Test Your Prospecting SkillsSlick is a seasoned account executive who has been selling ad specialties for over 4 years, but like many of us he continues to make costly prospecting mistakes. Follow Slick's telephone presentation and see if you can can you identify at least 12 prospecting mistakes, then try to answer the 10 skill testing prospecting questions.
Slick: (To receptionist.) Good morning, I'm calling from Best Ad Specialties. Can you please tell me who handles the promotional products for your company?
Receptionist: May I ask what this is about?
Slick: I just want to quickly introduce myself to your buyer and tell him about our services.
Receptionist: Thanks for calling but we've been dealing with the same supplier for the past 5 years, so we're not interested.
Slick: Could I just get the name of the person that handles your promotional products so that I can send a catalogue?
Receptionist:You can mail to Bob Baxter.
Slick mails the catalogue and follows up a week later.
Slick: Good morning, it's Slick from Best Ad Specialties, is Bob Baxter in?
Receptionist: One moment please.
Bob: Hello, Bob Baxter speaking.
Slick: Bob, my name is Slick and I'm calling from Best Ad Specialties. How are you today?
Bob: I'm fine. How can I help you?
Slick: Bob, at Best Ad Specialties we offer the largest selection of promotional products in the city, supported by outstanding service and very competitive prices. The reason I'm calling is I was hoping to get a few minutes of your time to tell you about our services and possibly quote on one of your upcoming jobs.
Bob: Thanks for calling, but I'm not interested right now.
Skill testing prospecting questions
1. What response will land the appointment when the prospect says?
I'm not interested, I'm happy with our supplier.
Not now; call me in 6 months.
I have a friend in the business.
Send me a catalogue first.
2. Most prospects decide within the first 6 seconds, whether or not to meet with you. What must you say to instantly pique their interest? (Clue, it's not telling them about your products and services.)
3. To be successful in ad specialty sales you must contact a decision maker. What single criteria makes someone a decision maker? (Clue, it's not the person that can give you the order.)
4. Give 3 examples of how to get past a receptionist that is screening calls.
5. What easy-to-use technique will circumvent voice mail? (Clue, it's not leaving a message.)
6. Why must you never call on the purchasing agent?
7. Offering a Universal Benefit is the key to prospecting success. What is the president or owner's Universal Benefit?
8. Prospects don't want to deal with a promotional product salesperson; they want to work with someone that understands their industry. What must you do to position yourself as an industry expert?
9. Marketing managers are one of your best prospects. What should you offer a marketing manager that is happy with his present supplier? (Clue, It's not lower prices.)
10. "Bob, I can be at your office tomorrow at 9am. Is that time convenient for you?" Why should you never ask this closing question?
Objection Handling Skills
From first contact to closing, objections are an intricate part of the selling process.
- Call on a new account and you'll hear "We're not interested, we're happy with our supplier".
- Ask for an appointment and the response is likely to be "I'm too busy so call me in 6 months" or "Just send me a catalogue".
- Mention the price and you'll hear "I can get the same product elsewhere for less".
- And ask for the order and the answer is usually "Let me think it over and I'll get back to you".
Test your ability to handle objections
Here's your chance to measure your ability at this all important selling skill. See
if you can answer the following 10 skill testing questions.
1. The most effective way to handle an objection is to prevent it from occurring.
What simple technique will prevent your prospects from saying;
"I'm not interested I'm happy with my supplier"
"I've looked at your catalogue and your prices are too high"
"We don't use promotional products"?
2. How can you close the prospect that wants to talk to his partner first?
3. What simple test will instantly tell you if the objection is true or false?
4. How can you land the account when your prospect says "I wants to think it over"?
5. How can you close the sales without answering your prospect's objection?
6. What simple statement will force your prospects to answer their own objections?
7. What is the first thing you must do when your prospect objections?
8. When you're stumped by your prospect's objection, what response will buy you time to think?
9. What 3 techniques will allow you to land the account when the prospect says "We don't have the budget"?
10. How can you close the sale when the prospect says "We've decided to hold off until the next quarter"?
Your success is directly proportional to your ability to overcome objections
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Sooner or later every sales presentation reaches a pivotal point, where landing the account teeters on your ability to overcome the prospect's resistance. In other words, your success is directly proportional to your ability to overcome objections, so don't leave this skill to chance.
Test Your Quoting Skills
Quoting a job is like playing a game of chess. It is played by a highly defined set of rules and although anyone can play, the salesperson that knows the rules will usually win. So read the following short scenario and see if you can identify at least 7 common quoting mistakes. Next try to answer the 10 skill testing questions.
You're meeting with Jack, the purchasing agent at a new account. After giving him your company catalogue and telling him about your services, Jack reaches into his desk and hands you a sample.
Jack: "We're attending a trade show, so how soon can you get me a quote for 3M of these pens?"
Salesperson: "Jack, as I mentioned we pride ourselves in offering our customers excellent quality and fast service so I'll make sure that you have the quote first thing tomorrow morning."
Jack: "That's great. Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to seeing your quote".
As promised, early the next morning you email Jack a cover letter to thank him for the opportunity and attach a very competitively priced quote. A week later you follow up and Jack says "Thanks for your quote but you were $75 too high so we ordered from someone else."
Skill testing questions
1. Prospects are always raising price objections so how would you close the sale, without giving a discount, when your prospect says:
"I can get the same product elsewhere for less"
"This product costs more than I thought"
"This is $800 too expensive" or
"We don't have the budget"
2. When dealing with a price shopper you should not submit a quote because he'll shop it around until he finds a lower price. How can you close the price shopper without submitting a quote?
3. Submitting a quote at the wrong time can be a fatal mistake. Should you be the first or last to present a quote?
4. About 7% of decision makers are looking for the lowest quote. What are the other 93% looking for? (Hint, it's not fast delivery or better quality.)
5. What are purchasing agents looking for in a quote? (Hint, it's not low price)
6. Sharing ideas that make the prospect's promotional campaign more effective is great way to gain a competitive edge. How can you prevent the prospect from stealing your ideas?
7. An effective way to impress the prospect is to submit a quote where column "A" shows the prospect's spec's and column "B" shows your new ideas. Why is quoting the job two ways a costly mistake?
8. At the end of a strong presentation you say "Mr. Prospect, the price for the coffee mugs is only $1,200." What 3 quoting mistakes did you just make?
9. How can you make any quote seem inexpensive and easy to afford?
10. If you try to win the account by submitting the lowest price you will lose more often than win. What easy to implement quoting technique will eliminate price competition?
Winning a job has nothing to do with price
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Winning at the quoting game has nothing to do with price and everything to do with skill. In other words, if you're losing sales to lower quotes or finding it difficult to compete against distributors that are heavily discounting, it's not because your prices are too high but rather because you're making some costly quoting mistakes.
Making a strong presentation that shows your prospect the advantages investing in a promotional product campaign is a waste of time, unless you follow through with the all important step and close the sales. In fact, account executives that
have strong closing skills are 5 times more successful than the average ad salesperson. So here's your chance to measure your ability at this
all important selling skill. Read the following scenario and see if you can identify at least 5 costly closing mistakes. Next try to answer the 10 skill testing closing questions.
This is Tom's second meeting with Pat, the purchasing agent. Tom has just made a powerful presentation that justified his price and showed Pat the benefits of ordering from him so Tom is ready to ask for the order.
Salesperson: As I've mentioned we have over 15 years of experience so you'll be very satisfied with our work. Can I go-ahead with this job?
Pat: I like what you've shown me but I still have a few more quotes to look at, so why don't you call me next week and I'll give you an answer.
Salesperson: Thanks for the opportunity and I look forward to talking to you next week.
Skill testing closing questions
1. Most prospects will try to delay making a buying decision, so what technique will allow you to overcome procrastination?
2. How would you close the sale when your prospect says;
Let me think it over and I`ll get back to you.
I need to talk to my partner first.
I'd like to look at a few more quotes before I decide.
3. What must you never do after asking a closing question? (This common mistake is costing you sales.)
4. Most salespeople know one closing technique but most sales do not occur until the ______ closing attempt.
5. Closing at the wrong time can be a costly mistake. When is the only time to close? (Hint. It's not at the end of the presentation.)
6. Why should you never ask for the order?
7. How can you test the water to see if your prospect is ready to be closed?
8. Instead of placing the order the prospect says I still haven't decided on which color to choose, so why don't you get back to me next week. How would you close the sale now?
9. Give 5 examples of how to land the job without asking the prospect to buy.
10. Prospect: If I gave you an order, could I get these baseball caps within 2 weeks? Salesperson: Absolutely, in fact our new press can turn this job around in about 2 days. What closing mistake did this salesperson just make?
Nothing will have a great impact on your sales then developing your closing skills
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Not to minimize the importance of making a powerful presentation, but if you haven't mastered your closing skills you are losing sales. Attend the Closing Made Easy Webinar and discover the time tested closing techniques that North America's most successful ad specialty salespeople are already using to land more jobs.