to drag, grab your keys. The other person will get the picture without you being rude.

Leave Your Bag Behind

Notice we didn’t recommend a bag. Bags intimidate people and create an unnecessary barrier. If you can, avoid bringing one. The only time you may need a bag is if you’re doing a presentation with your computer.

Otherwise, you don’t need your laptop. You don’t need one for a calendar. You don’t need it to take notes. If you have documents to share, think about printing them out. You can carry hand-outs in a folder.

Your gear should support your killer sales strategy — not detract from it. And with these essentials on hand, you’ll be ready for each and every meeting.

5 Must-Have Elements of a Winning Sales Proposal

Sales proposal

Sales proposals aren’t magic.

They won’t make your reluctant prospect suddenly say yes. They won’t save a bad deal. They’re not the secret ingredient to your recipe for success.

But sales proposals are essential. They may not seal the deal, but you can’t seal a deal without them. When a potential client is ready to move to the next step, you’ll need a proposal to communicate your quote and provide another reason to follow up.

The Must-Have Elements of A Sales Proposal

So how do you do that? Start with these five essential parts of a sales proposal. With a winning proposal, you’ll keep the ball rolling on the road to a sale.

1. Cover Letter

Start every sales proposal with a cover letter that gives a general overview of the entire document. Limit it to one page on which you clearly address what you’re going to do for them and name your price. This is your opportunity to explain the deal in bullet points.

Plus, cover letters look great. Include contact information (for both you and the client) along with company logos. You want the client to know exactly who this came from after glancing at the first page.

With an intentional design and clear writing, you’ll start your proposal in a polished way that leaves your client ready to learn the details, not frustrated because they don’t know what they’re getting.

2. Bullet Points

Some proposals tend to drag on and on. Not yours. Write your information in bullet points whenever possible. Bullet points break up the monotony of your details. Rather than make your client hunt for the information they really need, highlight it with a clear point. Then, if you need to explain it in more detail in another section, you can.

3. Pricing Overview

The price should also be easy to find. Don’t make your client search for a price point buried in the text. Clearly state your price in the first couple of pages — you can even include it on the cover page.

If you don’t charge a simple flat rate, write out the math so they see how you came to the total cost. Maybe you charge by the user so you spell out $ x USERS = TOTAL rather than just saying, “It costs $1,000.”

You’ll quickly make your client mad if they can’t find the price. So make it clear exactly how much it’ll cost them to do business with you.

4. Next Steps

What should your prospect do next if they decide to partner with you? Tell them! You want to paint a picture so they visualize doing business with you. They shouldn’t have to figure out how to proceed. They should just have to focus on the next step you’ve already explained… or sign on the dotted line.

Related: Field Sales 101: Follow These 10 Solid Tips for Success

5. Purposeful Delivery

Give your client a hard copy of your proposal. Deliver it personally when possible, or send it overnight.

When you ensure the sales proposal gets in their hands, you show your prospect that you’re diligent with your customers. This isn’t some document you just emailed on a whim. You were purposeful in crafting it and delivering it especially for them.

What NOT to Do in Your Sales Proposals

Not everyone writes a great proposal. Some proposals drag on too long. Others seem to miss the client’s needs entirely. Others come unexpectedly. Don’t fall into the trap. Here’s what NOT to do:

Don’t Add Fluff

If there is too much writing, no one’s going to read it. Your client will just skip to the last page to try to find the price. Yes, you need to have sections of the proposal where you explain details, but organize your proposal intentionally. Consider putting pricing on the first page.

Also, only include information relevant to the client. They don’t need to read long paragraphs about your background. They need to know what the product will do for them and how much it’ll cost.

Don’t Skip Client Requests

Not including the specifics you discussed with the client in the proposal is a big mistake.

Your proposal is a chance to show your client that you’ve been listening. Explain how you’ll address their specific requests if you do business together.

Then, when you give them the proposal, point out those areas so they’ll know that you understand their importance.

Don’t Send Without Approval

Don’t push proposals on people who don’t want them. If your client isn’t ready to move forward, a proposal won’t suddenly change their mind. Instead, offer a proposal as a way to take their temperature.

Say something like, “If it’d make sense, I’d love to send you a proposal.” They’ll tell you if they’re ready for it or if they want you to hold off. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for you to figure out where they stand.

Related: 7 Rules for Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Plus, you’ll also gain insight on the decision maker. If they say, “Yeah, go ahead and send the proposal. I’ll take it to this person to see if they’re ready to move forward,” you’ll know who holds the keys to the deal.

Proposals may not be magic, but they’re they perfect next step when your client is ready to move forward. You just have to be sure you’ve written them the right way.

How to Increase Sales By Mining Your Existing Inbound Calls

Increase Sales By Mining

Wireless retailers get LOTS of incoming calls. What if you could use those calls to make more sales? It’s not just about great phone skills, it’s about looking back through calls that didn’t convert and seeing if there’s potential for a future sale.

Mining for Gold

Think of it like gold mining. See, gold can be tough to find — only one out of every billion atoms of rock in the world is gold. But rather than sifting through every rock in the world, geologists use tools to find “load deposits” — places where the ratio of gold is higher. Once it’s found, they can mine.

If you want to find more gold in your wireless retail store, it’s time to starting mining.

Step one: find the load deposits. With Beaclock, we’ve made that easy. See, we’ve found that by identifying the carrier of incoming calls, we can better identify our best prospects. If someone is already using us as their carrier, that’s not an opportunity, but if we can find the calls that come from our competition’s service, we’ve found the potential for gold.

Using the Right Filter

Beaclock filters that out for us. It lets us sort the calls by carrier. Then we can listen back to see if we missed any opportunities. Increasing your conversion by just a few percentage points can make a big impact on your bottom line.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you hear this call as you listen to yesterday’s call log:

“Hi, thanks for calling Anywhere USA Wireless. How can I help you?”

“Yeah, I’m interested in buying four phones for my family. I was wondering if you could price match this online offer for five phones?”

“No, my boss won’t let me do that here.” Click.

If you’re the owner or manager of this store, wouldn’t you want this caller’s business? Maybe someone missed the opportunity to make this sale on the first call, but it’s not too late to call them back. Say something like:

“Mr. Customer, I know you called here two days ago. I don’t know what we were thinking, but I absolutely think we can offer you special pricing. Are you available next Tuesday at 2:00 to come in so we can give you a quote?”

Once you identify the people who would bring new business to your carrier, be proactive and work to make the sale.

Making It Worth Your Time

Yes, listening to previous calls takes a while, but it’s a great task for your team to do in their downtime. They can analyze calls and see who’s worth a callback to try to schedule an appointment.

When you find a gem worth $1,500, is it worth your time to call them back? Absolutely.

When you call back, either admit you made a mistake or tell them the offer they asked about returned. When you convince a person who was originally told no to come back for an appointment, your chance of a sale skyrockets.

But don’t stop there. Track the appointments and results. If someone doesn’t show up for their appointment, find out why. Call or text them to see if you can reschedule the appointment — you don’t want to lose that opportunity.

Finding gold takes effort — in mining and in your wireless store. But with a little work sifting through calls, you’ll earn a big pay-off.

How to Increase Sales By Returning Calls Faster

How to Increase Sales By Returning Calls Faster

Online leads are great — customers come to you, ready to talk about what you offer! With this kind of killer lead, wouldn’t you want to jump on the opportunity to sell? Of course!

So why aren’t you responding faster?

Companies who respond to their online leads within an hour of receiving their query are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with the decision maker… but only 37% of companies follow up that quickly.

Even one hour makes a difference.

We’ve had this problem too. See, lots of leads come in when it’s not convenient. Your future customer is chillin’ at home, watching Netflix, and surfing the internet on their phone. Your company piques their interest so they fill out a web form and you get their info. Soon, they’re going to move on, so you need to engage them immediately, while you’re still on their radar.

That’s why I created Beaclock — a way for salespeople to get leads instantly no matter what time it is or where they are. If we want to increase our chances of making a sale, we need to contact leads immediately, before they get distracted and lose interest.

The Danger of the Spreadsheet

Lots of systems automatically document online contact forms in a spreadsheet — that’s what our old system did too. We’d then look at the sheet, ask the salespeople to reach out, and hope they followed through.

Beaclock does things differently. As soon as a lead comes in, the app notifies the salesperson on their phone so they can call right away. This has tripled our conversion rate. If you want to increase your sales, you have to interact with the leads while they’re hot — and that means contacting them ASAP.

Gain Momentum

Leads no longer die waiting on the spreadsheet. With immediate notifications, you have the chance to capitalize on their interest. So, when you follow up, do it with energy! Capitalize on the momentum of their initial interest to book an appointment and make a sale.

The purpose of your first call is to book an appointment — not to answer all their questions. Maybe your call sounds like this:

“Hi, Mr. Customer, I just got your information. I see that you’re interested in exploring what it would take to switch to our service. I would love to schedule a time to meet you. Are you available tomorrow at 2:00 to come in and check out what we have?”

Then give them an incentive to come. Offer them something for booking the appointment that gets them into your store ASAP. If you book too far out, you’re less likely to close the sale. You want to have the chance to close the deal before they’ve mentally moved on.

Leads have a quick expiration date — if you don’t act quickly, you’ll be too late. So, right out of the gate, you want to respond with energy and schedule an appointment.

How Fast Is ASAP?

We’ve been talking about following up ASAP, but let’s look at how that actually unfolds. Follow-up should always happen within an hour of getting the lead and use three points of communication: call, text, and email.

When a lead comes, call them immediately (until 8:30-9:00 pm in their timezone). Not all calls will be answered, but numbers with the same area code are answered more often. With Beaclock you can use that to your advantage and automatically push the lead to a salesperson with the same area code.

If they don’t answer, leave a friendly message, then contact them with two other points of communication: email and text. Maybe the customers can’t answer because they’re at work, in school, or in a place where they can’t talk. You can still open the conversation! If you initiate the conversation via email or text, you can start having the same discussion as you would on the phone.

Choose First Responders Wisely

Not all salespeople are created equal. Some are better on the phone than others. So decide who’s going to call back your leads… and do it well. Your top salesperson won’t always be your best choice. To choose the best fit, ask yourself these questions:

1. How valuable is the lead?

How much did you spend on the name? Was it a $2 lead for a slightly interested prospect or a $50 lead who’s ready to buy? The more you pay, the more carefully you need to choose the follow-up person.

2. Who has the best phone skills?

Not everyone is good on the phone. Train your employees on how to make a good phone call and make them practice. Role play works great. Employees should literally sit with their managers and pretend to call ten leads (or more!) before calling their first lead. Otherwise, they won’t do well. It takes work.

We’ve struggled with this too. Great salespeople sometimes don’t have the confidence they need on the phone. Maybe they think the sale won’t convert so they just call out of obligation. But, if they call because they want to win the sale, you’ll hear a different level of confidence and energy in their voice — and those qualities convert more sales!

So don’t assume you know who’s best. Listen back to the calls so you know just how your salespeople do on their calls. Just because John is a great salesperson doesn’t mean he’s always your best phone follow-up guy. If a lead costs $50, it’s worth the 30 seconds it takes to listen to that call. You don’t have to listen to all the calls your team makes, but listen to enough of them to decide how to delegate the next lead that comes in.

3. Who has the capacity to follow up?

Some of your salespeople may be too tired or busy to call back. Make sure you choose someone who can give the prospect time and energy.

Then hold them accountable. As a manager, you should know:

  • Did they make the call?
  • What was the call quality?

When you can answer those two questions, you’re on your way to building a scalable marketing plan that drives sales to your store. But if you don’t have time to listen to a recording from yesterday and coach your people on better calls, you won’t win in the online marketing world.

For more resources for training your sales team, check out these 7 Unlikely Sales Books Every Salesperson Should Own.

If you’re gathering online leads, make sure you’re being intentional about how you follow up. When your team has the chance to contact these leads while they’re hot and you have your finger on the pulse of that follow-up, your investment in online marketing will multiply.

4 Tips to Share With New Sales Reps Before Their First Appointment

4 Tips to Share With New Sales Reps Before Their F

1. Don’t barf on the customer’s shoes.

2. Dismal failure is highly unlikely.

These are the two most basic lessons new sales reps need to understand before going to their first solo sales appointment. New salespeople are nervous, to say the least (hence the vomiting advice)! As a manager, it’s up to you to set your new sales reps up for success.

Maybe you’re a manager who attempts to tell new hires all you know about sales before their first appointment. Or maybe you’re the type who kicks them out of the nest to see if they fly.

The key is to find the balance — new sales reps need guidance, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with new information. Here’s how to be the leader they need and four essential tips to get them started.

Be the Leader New Sales Reps Need

Inexperienced sales reps look to their sales managers for leadership. As a manager, you need to coach them in the skills it takes to be successful: consistent work ethic, deliberate work flow, strong listening skills, and realistic expectations.

Set clear expectations.

Be clear about what each salesperson should be doing with their time. Then inspect what you expect. If you expect someone to meet ten new prospects a week, check to see whether they’ve done it.

Explain the value of activity.

There’s more to the sales process than closing a deal. Just because the prospect doesn’t buy, doesn’t mean the sales rep wasted time. There’s value to each step of the process. Explain the different types of value each interaction offers: the prospect knows who you are, they’re in your nurturing process, and they may lead to a referral.

Model listening.

When you go to the first few appointments with your new sales reps, take a step back and observe. By doing so, you don’t compromise their authority with the prospect. If you interject and take charge, the prospect will want to work with you, not them.

More importantly, you model how to listen. Listening is an essential sales tool. As a salesperson, you have to listen to prospects so you can learn about their needs and figure out how to meet those needs. By listening to your reps, you teach the value of listening by example.

Tell them the realistic outcomes.

What can a new rep realistically expect from their first appointments? If they think they’re going to close a deal during their first meeting, they’ll likely be very disappointed. Then reassure them they won’t completely fail.

Four Tips That Lead to the Right Mindset

To really help new sales reps enter their first appointment with the right perspective, share these four tips. It’ll help them see the big picture without getting overwhelmed.

1. You can’t lose what you don’t have.

Let’s say you cold-call someone — you don’t have their business anyway, which means there’s nothing to lose. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Just by going to the appointment, you’re better off.

2. Set easy goals.

Your goal for a first appointment isn’t to make a sale. The goal is getting the prospect to agree to the next phone call or meeting. It’s an easy win — be brief, be brilliant, and count it as a success.

Keep setting easy goals the whole way through the process. Every time you meet a simple goal, it’s a win! These baby steps help a new salesperson focus and lead prospects to buy. Buyers need someone to guide them through the sales process — and easy goals do just that!

3. No one will remember your screw-ups.

It’s unlikely you’ll see your prospects again. You won’t run into this person weeks from now and hear, “Stop! You’re the idiot who messed up that appointment!” It won’t happen.

4. End with action.

Always end sales conversations with a next action. Even if a prospect seemingly turns you down, you can end the appointment gracefully with a next step.

If they’re on board and say, “Let’s get together sometime next month to keep talking about this.” Say something like, “Great. Let’s get it on the calendar. What about Thursday the 15th at 10:00?” Set a specific date and close the loop.

If they’re not interested, you can still have a next step and closure. Maybe they say, “My brother-in-law handles this need for me. I’m not going to mess up our family dynamics, so I’m not going to buy from you.” You reply, “I totally understand. Here’s what’s going to happen. Keep my contact info in case you get in a pinch and we’ll touch base down the road.” They agree to it, and you close the loop.

Always have a next action, tell them what it is, and get them to agree. Don’t be bossy — just be organized.

Empowering young salespeople has benefits for everyone involved. The more successful they are, the more successful your company. Plus, if they’re successful and supported by your team, they’ll likely stick around (which means you’ll spend less time training replacements).

Do you have other newbie sales tips that have worked for you? Share them with us in the comments below!

How to Quickly Get Over Sales Rejection and Get Back to Prospecting

How to Quickly Get Over Sales Rejection and Get Back to Prospecting

No one enjoys rejection. When people don’t want what you’re selling, it can feel personal — as if they don’t like you, even though it’s about the product.

Rejection happens. There’s no use pretending it doesn’t. If you’re in sales, you’ve been rejected and you will be again.

But once you learn how to get over sales rejection, you’ll find that hearing no doesn’t have to stop your forward progress. With these six tips, you can move on and keep doing what works.

1. Put Your Product in Perspective

The best salespeople seem to believe in their product or service. They’re 100% on board with whatever they’re selling. But, if you go overboard, that’ll make sales rejection worse. You feel like people are stupid if they don’t understand how great the product is. Then you start getting mad at them. That doesn’t help. Be careful — too much belief in your product can jade you. So have the confidence to move on and not pass too much judgment on the naysayers.

2. Come Up With a Third Direction

Yes and no aren’t the only potential answers to a sales opportunity. In fact, think of a no as a not right now. Every relationship has a beginning, middle, and end — which means their relationship with another provider will eventually end. And when it does, you want to be available.

If someone bluntly says to me, “We’re not buying your software. We’re buying from your competitor. Their software is all-around better and we like them more,” I can respond with, “I get it. Thanks for the opportunity to talk. I’ll shoot you an email right now so you have my contact information and I’ll check in with you next quarter to see how you’re doing.”

Related: Why Securing a Relationship Is More Important Than Securing a Sale

Then I’ll call them every 60 days to keep in touch. Just because I didn’t make a sale today, that doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. Meanwhile, I keep working on new pitches and new deals every day and nurturing different relationships. I need sales in 60 days and in six years — so whenever they buy, I’ll be ready.

At some point, they won’t use their current service, so the biggest thing is to figure out how to still be involved with them.

3. Don’t Push

When people say no, don’t keep pushing. You’ll seem desperate and people don’t want to buy things that aren’t in demand. So work on your takeaway close technique. Don’t let them know you need them to buy — try backing off, knowing you’ll contact them again soon.

4. Learn From It

Look at the deals you don’t close to find the obstacles for your prospects. See if there are changes you can make based on statistical significance from your interactions with prospects and clients. Then turn that information into something you can use.

5. Remember Your Other Deals

There are other fish in the sea. You should always have more leads waiting so that success isn’t riding on one specific deal. People say no more than they say yes — that means you’ll get rejected more than you’ll close. It’s just a part of sales and we all have to deal with it.

6. Treat Your Deals Equally

As you’re learning how to not be afraid of rejection, try to mentally reframe the deals you’re working. Maybe certain clients pay more than others, but try to treat each deal equally. Don’t fixate on the return. That’s when most salespeople hit a wall — they focus so much on the “big” clients, they forget about the regular ones.

The payout from regular clients adds up! So focus on adding two new customers a month — any two clients. If you’re always adding customers, you’ve always got someone in the pipeline. You’re not only working on that $20,000 deal — you’re working on the $2,000 deal too. And when someone says no, you can move on to the next thing — you didn’t lose your only deal.

7. Don’t Forget Referrals

All your leads and customers are potential referral sources. You may not be the right fit for a prospect, but they can refer you to someone who is. The close rate is often low for the “big” deals because there’s a lot of competition, but for referrals, the close rate is pretty high. So build your referral system and have a process for bringing in new clients this way too.

When Rejection Happens Most

You’ll experience most rejection in the beginning and middle of the funnel. Remember, you’re on a fishing expedition — and sometimes you’re not in the right place at the right time. Maybe your leads aren’t as qualified as you thought. Plus, they don’t know you yet. So you’ll need to be brilliant really quick. Once you work people down the funnel, the rejection tapers off.

Don’t let rejection get you down. Get back out there and work on your next deal. If you keep building activity, you’ll soon hear a yes.