Sales are the lifeblood of any company. No sales, no company. The good news is there’s an incredibly simple technique that you can do right now to help boost your numbers.
Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS.
Strap yourself in. You’re about to have your mind blown.
Ever since grade school when I sold anything that wasn’t nailed down, I’ve been drawn to sales. It started with pencils I painted with custom designs and people’s names on them. I then graduated to selling comic books. Then I sold table space at comic book conventions I put on myself (at age 14). Over the years I’ve migrated to other sales roles and, in the day to day running of thoughtLEADERS, I’m the head of sales.
I won’t lie – sales can be a grind especially when facing competitive situations or making big ticket complex sales. Long lead times, budget constraints, and prospects who are tough to get a hold of make selling efforts difficult.
But I’ve found a secret. I’ve found a way to get in touch with clients and prospects and engage them in a sales conversation 100% of the time. Not only that, they’re excited to talk to me about it and they’re usually ready to buy by the time we finish talking. I’ve been astonished with how effective this technique is and it’s beyond simple. I’m going to share it with you now and it will change your life.
PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE AND CALL THEM AS SOON AS THEY EMAIL YOU!
I’m not kidding.
“Geez Mike. Duh. That’s so basic and simple.”
Yep. It is. Now let me ask you – for the last 20 emails you’ve received from clients or prospects, how many of them did you immediately pick up the phone and call as soon as you read the email? Don’t split hairs with me that “I was busy” or “I was in a meeting.” That’s crap. The only meeting that excuse is valid for, is a sales meeting with another client or prospect. Let me modify the question to read “immediately pick up the phone and call as soon as you read the email or immediately following the sales meeting you were in or getting off the plane” (another valid reason for not immediately returning their email with a call).
So how many was it? If you could have responded to all 20 emails within 1 minute of receiving them, how many would it be? 20? 10? 5? 1?
If the answer isn’t “20” then you’re screwing up.
“But Mike, I had a meeting scheduled with my boss.”
So what. Call your boss and tell her “A client just emailed asking for info. Can we reschedule our meeting so I can call them immediately and make a monster sale?”
“But Mike, I was working on a very important Excel spreadsheet and PowerPoint presentation for a standard monthly update meeting where we talk about how we’re going to make up our sales shortfall for the year.”
I have made it an absolute habit of IMMEDIATELY calling a client or prospect when I get their inquiry about our firm or services.
Why? First, I know they’re not really busy if they’re emailing me so they’re probably free at that very moment. Second, I know they’re by their computer or phone. Third, they’re THINKING ABOUT ME AND WHAT THEY WANT TO BUY FROM ME.
The response is always fantastic. “Oh my gosh! I was just thinking about you. Oh. You knew that because I just sent you an email. And yes, I’ve got time to talk and would love to talk about buying tons of stuff from you.” Seriously. That’s almost a verbatim response.
I spoke with a prospect today as soon as I received her email. She’s a sales professional herself. Her comment was “Wow. I love how responsive you are. It makes me feel important as a customer and shows you’re on top of things. I like working with people who are on top of things.” She and I discussed this dynamic and she lamented the lack of responsiveness people show. She pointed out that in a fast paced world of texts, instant messages, and easy communication, it’s a huge mistake to be unresponsive.
One fear we talked about was the mistaken belief that if you call someone back immediately then you’re not that busy therefore your business or product isn’t very good therefore it’s not attractive to work with you. This is the old “hard to get” or “scarcity” mindset. That may have worked 10-15 years ago. That mindset is dead now. If you’re in it, break out of it.
So if you want to increase your prospect to sale ratio, start a new habit of CALLING people (not emailing them) IMMEDIATELY upon receiving their message. You might be pleasantly shocked by the results.
By the way, this doesn’t only apply to sales. It works with recruiting, partnerships, etc. I’ve written about other applications of this principle in this post. I suggest you read it. Now.
One caveat – there is a group of people who should NOT use this technique because it won’t work for you. If you sell training services that compete with the services my firm provides, you shouldn’t call prospects back immediately. Give them a few weeks before reaching out so they have time to evaluate competitive offerings before you pitch them why your programs are better. You’ll be much more successful with that approach.
(And I guarantee one person reading this is missing the sarcasm in that last suggestion)
Mike is the Managing Director for thoughtLEADERS, LLC and a published author, you can find his books and more information about Mike, here.
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