September 29

Sales Logic- The Power of the Telephone

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Mark Hunter:

And I’m going to say use the last several weeks of the year to also have conversations with people. You don’t normally get a chance to talk

Host:

Sales logic with Mark Hunter and Meredith Elliott. Powell is brought to you by Vanilla Soft.

Host:

Most people refer to vanilla soft as the solution. It’s the solution to ensure sales reps make the right number of attempts for every lead across all channels, including emails, social on the phone. It’s the solution to serve the rep the next best lead. Every single time you need to get your solution@vanillasoffe.com.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Hey, this is Meredith Elliott Powell and welcome to sales logic. The show where we dive into the strategies we discussed, the steps we cover, everything that you need to know to well sell logically I’m here with my cohost Mark Hunter say, Hey mark.

Mark Hunter:

Hey Mark. Yes, it’s Mark Hunter, The sales hunter say hi Meredith.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

And why don’t you give us an overview and tell our listeners all about  the show?

Mark Hunter:

Well, sure. The show works pretty simply. We break it down into four different parts. First of all, we always have a topic that we kind of hone in on. We’ll get to that in just a second, but then we have a question that we take from a listener and we really do invite you to send us your questions. You can either go to sales, logic, podcast.com, that’s our website, or just put it out on social media, hashtag sales logic. We’ll see it. And we’ll answer that question potentially. Next week. Third part is that we highlight a book. What’s a book that kind of stands out for us. And the fourth part is the lightning round. And let me tell you something, the whole thing goes fast, but you know what? We should do a shout out to our sponsor vanilla soft, because Hey, they’ve been with us now for about four or five months. Great to have them as a sponsor, but that’s the way to show ghosts, typical length, 20, 22 minutes until, you know, we run out of the really good stuff. So I don’t know. Did that kind of summarize the show?

Meredith Elliott Powell:

It did. I, you know, really want to emphasize that we love to highlight your questions on here. Um, you know, we’re here to have a discussion about what it takes to sell effectively in today’s marketplace, but we’re also here to solve your problems. So don’t forget to reach out. If you’ve got a question you can reach us@salesatlogicpodcast.com or like mark said, just post something on social media, put a hashtag sales logic. We’ll pick it up and you just might make it on to next week’s show. So we got a good topic, a great lightning round, a good question from our listener and a good book to highlight, um, mark, you want to give us an overview?

Mark Hunter:

Sure. Well, the, I kind of did that a little bit, but what kind of hate the topic today is looks like 2021 is going to be virtual. Oh yes. The crowd groans. But what do we need to do right now to prepare for that? And so that’s going to be the topic. The question, the question. Let me tee up the question right now because it comes from Cynthia in Boston, Massachusetts. Hey, the Patriots, they’re winning a couple of football games. Oh, I know you don’t care about football. Okay. The question I am struggling to build relationships in a virtual world and it is seriously impacting my ability to prospect. What other ideas do you have for me? I’ll tell you what that comes from Cynthia, but boy, that could come from anybody right now.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah, I do think it’s productive. Uh, sigh out there as we think about, um, having to do this virtual through, um, you know, through another, uh, through another year. So one kudos to you, Cynthia, for asking the question and also kudos to you to recognize now that you need to be preparing for 2021, because that’s probably going to be the biggest leg up you’re going to have. So if you are struggling to build relationships and build connections in a virtual world, then my biggest suggestion to you is suspend November and December focusing on learning what some of the best and the brightest are doing to really get good at selling virtual. I mean, first you got to realize, do you have you really perfected being online virtual? Are you comfortable? Are you approachable? Are you really engaging the customer in good conversation? Are you adding relative information, giving good quality information? So it’s worth their times, but there’s good articles and good techniques out there on what it really takes to sell and sell successfully in a virtual world. So I would suggest you spend a little time educating yourself.

Mark Hunter:

I’m going to add to that. You know, there’s a time when you’re a virtual online and there’s a time that you’re offline, but on the telephone, don’t forget the power of the telephone because I have found many, many times I can have a telephone conversation and it can go extremely well because for some reason we’re just both very comfortable because we’re both just zoomed out. So don’t think for a moment that all of your relationship building is going to be done screen to screen. It can be done on the phone. And here’s the other piece. People are really looking for engaging conversation right now because it is, this is, this is a new world for all of us. And it kind of feels like a little bit of Groundhog day. Every day we wake up and it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing. So what you have to realize is you’ve got to put your own personality into it.

Mark Hunter:

And the other piece I’ll add, don’t hesitate. I’m getting a lot more text messages from people. I’m getting video links in emails from people I’m getting social media messages. You have to be able to use different mediums and be very comfortable. But you touched on something Meredith that I think is so key. Your reputation really arrives before you do. We are truly at the point where you are never not looking at a screen, it might be your device. It may be, uh, a tablet of some sort or a computer, but what does this mean? This means people are checking you out long before they talk with you. Your reputation really does arrive before you do. What does that mean? Well, in a B2B world and even B to C, it really means LinkedIn. You better make sure that your LinkedIn profile looks good and represents, and really allows people to understand who you are.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah. I would agree with that. You know, it’s in the, I think the best advice we can give you is let’s spend November and December really getting strategic. So let’s think about who you’re going to call on in 2021, who you’re going to focus on. I mean, really, I would really encourage you to make a list of at least a hundred prospects and clients you’re planning on reaching out to, because once you have that image in your mind, once you have that list in front of you, then start to think about what are you going to do to Mark’s point to make sure that those people have heard of you and about you. I mean, we can’t build our reputation with everybody, right? We didn’t build our reputation with the type of people whose attention we want to get. So start to think about what are the marketing and brand building things that you need to be doing to get in front of them to get their attention, because that’s, what’s going to take to get them to agree to a virtual meeting, then coming right behind that increase your virtual skills, get really comfortable with, um, with a camera.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

You know, I’ve got to do a presentation later today. That is a brand new type of presentation for me. I haven’t really done it very much all morning. I’ve been in front of the mirror, practicing, making it casual. I’ve probably done the 15 minute presentation, probably close to 30 times now in the last week, because I’ve got to get the presentation out of here and I’ve got it to get it down to here. It’s the longest 18 inches there is, but I’ve got to get it so that I’m speaking out of my heart and not out of my memorized mine. So figure out what you need to do to, to get that piece. The last piece that you’re going to need is a really strong followup strategy. And I encourage you to stay tuned to sales logic, because we’ll be doing a lot of talking about followup as we go forward, but now’s your time to get strategic and think about building your brand. Think about what you can need to do to build your skills down the road. We’ll talk about up

Mark Hunter:

Before we run away from this, let’s drive home something, because you talked about that 18 inches between the brain and the heart. You do have to connect OSHA line. This is so it is so to think that connecting virtually is this avatar to avatar. No, it’s not. It, it, you still have to let your personality come through. And it’s amazing when you let your personality come through. It’s amazing how you listen more. And that’s the other key piece in virtual presentations. Now what Meredith was talking about was she’s making a presentation, kind of what I presume is kind of like a Ted talk you’re doing for somebody. Yeah. Now think about that. You’re doing a Ted talk. Now that’s going to be different than a sales conversation because that’s two ways. So you got to make sure that when you go into anything online, you know, what is the level of engagement that you’re looking for and prepare the other party for that?

Mark Hunter:

And you prepare the other party by setting the table accordingly, by if this is going to be a two-way conversation, you get them involved early and get them involved with questions that engage them and get them thinking. Here’s something that I always share. The key to getting people engaged virtually is one. You have to be able to ask engaging questions that get them thinking. And if you do that, it’s amazing. It’s amazing how they’ll converse with you. That’s how you really create a relationship online. So, Hey, we should probably jump into the topic which really dovetails well with the question. The topic we had was, looks like 20, 21 is going to be virtual. Ooh man. Okay. What do we need to do now to prepare?

Meredith Elliott Powell:

What do we need to do now to prepare to go virtual? I’ll go back to some of that advice that I just gave. Cynthia. I think that number one, um, I know mark, you and I are working on this. We’ve got to spend these last couple of months of the year, really getting our strategy in place for, um, for 2021. Number one is, you know, I just heard a report right now that the economy is doing really well. Um, things are strong. So you’re looking at going into 2021, barring anything changing that people are buying, they are spending money. So what are you going to do? What is your sales strategy gonna look like? Where are you going to spend your time? Go ahead, set your goals. Think about what your sales behaviors needed to look like. Where are you going to network? How are you going to interact with prospects? How are you going to pick up, how are you going to, how are you going to, um, how are you going to connect with them? So I would say first and foremost, you need to build a strategy.

Mark Hunter:

And I’m going to say, use the last several weeks of the year to also have conversations with people. You don’t normally get a chance to talk with. Here’s what happens the last couple of weeks of the year. Schedules always just get weird. Now it’s going to vary by industry, but it’s amazing. You know, meetings just don’t quite happen. There are different things going on and so forth. And many times what happens is you can have conversations with people. And I encourage you. If you’re an account manager and account exec, you need to be reaching out to other people in your, in the companies that you’re selling to talk to them. And you know what? You’re going to be able to have conversations. And they’re going to share with you insights and ideas about what they have planned for 21. Well, guess what, that’s going to help you plan.

Mark Hunter:

I always believe never develop your strategic plan in a vacuum. This is what too many salespeople do. They develop their, their, their plan in a vacuum. Meaning really all they do is they set numbers at, oh, this feels good. This feels good. This feels good, but no logical rationale as to why they’re going to achieve them. So I love using the last several weeks of the year, last month of the year to be getting Intel customer Intel. And at the same time, wanting to goals that I want you to set for 2021 is make a list who are the people that you want to reach out to? Who are the people that you want to get connected to? Don’t set your sights low because it’s amazing your network, the network that you create. Now, I know this is lane. The network you create is very quickly going to determine your net worth.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. I also think that, um, you know, speaking on the Intel, then mark told you to go ahead and gather. You need to move into 2021. Being able to answer the question why and answer it clearly and effectively. Why should customers give you their time, their precious time, their precious energy and their precious resources. And, um, in 2021, what’s going to be their motivator to get on and talk with you. And you need to be clear of that. And that’s going to come a lot from getting that Intel, that mark is telling you about by reaching out, engaging and talking to people because you need to understand the shifts and the changes they’re experiencing. You need to know what they’re focused on for 2021, because likely your message is going to need to change, to adapt to what they’re focused on and what is going to make you relevant in 2000, um, 2021 really remember that people buy from you because you understand them. Not because they understand you. I was yelling with a client, um, early this afternoon, that was just really very, very focused on their own sales pipeline, but they couldn’t give me a reason as to truly why the customer should be engaging them, what the customer is going to get out of it. And until you know that you can’t craft the right message to start to reach out and pitch, to get them to engage and give you their time and energy.

Mark Hunter:

And when you dig into the why you got to look at your customer’s, why, and you understand the customers, why when you take, go downstream and look at their customers later on today, I’m working with a company and we’re developing their 20, 21 annual plan. And the first question out of the shoot is, okay, you’ve identified the customers you want to target, but who are their customers what’s going on in their world? And you know, we’ve all learned the idea of having a SWOT analysis, you know, strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. I’ll tell you what, when you’re doing your planning, that could be a powerful tool. And what you do is you begin developing a SWAT analysis for the channel that you’re selling into, put yourself in that if you were in that channel, what would a SWAT analysis look like? Do a SWOT analysis for your key customers.

Mark Hunter:

And that’s another piece as you look at your business for 2021, there’s three ways you want to look at it. A what is the additional business that I’m going to get from my existing customers? Okay. B what is the business that I’m gonna recover from lost customers and seeing who were the new customers I’m going to be going after. And you got to look at that through three distinct lenses, because otherwise what will happen is you may have some good customers that they’re really going to gear up for next year. And you can say, well, my plans done, but you’re going to miss out on two other segments. You have to look at each segment independently and then break it down even further by channel, because you may sell into multiple channels. Yeah. It takes time to develop a good annual plan, but it’s well worth it. Yeah.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

The last thing I’m going to say is that you need to probably do a really good review of 2020, and you need to really ask yourself, what did I do in 2020 that worked, what did I do that got me traction there, maybe I need to double down on in 2021, it was effective. And then what choked me up? What, what hung me out? What didn’t was, it was a waste of my time. Where was I? Maybe busy but not productive. And then what do I need in 2021 that I didn’t have in 2020, that would make me even more effective. But I always say that you are probably your best sales coach. So set a little time aside to analyze what you’ve done and make sure that you keep those things that are working for you. As you go into 2021, be prepared to let a few things, go get your ego out of the way, and then add in a few things that would make you even more effective.

Mark Hunter:

Yeah. And as you look at the year past, don’t kick yourself, don’t get down. I see a lot of salespeople getting down on themselves. That’s too easy that doesn’t solve anything. You want to reflect back and say, okay, what didn’t work and make those changes just as Meredith was saying, but you want to look at what positive news happen? You know, I’ll tell you what, Hey, we’re here. We are 2020 this year. Didn’t, didn’t turn out the way we expect to do, but you know what? We’re all still standing. Congratulations. Congratulations. We had a lot of good things go, right? That’s what you want to build on. Build on in your strengths, build on your strengths because I’ll tell you what we have the ability to make 2021 be a vastly different better year because of the skillset I tell everybody right now in 2020, all of us in sales, we’ve been earning a sales MBA of the different processes and approaches. We’ve had to adapt, leverage those to move forward into 2021.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

All right, mark. You ready to dive into today’s book and talk about the author that we want to feature?

Mark Hunter:

Yeah, because boy, it’s, this book has been around for a lot. You are the one that selected the book and I, and I’m glad we always take turns who selects the book and, and I’m glad you selected this book. Uh, we’ve all read it. We all read it multiple times, so, okay. Let’s not tease the audience Meredith tell them the book name. I hope,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I hope that we have all read the book multiple times, but you know, I was looking over my bookshelf and they, um, and they re of, uh, books that I own, and there was this book kind of tethered and worn out. And a lot of the, you know, a lot of the pages, you know, the corners turned down because I’ve referred to it so much, but I thought it was a good one to pull out. And that is Dale. Carnegie’s how to win friends and how to influence people. Um, this book was written in the 1930s and one of my favorite things about it, it’s a book I make. Every client read is the fact that everything in it is still relevant today. And I thought it really went with what we were talking about today. Because if you want to build relationships in a virtual world, then you need to go back to the basics and how to win friends and influence people is really about going back to the, um, basic,

Mark Hunter:

I love that book because sure. The processes we use, the tools we might use have changed, but the fundamental principle is that Dale Carnegie spills out in that book are as relevant today. I’ve probably have read that book half a dozen times. I think my father gave me a copy of that book when I was in high school. And I, and I probably looked at him and did the stink eye and, and I don’t know what I eventually read it, but since then I have read it and I too have a dog-eared copy of that book. In fact, I got three or four copies of that book in my library because it is, it is a timeless book. Great choice, great selection. So I guess it’s my, my, uh, my selection for next week.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I think so. I think so. And now it’s time for the lightning round, um, the lightning round, but this week is the sales strategies. You need to finish 2020 strong.

Mark Hunter:

Well, here we go. First one, make time to be making phone calls, to get strategic information. Not only about what you can close right now that helps set yourself up for next year.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah, I’d say one way you want to finish. Um, 2020 strong is I want you to go back to the first and second quarter, and I want you to look at everybody that you spoke to in the first and second quarter, whether you landed a piece of business or whether it’s still floating out there. And I want you to check back in as the year closes out, just to see where they are with things, wish them a great set, um, of, uh, of holidays and just check in to see what’s going on. Because number one, you’re probably going to find some business that they want to do at the end of the year, or you’re going to be able to plant a good seed as you kick off 2021,

Mark Hunter:

Find out right now, what days your business is going to be closed. When’s the last order date. When’s the last ship date. When’s the last day for credit approval. When is the last day for all those pieces and what you want to do when you get those dates, I want you to go to your main customers and find out what their dates are. And it’s amazing how suddenly oh, sense of urgency kicks in. And it’s amazing the amount of business you can pick up right then and there just because you’re calling it out to them. Yeah. Build

Meredith Elliott Powell:

A plan for these last two months of the year. You’ve got about half of November and all of December, but really look at the next 30 to 45 days and really decide who you’re going to call on when you’re going to call on them. What you hope to accomplish in the next 30 to 45 days. The name of the game for the next 30 to 45 days is to be focused hyper, hyper focus. And you, and you want, what you want to be is focused on things that matter. And let go of the things that don’t really question, what am I doing? That’s wasting time and what am I doing? That’s um, that’s moving me forward. So get those sales calls on the calendar first. And before you do anything else that day, make those calls, make them a priority and make sure that your foot is on the gas every single day, except for maybe a holiday, but you can put something in the mail that day. Um, as we move into the end of the year,

Mark Hunter:

There’s three groups of customers you want to be working on your existing customers. Chris course, they’re already buying from you. They’re working with you to those customers that you’ve lost, or you didn’t get any time over the past year. Cause they already know you. You may be able to turn them very quickly. And three people who are in your sales funnel down towards the bottom, they’re getting closer. Focus your time there, you have to be hyper focused on those three segments.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Yeah. Decide what you’re going to do around the, um, the holidays you’ve got to, you’ve got a lot of holidays coming up. You’ve got Thanksgiving, you’ve got Hanukkah, you’ve got Christmas. You’ve got the new year. What is something special that you can do around those holidays to, um, as a reason to get in front of, of customers and you can even make it business base, you can give them ideas of ways to thank their customers that can lead to revenue generation. You can give them ideas for the new year as they move in to 2021. What are some things that they could do to be growing their business? But how could you stay focused and business producing during the holidays rather than backing away from the holiday?

Mark Hunter:

That’s right. Cell urgency and speed. People may say, oh, just touch base with me after the first of the year. No, you want to be saying this, Hey, we wait until after the first of the year, who knows what’s going to come up and besides we don’t get the order in the system. Now we don’t know what’s going to happen. Let’s get it in now. So I can make sure that I can get this thing filled, get it taken care of customers have money. Customers are finished thingy year with money. They want to spend it sell urgency and time. Yeah,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

I know that touching base right here at the end of the year, you’re going to be surprised what you find that’s left in the budget dollars that people have to go ahead and they have to get rid of it. They won’t be able to sell in 2021, but even if you land a deal right here, even if you close something in the next 30 to 45 days, which I’m sure you will go ahead and set that appointment right for the first of the year, right in that very first week of January, we come back. So you’re able to start 2021 as strong as you finished 2020. So go ahead and plant the seed. Let them know that you’ll be giving them a call to focus on the goals and the strategies for 2021. It’s going to make sure that you don’t have any dead air between when you, um, you know, celebrate a holiday. And when you kick off the new year,

Mark Hunter:

I’ll add one more. Then I guess we’ll probably wrap this thing up. And that is this you’ll have a great first quarter. If you finish the fourth quarter strong and I can’t stress that enough, if you can’t get a meeting, now you make sure you book that date for those first couple of days of January while everybody else is, oh, well, let me get my act together. You’ve already got meetings. You’ve got sales coming in, but trust me there’s business to be had right now. So with that, we kind of need it. Wrap the show up. I want to say thank you for listening to sales logic this week. If you like what you hear, subscribe, rate and review the show on your favorite podcast app. If something we’ve said has earned you a single dollar, consider telling a friend about our show, Hey, it’s how we grow to help you grow. I’m Mark Hunter and I’m

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Meredith Kelly a pal.

Mark Hunter:

Remember when you sell with confidence and integrity,

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Uncertainty suddenly becomes your competitive

Mark Hunter:

Advantage and the sale becomes logical.

Meredith Elliott Powell:

Thanks so much. We’ll see you next week.

Host:

Most people refer to vanilla soft as the solution. It’s the solution to ensure sales reps make the right number of attempts for every lead across all channels, including emails, social on the phone. It’s the solution to serve the rep the next best lead. Every single time you need to get your solution@vanillasoft.com.

Meridith Elliott Powell


Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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