ACME Sales Communication Training

Learning Outcomes

"The absolute fundamental aim is to make money out of satisfying customers." ~ John Egan

A Moment of Truth

Customers often evaluate an entire organisation based on one transaction with a single service provider.

The customer’s initial perception of ACME is your responsibility.

Clients seldom tell a person when they are rude, unhelpful or impatient. They usually find a way of dealing with someone else or they complain to those around them at the lousy service they received from the company, not the individual. For many businesses the telephone is the first point of contact for customers.

Essential that you get off to a good start with all customers.

10 Commandments

Customers are:

  1. The most important people in any organisation
  2. Not dependent on us – we are dependant on them
  3. Not interruptions to our work – they are the purpose of it
  4. Doing us a favour when they call – we are not doing them a favour by serving them
  5. Part of our organisation – they are not outsiders
  6. Not cold statistics – they are flesh and blood human beings with feelings and emotions like our own

  7. Not someone to match wits with

  8. People who have wants – and it is our job to fill those wants

  9. Deserving of the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give them

  10. The lifeblood of ACME and every other business

Three ideas to start to focus on customers

  1. Liven up everything about you, your smile, your handshake, your talk and even your walk. Be alive!
  2. Show appreciation at every opportunity and make people feel important!
  3. Call your customers by their name.
  4. Grow the service first acumen, give people more than they expected.

(I said I would give you three ideas, I gave you four)

ACME’s Guide to Selling

ACME cannot survive without conducting ongoing efforts to better understand customer needs. To discover if our product is having a positive effect and creating customer loyalty, take time to ascertain your customer's emotional and material needs, then offer valuable incentives for remaining loyal to our company.

In sales, the goal is always the sale: edging the buyer ever closer to the decision point, inching them along through the sales process.

  • Failure is when the buyer doesn’t buy.

In customer service, the goal is always making sure customers get what they want:  that may or may not be the product. 

  • Failure is when the customer leaves unhappy.

Listen to your customers.

Listen to your customers. Whether talking on the phone with a customer or conducting business in person, take a minute to ask your customer why they purchased our product.

Call, write or visit your customers to find out if they are happy with our quality and price. We will not survive against manufacturers selling comparable goods for similar prices.

Empathize with customers

Empathize with customers.

When your customer offers feedback about our company, take time to put yourself in their place. Customers want to be acknowledged for taking the time to comment and do not want to be unfairly judged if they have issues with your service.

Allow your customer to tell their story and offer expedient ways to address unmet needs.

Offer free product demonstrations

Offer free product demonstrations

ACME manufacturers widgets, interacting with current or future customers through product demos is the ideal way to find out if our products are meeting customer expectations.

Contact local trade industry journalists to offer free product try-outs in exchange for a comprehensive review in their publication. Sometimes the feedback may not be what you had hoped for, but at least you will have a better understanding of your product's success in real world applications.

Reach out to customers through our company's social media accounts. Offer lucrative incentives such as coupons in exchange for taking time to answer a survey about the effectiveness of our product.

Learn about our competitors

Learn about our competitors.

If our target market isn't buying our products, research the competition. Conduct a phone or email survey of your potential customers to uncover the most outstanding qualities of other vendors. Then, attempt to replicate those qualities in your daily business practices.

When competitors offer more personalised services or attractive buying incentives that you don't, devise strategies to create similar programs that can earn repeat customer business.

Give customers options

Give customers options

Whether you're dealing with a long-term project or an on-site product sale, always make it clear to customers that other options exist to help them meet and enhance their needs.

Show customers accessories and coordinating products that enhance their main product interest. You'll increase sales and provide a feeling of reassurance about your product knowledge and customer service.

Money back gaurantee

Reassure customers that ourservices will meet their expectations

A no-questions-asked exchange policy, money-back guarantee or other monetary compensation can instill consumer confidence.

Customers are less loyal and far less trusting than they used to be. This is especially true in industries whose reputations suffered during the financial crisis—including banking, pharmaceuticals, energy, airlines, media and ACME.

Consumers have more power than ever before, thanks to social media, easy on-line comparison-shopping, and a proliferation of choices.

Customer diversity continues to increase, putting a premium on micro-segmentation and deep customer insight.

By increasing the noise-to-data ratio, the data deluge occasioned by the Internet can actually make it harder to understand our customers.

Economic uncertainty and data overload confuse customers as well, making them less interested in products than in flexible, adaptive solutions.

Customer satisfaction

To get close to this more demanding client, you really need to get inside his or her head.

Here are five ways to do that: 

Stand in your customer’s shoes. Look beyond our core business and understand the customer’s full range of choices, as well as their options. This will also deepen your understanding of competitors and help you better anticipate their moves.

Staple yourself to a customer’s order. Track key customers’ experiences as they traverse our company’s pathways and note where the experience breaks down.

Learn together with customers. GE invited its top customers in China, along with local executives and account managers, to a seminar on leadership and innovation. Doing so not only helped GE executives better understand the mindset of Chinese counterparts; it also helped them to influence that mindset.

Lean forward and anticipate.  Focus on what customers will want tomorrow, as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson did so exquisitely. 

Remember that sometimes you need to get out of your own way to really understand your customers. Psychologists know, for example, that you’re likely to listen for problems that fit your own offerings, and to discount others. That can cause you to miss important opportunities, or to get blindsided later.

 So, try to listen with a third ear, as an anthropologist would, to what your customers are saying to you.  If you can truly hear them, they’ll tell you all you need to know

True or False

  • Customers often evaluate an entire organisation based on one transaction with a single service provider.

Case Study

 Black & Decker (B&D)

By learning what its customers really want for their projects, toolmaker Black & Decker recaptured its flagging do-it-yourself market, fighting back strong challenges from Makita and Sears. Like anthropologists, B&D marketing executives studied 50 male home-owners – ages 25 to 54 – as they used power tools to work on projects.

The executives aimed to discover exactly why users favored certain tools over others. Dissatisfaction was high. Do-it-yourselfers wanted a cordless drill with enough power to complete a good sized job.

They wanted sanders and circular saws that didn't kick up clouds of sawdust; safety mechanisms that would instantly stop saw blades from spinning when they switched off power; a hotline for questions about home-repair problems. Never before had customers so clearly voiced their concerns.

As a result, do-it-yourselfers got equipment that matched their wants: B&D introduced its Quantum line of saws, drills, and small power tools priced from $50 to $120. The market responded quickly: Introduced late in 1993, by end of 1994, Quantum surpassed its sales goal and was already upgrading its tools to QuantumPro.

Case study #2

Ford Motor Company

The Ford's customer base is becoming increasingly diverse as the company expand globally and as their established markets themselves become more diverse. This influences Ford's product development and marketing approaches.

For example, women make up more than 54 percent of U.S. Ford's customers. “Your Concept Car” was designed by a group of female engineers, designers and marketing professionals who strove to reflect what women say they want in a vehicle.

Ford is also conducting research and vehicle development geared toward customers with special needs, such as limited mobility. A Ford Europe product design team focused on making Ford products the brand of choice for people with mobility issues. At many corporately owned locations in Europe, Hertz is offering vehicles equipped with hand controls at no additional charge for disabled customers...

10 Commandments

Customers are:

  1. The most people in any organisation
  2. Not on us – we are dependant on them
  3. Not interruptions to our work – they are the of it
  4. Doing us a when they call – we are not doing them a favour by serving them
  5. Part of our organisation – they are not outsiders
  6. Not statistics – they are flesh and blood human beings with feelings and emotions like our own
  7. Not someone to match wits with
  8. People who have wants – and it is job to fill those wants

  9. Deserving of the most and attentive treatment we can give them

  10. The lifeblood of this and every other business

 

"It's about listening first, then selling" Erik Qualman

Face to Face Communication

It's not just words: a lot is communication comes through non-verbal communication.

Without seeing and hearing non-verbals, it is easier to misunderstand the words.

When we are unsure about what the words mean, we pay more attention to the non-verbals.

Customers will also pay more attention to the non-verbal indicators when they trust the person less and suspect deception, as it is generally understood that voice tone and body language are harder to control than words. This also leads to more attention to non-verbal signals when determining whether the other person may be lying. So what?

When you feel that a person is not telling the truth, check out the alignment between words, voice and body.

Dress for success, take pride in your appearance. You will thank me in the long run.

Telephone communication

Telephone skills are bigger than you think. Many people overlook the importance of making sure that the people who answer the phone are competent, polite, enthusiastic and helpful.

The first impression an individual receives has a huge impact because that’s the first emotional impression that a potential customer will have. Often, it’s the last impression a potential customer will have as well.

It’s an absolute must that everyone has excellent telephone skills because they have a profound impact on business and the impressions we make on others every day.

Telephone Introductions

Answer the phone with enthusiasm. You don’t have to scream like Robin Williams, “Goooood morning, ACME!” Be natural, but be upbeat. You lose enthusiasm because you have no nonverbal communication to support your message. As corny as it sounds, put a smile in your voice because enthusiasm is contagious and so is business if you behave in this manner.

Pro-nounce-your-words. Be conversational, but don’t mumble, particularly when the content of your message is essential to your message.

Eliminate distractions. Is there anything more annoying than speaking on the phone to people who are trying to type 200 words on their keyboard while you’re talking? They think they’re fooling us by intermittently inserting, “Uh huh. Yeah. Really?” You don’t want it done to you so don’t do it to them. I don’t care how much you have on your plate. This is unprofessional and dangerous. You could miss a message or blow a relationship if you don’t eliminate all distractions and focus on the tone and content of the speaker’s message.

Always say “Bye.” It’s become common practice to slam the phone down instead of concluding the call with courtesy. Say, “Bye.” It’s not touchy-feely; it’s called professionalism.

Email Communication

It is really easy to be misunderstood in e-mail. You know, you say something meant to be funny, but the other person thinks you're serious. Or you write something innocent, and the receiver "reads into" the message anger, frustration, ridicule or worse.

People treat e-mail like face-to-face communication. We're used to saying things out loud and having our intentions, mood and demeanor correctly interpreted by the person we're speaking with. But when you strip away facial cues, social context, tone of voice and other information, people can easily misunderstand.

Research tells us that both sender and receiver tend to automatically fill in the "tone" of an e-mail conversation — but they're not getting information about the tone from the e-mail itself. They're basically making it up based on how they feel or what they fear, not what's actually being said.

Here's the worst part: Most of these e-mails go unchallenged. You might be angering people, bruising egos or burning bridges and you'll never even know it.

Beware of brief e-mails, as they can be interpreted as brusque. An e-mail with just a word or two can be interpreted as frosty, angry or demeaning.

Always re-read your e-mails before sending — and be on the lookout for areas of misinterpretation.

Don't get angry from e-mail, then reply based on your anger. First find out the intent of the sender by calling, or asking for clarification. Remember: nearly half of all e-mails are misinterpreted.

Don't use e-mail for emotional or sensitive topics. Pick up the phone or visit in person.

Bonus tip: Be aware that if you're talking about someone, you're more likely to accidentally send that person the e-mail. Make sure you address e-mail to the right person, especially if you're talking about a third party.

Questioning techniques

Tactful questioning

Effective questioning requires tact and the questions need to be relevant to the purchaser, but really useful information could be found in any of the Goal, History, Lifestyle areas to help uncover useful needs and so strengthen your recommendation.

Take notes

Great questioning will generate a wealth of detail which you will want to capture and build on so do take notes and try to capture the customer’s language as this will make any summary even more engaging.

Show you care

We show we value and appreciate the customer through showing an interest in them and their needs. Questioning is the most obvious way to demonstrate our interest in their needs.

Useful Questions

Below is a list of useful questions. As you will see they fall into three clear areas- Goal, History and Lifestyle. What questions might you add?

Area

Goal-Where you want to get to

History-What you had before

Lifestyle-How you live

Useful Questions

What would you like to be able to do?

What made you decide to buy one of these?

What do you want from your new…?

What did you like about your old one?

How much have you used in the past?

What made you decide to replace it?

Can you talk me through your typical day?

What hobbies do you have?

How many of you will be using this?

Questioning techniques

Of course you’ll remember to start with the broad open questions and work down to the specifics with your metaphorical funnel!

Show you were listening

As we ask the questions we are listening acutely for the clues. What is the customer telling us that will really help us to build a strong recommendation? It could be the smallest detail that becomes the hottest button!

Here are a few top tips to demonstrate listening

  • Take notes and let the customer know you’re doing it.

Just bear with me while I make a note of that...

  • Check the details

What do you mean by heavy usage?

  • Encourage with verbal nods etc.

That’s great..uh huhh...mmm..

  • Build on previous questions

And ease of use is really important to you in your new one?

  • Use their language in your questions

So I should avoid any “fancy gizmos”?

Goal

History

Lifestyle

What are you looking to do?

What is your reason for changing?

What would you love to be able to do?

What is the most important thing for you?

What are your top three reasons for buying?

What have you used in the past?

What did you like about your old..?

What really annoyed you about you old...?

How have you used it up to now?

If you could have changed one thing about your old... what would it be?

How will you be using your...

Can you tell me a little about your lifestyle?

Can you talk me through how you might use this during a typical day?

What hobbies do you have time for?

The summarising question

This one has everything. We are showing we were interested, we are showing we listened and we are even progressing the sale.

“Let me check that I have got this right. You’re looking for a ... that does... and has a powerful...but is still simple to use. Have I missed anything there?

  • Have a funnel in mind.
  • Use a wide variety of questions to keep you fresh.
  • Ask questions that cover goal, history and Lifestyle.
  • Explore customer emotions-What do they love, what do they hate?
  • Demonstrate verbally just how hard you are listening.
  • Your penultimate question is likely to be a summarising one.
  • Your final question will be a close!

How can you show the customer that you care?

  • Questioning them about their interests and needs.
  • Putting your arm around them.

When asking questions to your customer, what three areas should you focusing on?

  • Goal, History, Lifestyle
  • Purpose, Sale, Commission
  • Object, Process, Income

"Delay is death, when someone says yes, ask for payment" Robert Coorey

Closing the sale

Closing with confidence

At a time in the sale it is appropriate to ask for the business.  This can be an area of concern for sales people who fear breaking the rapport, or offending the customer by appearing too pushy.  There are however ways of approaching this that encourage the customer to buy and can even strengthen the rapport.

 Creating a desire

The aim of a sales person is to create desire in the mind of a customer and we can achieve this through presenting compelling benefits.  For a benefit to be compelling it must appeal directly to that customer and their lifestyle.  Benefits are often confused with product features, but a feature is quite simply what something does

Keep getting yes’s

Customers make buying signals.  Here are just a few examples-

  • They agree with most of the points you make
  • They are forthcoming in their responses
  • They are upbeat and positive in their language
  • They ask specific questions
  • They seek clarification
  • You can help this by regularly checking their understanding and comfort throughout the sale.  It’s very low risk and it will actually strengthen rapport

Close and then shut up!

Keeping it simple is a useful step towards successful closing.  It will give you confidence and help you to expect a “yes”=which we know helps.  We simply ask the customer if they would like to go ahead and then be silent until they respond.

E.g.-From what you’ve told me this feels like a good match.  Would you like to go ahead with that?

Closing the sale

Be proactive and “stroke” your customer

Customers can often suffer buyer’s remorse after purchase.  This can even kick in before the product arrives in the world of telesales.  While we can’t eradicate this feeling entirely a little reassurance from a trusted sales person will make the customer feel good about their purchase.  It’s sometimes called stroking, but it involves assuring the customer they’ve made a good decision at the end of the sale with a simple and concise phrase.

E.g.- “This is a really popular widget and everyone is thrilled by the results, so I’m sure you’ll have fun with it”.

It does need to be sincere and authentic so think how you can make it relevant to your customer

Question the objection

It is actually a positive sign if a customer raises an objection because it shows they’re engaged, so objections can actually help us to a stronger sale if we use them correctly.

Remember a customer raises an objection for one of three reasons - Be pleased

A customer objection is really no more than a question that has so far been left unanswered.  If we view them as late questions then dealing with them is far more straightforward.  Remember that most customer objections fall into the following three categories:

  1. I need more information
  2. I need more justification
  3. My needs have not yet been met

And what they are suggesting is that if you fix this I will buy.  So these are reasons to be pleased, which is why we encourage you to welcome the objection and always respect it.  It is a genuine concern for them and we must regard it as such.

Agree and outweigh

This is a negotiation technique that can be used to effectively deal with customer concerns.  It ticks the respect box because we show this by agreeing or understanding the objection.  The Outweigh part is when we give reassurance or evidence that the concern is not a problem.

Customer - “I want to have a look around because I’m keen to get a good price”

You - “Of course Madam and you’re right to, and it’s for this reason we offer the price match service so our customers can be confident that they are paying the best price”.

Closing the Sale

They need more information, more justification or their needs have not been met...yet.

The table below shows some customer objections and the question we can ask that will give us clarity and help us to progress the sale...

With any of these you will need to be careful with your tone of voice, but they all encourage the customer to help you to help them by giving you a bit more information on where they have concerns.

Pre-empt - There may well be customer objections or concerns you hear frequently. If this is the case consider how you can pre-empt and explain a benefit to reassure your customer. You may even want to put yourself in their shoes.

E.g.-If I were buying a widget today I would want to know two things

  1. where do I go if it goes wrongl, and
  2. who can help me set it up.

Well we have a network of repair partners and a free helpline to help you get started.

Know your competition - Knowledge breeds confidence. Confidence is very important in objection handling. It is not just knowledge of your own product, but also knowing what your competition is doing. This will enable you to counter any objections the customer may raise from their own research. As ever the delivery is vital, but if you take the

Agree and outweigh approach you will be able to counter the objection in a non confrontational and rational manner.

E.g. - (Agree) I have seen that offer and like you I thought it was a good price, and a reasonable device.

(Outweigh) Some customers do find the slower processor a bit frustrating when they are trying to do complex task like photo editing though.

Objection

Question

It’s more than I expected to pay

If you can give me an idea of how much you were looking to pay then we can see what we can do for that price. What price did you have in mind?

I need to think about it

Of course. When would you like me to call you back?

It sounds very complicated

Which bit is complicated? Where can I explain things more clearly?

I’m really not sure I need all that...

From what I’ve described which aspects would you say were the “must haves”?

It’s not quite what I wanted

What have I missed?

I’m just not sure...

I want you to be sure, what do you need to hear from me to be comfortable to buy today?

I need to discuss it with my partner

Is there a time I could ring and talk to you both?

I’m going to have a look around and might come back to you

What can I do now to help you make an informed decision?

Speak their language

Speak their language

We need to match the language we use. If a customer uses jargon then we can. Rapport can be reinforced through using phrases the customer themselves has employed and although they might not notice, sub consciously they will appreciate it.

We all have a preferred way of processing and presenting information.  Some of us need to see stuff, some of us need to hear stuff and some of us need to feel stuff!  It’s part of our makeup and we give clues to our preference in the way we speak.

  • Someone who likes to see stuff will use visual  language like “This looks good”
  • Someone who likes to hear stuff will use auditory language like “This doesn’t sound right”
  • Someone who likes to feel will use kinaesthetic language “I’m not comfortable with this”

Sell the right benefit

Understanding our customers better can help us to identify the right benefits too.

  • A visual person- It looks brilliant and it has a great display
  • An auditory- The sound is really clear and it makes a nice “click”…
  • A kinaesthetic- The keypad is really sensitive

 

Phrases

Words

You say...

Visual

I see what you mean

I have a hazy notion

Show me what you mean

You’ll look back on this and laugh

Appear, Aspect, Clarify, Dark, Demonstrate, Expose, Flash, Hindsight, Glimpse, Illusion, Perspective, Show, Spectacle, Fantasy, Mirage

Do you see what I mean?

Would you like to look into other offers?

Picture the situation…

Auditory

We are on the same wave length

That rings a bell

That’s music to my ears

We are living in harmony

Alarm, Articulate, Ask, Discuss, Earshot, Gossip, Harmonise, Hear, Listen, Loud, Mention, Music, Tune, Eloquent, Synthesize

Does that ring a bell?

Have you heard about our new deals?

Listen to this for a spec list…

Kinaesthetic

Keep in touch

I can grasp what that idea

She is a warm-hearted person

They are just scratching at the surface

Affected, Cold, Firm, Flow, Gentle, Grasp, Grip, Hold, Hard, Heated, Hunch, Impact, Touch, Feel, Rough

I get what you mean

Let’s see what we can get hold of…

How would that feel?

A customer usually raises an objection to purchase an item for what reason?

  • They need more information
  • They need more justification
  • Their needs have not yet been met
  • All of the above

If a customer uses jargon, you can use jargon?

  • True
  • False

"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves" Steve Jobs

Finding new customers

In today's highly competitive markets, we need to work very hard to find contacts and identify new customer leads. The key is to find people who fit our 'ideal lead profile'. Remember that only those contacts who need our products and match your ideal lead profile are likely to become prospects for sales. Don't waste your valuable time and money on contacts who are unlikely to buy from you.

Start by finding contacts, and then use your ideal lead profile to turn those contacts into leads and new prospects. A lead doesn't become a customer until you have made the sale.

Finding contacts

Finding new contacts takes careful planning. Make time to think about how you'll find and engage contacts and research new customer opportunities. For example, you might meet contacts at a trade show, through a business network, or through a customer mailing list. Contacts could be anyone who visits, browses through your store, reads your advertising or are referred to you by others.

Developing your ideal lead profile

Leads are contacts who match the profile of your target customers. Once you have met and engaged with a new contact, you should determine whether they have a need for your products and services. When you have established that a new contact fits your 'ideal lead profile', they become a lead.

Based on our market research, our ideal lead profile will define characteristics such as:

  • geographic traits - where the people or businesses likely to buy from you are located
  • demographics - the age, gender, income, occupation type, education level, cultural background, and household type (e.g. single, married, families) of people likely to buy from you
  • psychographics - social factors such as lifestyle, interests and activities, opinions, self-image and social group memberships

Ways to identify new leads

Leads are contacts who match the profile of your target customers. You can increase your number of leads by doing your research and finding networks that are relevant to our products and services. For example, you can:

  • start a process for referrals, which includes making your customers aware of who your ideal customers are
  • offering incentives to encourage your customers to refer contacts to you
  • having special selling steps in place, such as free consultations, to stimulate sales from referrals
  • ask your existing customers and industry networks for testimonials or endorsements and add them to our website, social media and marketing collateral

Online sources

You can research and generate contact opportunities using online sources such as social media sites and industry sites for industry groups and associations that best fit your ideal lead profile

Identify and research your target customers, their contact details, their latest news, their products and their customers (who may themselves be leads for your business).

Direct marketing

You can directly target contacts and produce leads by using direct marketing. Some examples of direct marketing include:

  • cold calling - develop a sharp phone script and use the phone book or purchase industry-available customer contact lists
  • direct mail - use email, e-newsletters or print mail-outs to target potential customers with product offers and incentives
  • competitions - run a competition to attract customers, using incentives such as free services or giveaways.

Media

Media campaigns help you generate leads by delivering marketing and advertising to mass consumer segments. You could use:

  • mass media - develop a marketing and advertising campaign using, for example, regional newspapers, industry magazines and online media
  • sales media contractors - contract organisations who specialise in finding customers and generating leads for sales organisations

Networking

Networking allows you to make contacts and build relationships that could produce leads or referrals. Make the most of networking opportunities by:

  • joining face-to-face or online business networking groups or starting your own with other local businesses
  • booking a stall or booth at a relevant industry trade show or market expo
  • reading local business and community papers and journals, and making contact with local business and community members

Converting leads to prospects

Customers decide quickly, move often, change their mind and shift their loyalty easily. You need to forge relationships with customers who match our ideal lead profile and convert those leads to prospects. Prospects are leads who show interest or potential to buy our products or services.

First, determine the best prospects from the leads you've generated. You have identified your prospects once you have found the leads who have:

  • a need for your product or service
  • the ability to make a decision to buy
  • the ability to pay

This process is called qualifying your leads. Once you've qualified your leads, you may find you have several prospects. Decide where to prioritise your efforts by assessing both the probability of closing the sale, and the value of the sale.

Developing a prospecting plan

Make the most of every opportunity you have to turn a lead into a prospect by developing a prospecting plan. Your plan will outline useful information to distribute to your leads through media such as e-newsletters, our website and social media, presentations, marketing and signage.

You can also use your prospecting plan to ensure your information stays relevant, provocative, short, professional and informative - offering useful industry news, trends and business tips. Many potential customers have rejected businesses after receiving inappropriate, repeated or annoying advertising material.

Use your prospecting plan to calculate and define:

  • how many genuine prospects are likely from your leads
  • how many new customer accounts you can realistically open
  • what average sales volume you can expect from new accounts
  • how to follow up potential customers regularly without losing impact.

Keep good records

Maintain a list of leads so you can inform them about new products, services, offers and business changes. Note the status of each lead so you can tailor the information you send to them.

Make offers with meaning

Tailor offerings or incentives that are targeted specifically to the needs of each lead. A thorough understanding of the needs of your existing customers - and your ability to quickly identify needs - will help you make offers to lure your leads.

Avoid assumptions and stereotyping

Don't always rely on first impressions and don't decide that a lead you determined as a prospect some time ago is still ready to buy your product now.

Listen and investigate

Observe your lead closely and ask questions that will give you the information you need about them; make further enquiries or follow-ups to determine your lead's interest and capacity to buy.

Learn more about negotistion skills to convert your leads to prospects.

Plan your approach

Define your purpose for making contact. For example, your objectives may be to:

  • find out more specific information about your prospect's needs and wants
  • build rapport
  • build further awareness of your business's products and services
  • offer information about pricing and current or upcoming sales promotions

Organising information about prospects

Maintaining good records is essential to good business. When it comes to finding customers, your contact records are a wealth of information that can help you quickly identify and meet the needs of your prospects - and make the most of every prospect interaction.

A prospecting information system allows you and your team to keep track of your prospects' contact details, known needs and buying preferences, issues and decisions. Your system can also help you to identify strategies for achieving sales.

Your system should store or reference all correspondence with each contact, lead and prospect, including:

  • the date and time of contact
  • the responsible salesperson
  • how the contact was made (e.g. via the website, phone, email)
  • the content of written correspondence, or a summary if it was a verbal interaction
  • the results of the contact

You can use this information to schedule future contacts and help you target your follow-ups to secure sales.

Making the most of your prospect information

A well-maintained prospecting database will allow you to generate information that will help you make sales. For example, your salespeople could quickly generate a list of leads and prospects who:

  • have not been contacted in the past month
  • have a need for a specific type of product or service
  • live in a certain area
  • prefer to be contacted via email
  • are of a specific demographic (e.g. income level)
  • have received information about an upcoming sales promotion.

With accurate data, you can predict the future behaviour of your prospects and assess the effectiveness of past promotions and campaigns. Your prospecting database will also allow you to classify people as leads or prospects, assign priority rankings to prospects and leads, and avoid sending repeat information and correspondence to your prospects.

Selling our widgets

Know our widget back to front!

If a customer has a question about our product, you must know the answer.

Our widget performs better than our competitors widget because:

  • It is more powerful (15% than previous model)
  • Made of titanium (most are carbon fibre)
  • Weighs 12% less than our competitor
  • Longer battery life (10%)
  • People need it – makes them feel better

How can you indentify new leads?

  • Online sources
  • Direct marketing
  • Media campaigns
  • Networking
  • All of the above

What is the most important thing to remember about our widgets?

  • Know it back to front.
  • It has a 10% longer battery life.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the clients and the reason for purchasing out products
  • Employ effective communicate strategies to enhance sales
  • Use questioning techniques that ensure customer satisfaction
  • Promote the unique selling points of our products
  • Communicate effectively with your customers via email, telephone, and in person
  • Closing the Sale

Congratulations, you have now completed ACME Sales Communication Training course.

Go forth and sell!