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By Art Sobczak on Nov 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 Comments
That’s right, we are done here.
The good news is that we are moving to the Smart Calling Blog!
A new look, a new name, but the same content you have come to expect, and hopefully enjoy and profit from the past four+ years. I invite you to come over to the new place, subscribe to the feed, and do pass the word around.
We’ll see you there at http://SmartCalling.com
By Art Sobczak on Oct 30, 2012 in Preparation, Prospecting, Questioning | 1 Comment
“Can you help me?”
It’s a great technique.
It’s a horrible technique.
The difference is, with the right person, at the right time, it can be an extremely productive question. And that right person is anyone other than your decision maker.
With decision makers, asking that question at the beginning of a call–namely an initial call–creates resistance. And deservedly so.
First, more on when and why it’s good: Read the rest
By Art Sobczak on Sep 19, 2012 in Preparation | 1 Comment
Guest Post by Michael Boyette
Conventional wisdom may imply that a sales representative’s best opportunity to get in contact with
a prospect would be at 9 a.m. It’s the beginning of the day, when other priorities such as meetings and work haven’t had the chance to pull their attention. Similarly, you may suppose that between the times of 4 and 5 p.m. would be ineffective as most workers are trying to wrap up their work and end the day.
But a study conducted by MIT revealed a different result.
As it turns out, while the 9:00 hour wasn’t bad for prospecting, calls made between 4:00 and 6:00 had a much higher contact rate. Of course, these numbers might differ based on your own industry, but they highlight the fact that some hours are better for reaching out to prospects than others. Read the rest
By Art Sobczak on Sep 6, 2012 in Self Motivation | 1 Comment
College football is now in full swing, and last year’s national champion, Alabama, again rose to the top position in the polls with their convincing win over Michigan last Saturday. (If I haven’t lost you non-football fans already, relax, this is not entirely a sports article.)
Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban, has wonthree of the past seven national championships (one was with LSU), which is pretty remarkable. It’s hard enough to win ONE, or even have a chance to play for the title.
So what’s with Saban?
He is so respected, admired, and copied that these three national publications did feature stories on him just within the past month.
Read the rest
By Art Sobczak on Jul 22, 2012 in Prospecting | 1 Comment
While waiting out a flight delay at an airport bar, I struck up a conversation with a fellow stranded road warrior. The topic shifted to our work, and he asked me what I do.
I answered by asking him,
“Do you ever get any sales calls at your office? (He’s a manager in the corporate accounting division at a large life insurance company.)
“Yeah, I got one today. I’m in charge of the printing of our company’s annual reports. Apparently I had received an email–which I never read– from a printing rep a couple of months ago who wanted to get me to change to his company. In the meantime he was let go, and replaced by a new person who called me.”
“Was the call any good?”.
“No. It really turned me off. She called and said, `I’m _____ ?with ___. I’ve taken over (the previous rep’s) accounts. So I was wondering if you’re going to use us?’ I told her no, and she ?was pretty antagonistic as she shot back with, `WHY?’ I told her I didn’t see any reason to change, She wasn’t too courteous when she hung up.”
I asked him, “What could she have said so that you would have listened to her?”
“Well, she could have said that her company specializes in printing annual reports, and that they might be able to provide equal or better quality than we’re getting now, at a lower or competitive price. If they had done anything else for insurance companies that would have been a plus.”
“Would that have sold you?”
“Of course not. It only would have gotten her to the point where she could ask questions to find out what I’m looking for and what I need. Then I’d want to find out how and if she could do that.”
I told him he just described exactly what I do. That is, give people a system and ideas to accomplish what he just described.
“Well, I don’t know anything about sales, but it seems some of these people would get the message.”
I told him he actually knows a lot about sales. He knows what it takes to sell him, which is essentially the same as most of your buyers, and my buyers. And as I spoke with him, I thought what a great idea that is:
Interview buyers and ask them how they like to be sold to.
Find people who you know are decision makers for different companies.
Locate buyers in your own company. Find out what they react favorably to. Even talk to customers you’ve built up a personal relationship with, and ask them what they’d listen to.
Don’t sell people the way you want to. Sell the way they want to buy.
By Art Sobczak on May 30, 2012 in Self Motivation | 3 Comments
As I tell every group of sales reps I work with, most of what we accomplish in sales is attributable to our attitude. Sure, we need to be skilled in the mechanics–the what-to-say part–but that doesn’t matter if we feel like dirt.
Therefore, it’s especially important for us–much more so than any other job–to be proactive in keeping our attitude at a high level. Otherwise, it’s just human nature that the potentially damaging situations we place ourselves in every day will pull us down.
Since one of the hats I wear is that of professional speaker, I have had the opportunity to meet, and in many cases hang out with some of the top motivational speakers and trainers in the business. For my money there is no one better than my friend, Dr. Alan Zimmerman. When I need a kick in the butt to pull me up from a down time, I pull out his great book, “Pivot.”
I asked Alan to share with us his thoughts on how to deal with what many people in sales call “rejection,” and he provided the very helpful piece below. Read the rest
By Art Sobczak on May 9, 2012 in Call Recordings, Humor and Silly Stuff, Voice Mail | 10 Comments
Reality is usually better than anything I could make up. Here is a voice message received by one of my readers. (I bleeped out the sales rep’s phone number).
Perhaps this guy was tired, maybe having a bad day, and hopefully he doesn’t leave this type of message regularly.
Or maybe he does.
Take a listen.
Horrible Voice Message
What do you think?
Better yet, what is your process and best practices with leaving messages?
By Art Sobczak on Apr 25, 2012 in Sales Recommendations (presentations) | 1 Comment
Today I’m talking about money. Both in my post below and right here.
The post below is also one of my contributions to a great sales book, “Top Dog Recession-Busting Sales Secrets.” It also contains the sales wisdom of 50 other leading experts. You get real-world street smart advice that is unconditionally guaranteed to help you sell more…even in a down economy.
Spend 30 minutes with this book and you’ll understand why Fortune 500 companies have paid these experts millions.
When you get your copy you’ll also get Jeffrey Gitomer’s “Little eBook of Closing” AND “Recession-Proof Business Strategies” Free E-Book from Bob Bly.
I think you’ll find this offer well worth investigating.
See it here.
On to the post… Read the rest
By Art Sobczak on Apr 10, 2012 in Listening | 2 Comments
Last week I took a few days for personal self-development, which I do several times per year. Although I make it a point every day to set aside time for learning, I find it essential to physically attend events for the total immersion and networking experience. I attended the Infusionsoft user’s conference, Infusioncon 2012, a fine event with lots of great marketing ideas.
While there I bumped into a friend I’ve never met in person, Michael Angelo Caruso. I subscribe to lots of email publications and feeds…too many to read them all. One that I do read all of the time, because it is so quick, easy, and informative is his "Five Cool Ideas" and is just that, five cool ideas on a different topic each time.
Here’s a recent one that is especially relevant for those of us using the phone in prospecting and sales. Read the rest
By Art Sobczak on Mar 20, 2012 in Questioning | 1 Comment
* drive a 1995 Taurus,
* live in a pop-up trailer at a campground,
* wear clothes purchased exclusively from thrift stores, and,
* eat only Ramen noodles?
Didn’t think so.
When you have a few extra fun bucks (or room on your credit card) do you run down to Wal-Mart and stock up on hand soap, toothbrushes, or laundry detergent maybe? Read the rest