Sunday, 18 March 2012

One hundred. One year. One million: A SHORT CHALLENGE SUMMARY

One hundred. One year. One million: A SHORT CHALLENGE SUMMARY

This is a blinding offer of a substantive NLP & Sales training course lasting 24 weeks with the objective of improving the lives of all participants whilst making a documentary about how to make a million pounds in a year.

I cant wait to see how this project develops!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Cold Calling Tips - Getting Past The Gate Keeper

Most sellers want to get as quickly as possible to the ultimate decision maker in an account rather than sell their service to some third party, junior executive. This can be very difficult. Particularly in larger and more complex organisations senior people are protected by one or more ‘Gatekeepers’. 

Whether formally appointed as Personal Assistant, Assistant Manager or Secretary there is no doubt about their true role. These employees see their main task as preventing anyone (internal or external) gaining access to their boss.

Today’s effective cold caller needs to make an ally of the gatekeeper who can be extremely helpful to the hopeful seller. The most effective way to do this is very similar to the opening approach recommended for the actual decision maker: ask for help.

“Good morning is that the Personal Assistant for <Mr Prospect>? …….It is? Thank you I wonder if you could help me?”


Well can you tell what you want?

“Certainly my name is <John Brown> of <Allied Pharmaceuticals>. My company has never done business with your company before but I’d like to change that. The problem is I don’t know the best way to make an initial approach to your company and I was hoping that you could guide me?”

Occasionally at this point the gatekeeper will put you through to their boss – so you have a result.
But more often you will be advised to send an introductory letter or email to the boss.

This communication must not attempt to ‘sell’ your service but rather it should seek help in finding the right person who has to deal with the type of problem your email describes. (The type of problem your business exists to solve)

All such emails or letters must be followed up with a further phone call about one week later. This time, when the gatekeeper asks what you want, you can honestly say that: “It is about some information I was asked to send to Mr Prospect”.

The best way of all to deal with gatekeepers is to avoid them altogether by calling when they are least likely to be there. These times are between 07:45am and 08:30am Monday to Friday and between 17:45 and 18:30 
Monday to Thursday. Friday afternoon is special because it is the best time of the week for all cold calling: so many staff are out yet most bosses are in. 

You will be surprised how often your request to be connected to Mr Prospect results in a direct pick up by the person you’re after.

The most recent reaction I had to an odd-time cold call was to be asked by “Mr Prospect” how I had got directly through to him. I told him to which he replied: That should not have happened…but can you show my sales people how to do that?

Bob Etherington

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Saying The Things That "Sell" In A Cold Call - Bob Etherington Cold Calling Guru

Cold calling is a very efficient and cost-effective way to find new customers for your business. But to do it well and effectively, your primary, differentiating focus must be to establish trust. 

Once your potential customer discovers that you are not like all the rest and that speaking to you carries no underlying tension or urgency for a sale, the atmosphere around your call will change rapidly.

To establish yourself as professional business person it is only necessary to open with a question as simple as,

“Can you help me?” 

This is so unlike the usual cold call ‘pitch’ that most customers are instantly disarmed. 

The response is normally to ask who is calling and what you want help with. Your reply is another question which begins to open up the dialogue. 

New information is only presented at the request of the customer.

You: “Good morning…Is that <Mr Prospect>? I wonder if you could help me please?”


Prospect: “Well …it depends what you want”

You: “Well I’m just calling to find out if your company is grappling with the problem with a long list of potential sales which are just not closing?” (Common specific problem you can fix. Also notice the use of the emotive word ‘grappling’ in relation to the problem)

Prospect: “Who are you please?”

You: “My name is <John Smith> and my company is <The Sales Company.> I wondered whether you would be open to hearing some ways in which we can solve the problem of potential sales which are sticking and not being finalized?” 

(Notice the powerful use of the word ‘open’ in relation to potential benefits)

Carry on the conversation in this normal relaxed way using questions about typical problems you solve in order to keep the focus on the customer and not on you your company or your product. 

Try never to introduce new information, features or benefits unless the customer specifically asks for it. There is no script in all this in fact the only piece of paper in front of you maybe a reminder list of some of the main problems you can solve.

Finally, at the point at which the average cold caller would normally ‘close’ for a sale or ask for an appointment, simply ask,

“What would you like to do next?”

Naturally quite a few will transfer you to someone else or ask you to send more information – which you should do- or even express no interest at the moment. This is not a problem because your objective is purely to establish trust in an unpressured, relaxed atmosphere.

But you will find that the approach is so unusual that many potential clients will immediately invite you in for an appointment.

I know this works because it is what I do. 

I would be very interested in hearing about your experiences.

Bob Etherington

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Bob Etherington- Things that don’t get measured, don’t get done!

Things that don’t get measured, don’t get done!

ALL the sales books and gurus tell you that, to succeed, you must constantly measure how your money and time are being spent. But what should you measure and why? Here are some useful metrics which show what’s making (or breaking) you right now:

Your Money!

Percentage of Budget / Quota / Goal Reached
Use this to determine if your sellers are behind or ahead of financial plan. Identify where focus should be applied to achieve your targeted objectives.

Sales to New vs. Existing Customers
As it is 90% easier to sell more to an existing happy customer, this vital measure shows where salespeople are spending their time, whether existing accounts are being developed, or how much time is spent prospecting for new customers.

Salesperson Rankings in Company
Rankings help you and your sales force see who is top according to what is being tracked. Rankings should be published and will stimulate friendly team competition.

Sales by Market Sector
Shows you which sectors are generating the majority of sales or if your sellers need more training in a particular segment.

Sales by Product
Shows the performance of each product and identifies opportunities for improvement / exploration. Further filtering will help pinpoint where demand exists, where effort is being applied, or highlight the effectiveness of an area or a salesperson.

Sales by Map
Shows sales distribution by geography. Analysis may indicate there is room for additional salespeople or suggest opportunities for territory redesign.

Forecast vs. Actual
Most useful for more drawn-out complex sales. If the seller’s forecasts are generally accurate, the he/she clearly knows what is going on in the market and has knowledge of buying-cycle decisions affecting his accounts.

Expenses - Actual vs. Budget
Broken down to individual level, these metrics help control costs when necessary and illustrate how well the each seller manages their budget.

Average Revenue per Client
An ever changing overview of sales effectiveness. Generally, you will find that growth occurs when there is an increase in average revenue per client and an increase in the number of new customers retained.

Your Time!

Number of New Accounts
Shows if salespeople are prospecting for new business.

Number of Calls by Sector/Account size
Shows if they are calling on prospects in targeted market sectors and size of accounts.

Number of Proposals Submitted vs Closing Ratio
This ratio shows what progress is being made in developing business and how effectively sales techniques are being applied.

Number of Wins against Competitors
Shows how effective they are in differentiating their solutions to their customers.

Your Customers!

Customer Retention Ratio
A key indicator of customer satisfaction. Generally if you can cut your current rate of customer attrition by just 10% you will see profitability increase between 25% and 90%

Buying Points Within a Complex Account
Shows you the number of buying points which the salesperson is seeing within each account, and the depth of account penetration that is being achieved.

Bob Etherington is the Author of "Cold Calling For Chickens"