The most effective element in advertising is frequency. If you reach 10 000 of the right people ten times, rather than 100 000 people once, your advertising dollars will be much more productive. To obtain more frequency, run several commercials on the same television program or the same radio time block, on the same news cast every morning or run several ads in the same newspaper on the same day. The key to obtaining value from frequency is to increase impact by reaching the same consumer several times.
A one-time pizza commercial on a late night movie will have to be a great mouth-watering event to motivate a consumer to purchase. The same commercial run several times during the show can dramatically increase response. Even though you may reach a small number of people, if they are the right people, and you reach them enough times with the right message to make them respond, and if it is affordable, you have effective advertising. To get maximum return for personal assets invested, the same principle applies in selling.
A commonly used set of figures often used in sales training that seems to back up the frequency principle in selling, is this Sales Conversion Ratio.
Note: The Sales Conversion Ratios may vary with different industries, different products and services, different priced items and services and the difference in the ability of the salesperson.
Apparently in the Life Insurance business, it takes less frequent calls to a client. As a matter of fact if you have not closed by the third meeting the chances of getting the business goes downhill fast. This is the opinion of several senior Life Insurance executives. If you are in life insurance, judge for yourself. Remember these are Conversion Ratios – meaning you take the customer from someone else. We are not talking about ratios in reference to new clients that are not with the competition. It would take less focusing with someone who does not have a relationship with a competitor.
At this point you understand the philosophy of “It is better to reach 50 of the right clients 20 times over six months or a year with the right method than it is 1 000 people once.”
It is great that you now understand the theory, but it can be quite a challenge to put this theory into Action. The best way to do this is to develop your own Data Base Selling System and utilize that System.
Now, for many people when you say “Data Base Selling” they think computers and software programs. I am going to suggest that computers and software programs are not a Data Base Selling System, they are tools that can make Data Base Selling more efficient.
You can implement Data Base Selling by utilizing a small cardboard or metal box with cards that fit the size of box, or you could use a ring binder, rolodex or a file drawer of files. The computer is just the box binder, rolodex or file drawer that holds the client information.
So, if you are not comfortable utilizing a personal computer, lap-top or notebook computer, you can still utilize the concept of Data Base Selling. Before the invention of lap-tops and Personal Computers, most successful salespeople utilized the Data Base Selling approach to building their business with their own system of control.
Lets look at a real simple way to describe what Data Base Selling really is.Data Base Selling is when you gather together a list of the names of Present and/or Potential Customers in one place. This becomes your Base of Data on your potential and/or present clients who you systematically contact on a frequent basis, using a number of different methods with the purpose of gaining the business.
If all you ever used were the primary data base selling tools, but you used them frequently and effectively, you would be very successful as a salesperson. Examples of primary tools include, personal visits, outgoing prospecting phone calls, personal e-mails, and even coincidental encounters. These are very personal and effective ways to manage a relationship. The importance of utilizing some type of Data Base management program or process is to help salespeople and the organization as a whole to consistently move relationships forward with clients.
Particularly in Long Sales Cycle Selling or big deal making We can experience dozens of low and highly charged emotional days or even weeks before we close the deal. By having a process for constant follow-up and customer contact we’re prompted to continually follow up and contact potential clients even when our emotions aren’t running in a positive direction.
This process could be facilitated by a customer relations management (CRM) software (Pivotal, Siebel, Sales Logix, Goldmine etc.) , a paper based day timer, or something like Microsoft Outlook, or a Palm OS. A system for follow up supported by a good business coach or manager is one of the best ways that sales professionals can continue to consistently win when their emotions or circumstances are not positive.
The initial reaction to this by most salespeople is that the client would feel hassled or bugged by a salesperson who makes contact that often. The answer is simple. If you go to a sales meeting that is boring and a waste of time you are not eager to go back the following week. If it was an interesting, worthwhile meeting you would be glad to go back.
The same applies to selling. If you show up each time with tools and information that help the client and you are an interesting person, he/she will be glad to see you. If the information you fax, mail or phone through is of real use the client, once again the client will be happy to hear from you.
The key is to remember that the value of the frequency is the time you put in with the client. The intent provides the genuine sincere assistance which develops a relationship of one degree or another which will create a commitment from both parties.
So, the frequency with the right approach will build the relationship.
Shane Gibson is the author of Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals and President of Knowledge Brokers International Systems Ltd. a leading sales performance and leadership development organization. Shane divides his time between his entrepreneurial projects, speaking at major conferences and mentoring salespeople and entrepreneurs.
An excerpt from the Complete Sales Action System
New salespeople need lots of one-to-one sales training and experienced people need to be “tuned up” from time to time. One of the best ways to accomplish the above is with Field Sales Training and Development Calls. Here are a few suggestions.
Half to a full day
A 20 minute call with someone is not enough time to get into the flow. Try and give the salesperson a full day or at least a half an day. This gives you a fair look at the person and it also gives both of you the time to uncover deeper issues or the time to begin implementing new ideas.
Why am I going?
Just as you suggest to your salespeople, you have to have objectives if you are going out on the call. They could be one or more objectives similar to the following:
1. Develop rapport with the salesperson
2. Teach certain skills
3. Monitor progress
4. Introduce and educate on new products or services
5. Provide support
6. Try and discover why performance is down
7. Find out why this person is such a strong performer.
Why am I Here?
Before the salesperson makes the call makes sure he/she has certain objectives in mind. If you know what the salesperson is attempting to achieve, it is easier to assess, support and train. In the case of in store sales training, or in a showroom at a dealership, or in an office or a bank the above two points on knowing why would still pertain.
E.g. As a customer is walking towards a showroom, the salesperson could quickly let you know his/her objectives.
Sales Training or Selling
If your main objective for the morning is to train the person then do not butt in and take over if the salesperson is not doing too well.
Let the salesperson do it
Let the salesperson handle the sales call. Be aware that if you are with the salesperson he or she will be a bit uncomfortable and probably not perform at his/her normal level. By letting the salesperson handle the call or situation, you show confidence in him/her and you also demonstrate your commitment to training and developing his/her sales skills.
The exceptions to this rule are:
a) You don’t want to risk a large transaction. If a salesperson is in the middle of losing a large transaction because of lack of skills, why is he/she handling this account at this time? All rules are made to be broken under special circumstances. If you see a big transaction going out the door and you cannot afford this, jump in and save it. Afterwards apologize to your salesperson, explain why you did it, and review what you both learned from this experience.
b) Agree in advance. This is where you let the salesperson know you will handle the call to demonstrate what to do.
After the call, do the following:
1. Ask the salesperson what went well. Listen to the feedback, suggest a few other areas where you felt it went well and agree with the salesperson on his/her points if appropriate.
2. Now ask the salesperson where and/or how he or she could have improved or been more effective. Listen! Most of the things you would have pointed out, a salesperson could probably tell you if you give him/her time. It is insulting and demotivating to be told something about yourself when you are about to admit it without the prompting. Once the salesperson is finished you can then expand on a few areas where you felt he/she could have been more effective.
3. Now ask the salesperson where he/she could see future or new opportunities with this client and then add your own.
4. Ask him/her to identify possible problems that could come up in the future and how to rectify them. Add your point of view.
The above 4 approaches let the salesperson feel accountable and respected and at the same time helps him/her take responsibility for the future.
Coach Feedback Form
Design a simple feedback form for the end of the day or for a specific meeting. Have the salesperson rate him/herself on a scale of 0 to 10 and explain his or her reasoning. Listen first before giving your opinion.
Also ask the salesperson how you could be more effective in the one-to-one sales training and development process. Listen!
Thank the Salesperson
Thank the salesperson for the day and re-cap the positives. Remember how often someone has suggested to you to do things differently and you defended, but a week later you saw the wisdom in the suggestion and changed your mind. Be patient.
This sales training blog entry is an excerpt from the Complete Sales Action System a 25 module sales system used by major banks, insurance companies, automotive manufacturers and dozens of other organizations in North America (Canada), South Africa. Written by Bill Gibson, The Complete Sales Action System is published by Knowledge Brokers International a sales and leadership development company with offices in Canada and South Africa. Quick links: sales training South Africa – sales training Canada
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