Monthly Archives: December 2009

Selling And Holiday Networking

The last two weeks of the year are without a doubt the best to reach out to people on the phone who you normally would not have a chance to reach. Use the time to call your clients and others who are several levels above those to whom you normally sell. The objective is to wish them the best, thank them for their support and to get a glimpse in to their outlook for the next year.

You’ll be amazed at who you are able to reach, because with many people out of the office, people who normally have their phone answered by others may actually answer the phone. Even if you do get their voice mail, it still gives you the chance to wish them the best and get your name in front of them. There is virtually zero risk to this strategy. Even for the most hesitant salesperson who is leery of reaching out, this is an opportune time to do so. You may just end up creating new contacts. More importantly, you will establish a new habit of using the phone to network. It’s a simple telephone sales tip, but over the years, I’ve found it to be very powerful.

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Looking For New Business? Call Your Existing Clients!

Your current client base is your most valuable asset. Having purchased products or stayed at your property, your clients know have a pretty good idea what you have to offer.  Holding on to these clients is so much easier than finding new ones because you already know their purchasing habits and there is something about your product or service that they like!

How can you get more business from past clients?  There is but one simple answer:  BY CALLING THEM.  This is obviously basic, but 90% of sales people do not do it! Instead, they wait for the phone to ring (that’s why they’re called “order takers”).  So it bears repeating: Call on your past clients!

In today’s busy world, the need to visit clients in person has lessened, although it is advisable to have face to face time with your VIP clients whenever possible.  However, if you want to retain any client, you have to pick up the phone and call them periodically. If you don’t call them, you can be sure your competition will.

How Hotel Sales Can Achieve More On Twitter

In our previous blog, Twitter 101 for the Hotel Community, we covered Twitter from 10,000 feet which included the basics from creating an account to tips and etiquette. 

While I was visiting Twitter the other day something struck me that I thought was very odd from a marketing perspective…how many hotels we follow (we are in the groups business and a prospect for any hotel that has guest rooms and meeting space) and how many of those hotels that don’t follow us.

So let’s assume that you’re in the hotel business and you want to use Twitter as a marketing tool.  First you should establish some objectives as you attempt to build your brand and network on Twitter.

Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. What is my brand’s/hotel’s expectations?
  2. How much time do I need to devote to Twitter?
  3. What’s the best approach to connect with this community?
  4. Who is our target audience?
  5. What’s my hotel’s “personality” and how do I convey that?
  6. How will I grow our customer-base?
  7. What type of information should I share?
  8. How do I measure my success?
  9. What turns a prospective customer off?
  10. How do I effectively balance “sell” and “tell”?

If you have yet to develop a marketing game plan for Twitter you can check out these great resources that will help you to make your Twitter time more productive. 

Cold Calling Secret Alternative To Using Sales Scripts

What if there was another way that you could connect with people on the phone without using a cold calling sales script? Would you be open to it or would you prefer to stick with the way you’re selling on the phone now?

Sales scripts can be great; they can support you through the call, keep you confident and maybe even get you a sale here and there. But the key question is, in your own mind, do you feel they are really creating the sale or is it creating painful rejection-filled experience for you every time you pick up the phone?

Some might say that a sales script is the perfect way to get the sale and engage people on the phone and until now, maybe it has for some. Yet, a lot of sales people associate rejection and pain to picking up the phone and making a cold call. People find scripts are just not creating the results they want. But whose fault is it? Is it the scripts or the person saying the message, or the listener or even the product? The answer is quite simple; it is the fact that a script is being used in the first place. A sales script is a caller and listener’s worst enemy!

Why Sales Scripts Don’t Work Anymore

Scripts hurt a sale. Just for a moment think about how you feel when you receive a tele-marketing call and you hear: “Hi My name is John and I am calling you today to tell you about our latest offer and you have been chosen especially..”. One might think that this will certainly get the message across and engage the customer. Yet, how do we feel when we hear it? You’d probably recoil immediately because you know it’s a sales call and we all hate them. Not because sales is bad, simply because we don’t want to be bothered and we certainly don’t want to be taken advantage of. The pressure builds as the script is read and we either hang up or say the magic words: “I’m not interested.”

It’s Time For a New Solution to Sales Scripts

Let’s begin by talking about the art of selling. When we are selling either face to face or on the telephone we all know we need to have rapport. But why? Well most would say that we buy from people we like. But the truth is, it’s much deeper than that. We buy from people we TRUST!

So the key in any selling situation would be to first create that trust then see if you can help your prospect or not.

It is interesting that on the telephone we don’t that that way. If we are on a cold call the traditional way would be to introduce ourselves and then throw them a sales pitch. One might wonder why the telephone should be different to face to face. In short, if we can bring a trustworthy and respectful approach to a cold call which builds trust immediately with a fellow human being, then maybe we might have a better chance of side-stepping the awful experience of rejection.

How To Get Started

There are two simple changes that anyone can make to their cold calling approach to open prospects and engage them in a dialogue which will create trust. Number one is ask for help. Yes, simply ask for their help in ascertaining if they would be willing to listen to what you have to say.

Try saying: “Could you help me out for a moment?” How would you respond to a request for help? I am sure you as a caller would certainly feel kind enough to give anyone a hand if they asked for help.

This might at least show that you are calling out of respect and care for the other person. Secondly and most importantly when you call make sure you are calling for the right reason and that is to help someone with a problem they might face.

If you are calling to only “close the sale” people will feel that from you and their guard will go up. So call as if you are a problem solver. Be a trusted advisor to everyone you talk to and help people solve problems, because this is what will give you the joy that you really are looking from selling.

Don’t get caught up in the old ways of doing things. Make trust and respect the key elements of your call and try to solve some problems for people. Then watch your stress level drop and your sales rise.

Source Ari Galper