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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

6 Steps to a Successful Cold Calling Email Format

In our relentless quest to get a prospects' attention we need to engage in strategies that achieve this but also not be an annoyance at the same time! As sales executives we know we're always walking a fine line between the two when pushing messages out to our prospects. I'm a big believer in email as an alternative to cold calling because of a few reasons:

  • the email is delivered to your prospects' inbox vs a cold call is screened by your prospects' call-display unit
  • the email message remains in your prospects' inbox until he or she has time to read it and respond (or delete it but if you follow what I'm going to outline here then you will minimize the chances of that happening!)
  • the email is MUCH more likely to be responded to than a voicemail
  • the email has a much larger chance of bypassing spam filters if it's personalized.

If you have not had success with emailing your prospects in the past it could be for a number of reasons. The most likely reasons for emails being ignored or promptly deleted are:

  • When they're part of a mass generic email blitz. There's just little to no room for customization in these.
  • Asking your customer to call you or telling him you will call to follow up after sending an email that tells them all about your company.

The trick to successful prospecting through emails is to have the proper format. Once I started working with this format my results went up immediately as did those of the hunter sales reps I worked with. When you use this format you can expect many more responses than with the emails that you usually send and infinitely more than with straight cold-calling.

Although this may not surprise you but salespeople will still send out multiple emails without enough of the key elements to include in a personalized message to get their emails read.

The successful format that produces more reads and responses goes something like this:

Step 1: Start the body of your email. Type up something that conveys the value you and your organization can deliver. We will revisit this again later but for now just get started with something. Use simple yet professional language when typing up your email.

Step 2: Keep your emails short! No more than 3-4 short paragraphs. And heed the paragraph rule and use spaces because the email will look easier to digest.

Step 3: Create an attention getting headline. Don't be afraid to use their company name in the subject line as that is more customization. The subject line should be something that could be top of mind with the prospect. What is affecting their industry? What is challenging their business? What solutions have you provided that has really benefited others in the same position as your prospect? Create a non-generic subject line that will make the prospect want to at least open the email and see if what's inside is worth reading!

Step 4: Let's revisit what you created from Step #1. The body of your email should explain in a few short paragraphs:

  • How you understand something about their business and industry. This will prove to your prospect that you have at least done something in terms of homework or research on them. It also communicates that they're dealing with a real person and not a spam attempt where the email they're reading is one of several thousand that were launched that day.

  • What your solution is and how it's helped others. Do not go on and on about you or your company but rather focus on the results that you think you can deliver.

Step 5: Now that you hopefully will be earning your prospect's attention and she is eager to learn more you should include a 'call to action'. This is where you ask your prospect to take action and receive something that will benefit her. Examples of this might be an invite to a free webinar, a free download such as a whitepaper or report chalk full of information. Perhaps a video that will turn on some light bulbs in your prospects' mind. The power of 'free' is really powerful with calls to action. Add this at the end of your email.

Step 6: Fire off your email and see if your prospect responds. If not then feel free to send a follow up in about a week or if you're so inclined then pick up the phone to deliver a 'warm-call'.

A good first value-providing email should be able to break some ice and get the ball rolling for a conversation to happen sooner or later when the prospect is ready -which ultimately your prospect will decide. If your first few attempts at creating engaging emails does not yield the responses you want or need then experiment with the content within your email. Change it up from time to time and see what content your prospects are responding to.

Stop cold calling and get more sales prospecting resources at http://www.ihatesalesprospecting.com

By Mark Piffl

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Online Search Featuring David Amerland, Martin Shervington And Mark Traphagen

It's hard to believe that the SiteSell Presents Summer Series concludes next Monday already! For the past 3 weeks SiteSell CMO Mike Allton has hosted 9 experts who have covered the gamut on Entrepreneurship, Writing, Blogging and Social Media. And based on the outpouring of comments following the events, folks are LOVING all the help and insights.

** Thanks Dustin W Stout! I've been using Social Warfare for a few weeks now, but had forgotten about the analytics. Forgot to set that up. Doing it now. - Chris Farley Ratcliffe

** Critical for social media marketing success: find out where your target audience is most active. Great advice by Rebekah Radice! - Margit Streifeneder

** Free social listening tools at mention.com and brand24.net to figure out where your audience is spending their time Thanks Jeff Sieh! - Susanna Perkins

SiteSell Presents

Monday, July 27th
12:00 Noon EDT
Topic: Search
Guests: David Amerland, Martin Shervington and Mark Traphagen
Event Link: CLICK HERE
YouTube Link: CLICK HERE

Now, the fourth and final show is going to be intense! David Amerland, Martin Shervington and Mark Traphagen are three of the foremost experts on understanding Search - not just tips and tricks on how to optimize a website, but incredibly high-level and forward-thinking concepts, like what Google Search will be like in 5 years, and how you should be preparing your website and content today to be ready. Don't miss your big chance to not only watch it live, but invite your staff, partners, collegues, and peers to join too.

Guest Bios For This Week's LIVE Event

** David Amerland is a professional advisor to companies globally, blogs for a number of websites, including Forbes, journalism.co.uk, and socialmediatoday, and writes for magazines and newspapers. He explores the implications of semantic technology in daily life.

Follow David: https://twitter.com/DavidAmerland

** Martin Shervington is a Speaker, Consultant, Author, Professional Coach, and Marketing Psychologist. He has written several books and even the non-verbal communication section in Professor Robert Winston's book, "Human".

Follow Martin: https://twitter.com/MartinSherv

** Mark Traphagen is the Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting. His mission is to help businesses get seen and heard, to get their message out and bring in people who want and need what they have to offer. His special know-how is in the intersection of social and search.

Follow Mark: https://twitter.com/marktraphagen

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Full Schedule and Lineup: Event Schedule & Guest Presenters

SiteSell offers a free eCourse on Entrepreneurship that will help you recognize and overcome the most common fears that stop budding entrepreneurs: FREE Entrepreneurship Course

Make sure to RSVP, and feel free to share your questions on the Event Page as we will be pulling the best comments and questions into the broadcast for our panel to respond to.

Simply register for this event right here.... Event Registration

Twenty Telesales Tips

It's quite an awesome feat when you think about it. It requires a talented individual to be able to do that well. Here are 20 Tips to help you become a more effective tele-persuader:

1. Have a primary objective for every call. An objective that advances your selling cycle in some specific way. Ask yourself "What do I want them to DO as a result of this call?"

2. Prepare questions for your call using your call objective. Ask yourself, "How can I persuade them to take this action as a result of asking questions, as opposed to talking?" Remember, people believe more of their ideas than yours.

3. If you are dealing with a "gatekeeper," treat the screener as you would the customer. This person determines whether or not you'll even have a chance to speak with the buyer.

4. Have a reason for needing to speak with the decision maker, and be prepared to sell this to the screener. What they're thinking about you: "Does this person have anything of interest or of value for the boss?"

5. If leaving a message on voice mail, or with a screener, be certain it offers a hint of a benefit/result that sparks curiosity, but doesn't talk about products/services.

6. The objective of your opening is to pique curiosity and interest so that they will willingly and enthusiastically move to the questioning. You must answer, "What's in it for me?" for the listener, or they will immediately begin the getting-rid-of-you process.

7. When prospecting, don't start the call with, "I was just calling people in your area... " People want to feel like they're the only person you're calling... not just one of the masses from a list of compiled names.

8. After asking, be quiet. Resist the urge to jump in if they don't answer immediately. Don't be intimidated by silence. They're likely thinking about what they're going to say.

9. After they've finished, count to two (silently, of course). This ensures they're done, plus they might continue with even better information.

10. Be confident in your questioning. One reason reps ramble with questions is that they're not prepared or confident. Prepare your questions. Role play them with yourself if necessary.

11. Quantify the problem whenever possible. "How often does that happen?" "How much do you think that is costing you?" "How much time does that take?"

12. Resist the tendency to present too soon. Some reps get so excited when they hear the slightest hint of an opportunity that they turn on the spigot of benefits. Hold off, ask a few more questions, get better information, and you're able to craft an even harder-hitting description of benefits, tailored precisely to what they're interested in.

13. Avoid the question, "Anything else?" when attempting to upsell. Just like when a convenience store clerk asks the same question, the answer is usually, "No." Instead, give them a suggestion, and help them answer. For example, after they agree to buy an item, or a service, say, "Many of our customers, who get _____ from us, also find that ____ is also very beneficial for them. What are you now doing/using/buying in that area?"

14. Remember that "closing" is NOT the major event in a sales call. It's the natural, logical, validation of the professional sales process up to this point. But you still must ask. Commitment must be gained on every contact in order to move the process forward. If there is to be a follow-up contact, and information is to be sent or faxed, there must be commitment on behalf of the prospect regarding that material.

15. Ask large. Think big. Buyers will often move down from a large recommendation, but they rarely move up from a small one. Those who ask the biggest have the largest average order size. Never suggest more than is in the best interest of the customer, but not making a large enough suggestion when appropriate is actually hurting the customer.

16. If you're going to schedule a follow up call, get a commitment of some type. Why would you call back otherwise? If they won't commit to doing anything, reviewing your literature and preparing questions, surveying their existing inventory, etc., they likely have no interest.

17. Objections can be avoided by doing everything else correctly up to this point in the call. When they do occur, resist the tendency to attack in defense. You must back up and revisit the questioning stage of the call.

18. The voiced objection is simply a symptom of the real problem. Start by saying, "Let's talk about that."

19. Most price objections start in the mind of the salesperson. Many sales reps aren't 100% sold on the value of their product, therefore they're apt to offer price concessions even when the prospect doesn't flat-out ask, or they present price with a shaky tone of voice. Ask the right questions, present the results of what your product/service can do, and state the price boldly.

20. When sending information, samples, demos, etc., know precisely how they'll evaluate the material. How will they know if they like it? What criteria will they use? This way, you'll both be clear as to what would need to happen in order for them to buy.

Dr. John N. Brennan
Interpersonal Development
1-585-230-5765 (EST)
http://www.interpersonaldevelopment.com Let's talk! To find a convenient time, please click here:
https://www.timetrade.com/book/GGLSM

By John N Brennan

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cold Calling - Secrets To Success Revealed

The simplest, most cost-effective and most time-efficient way to win new customers is to pick up the phone and call the prospects. But the concept of "cold calling" sends shivers down the spine of most sales people. It seems totally unnatural to many of us.

As with most irrational fears, such as public speaking, heights and spiders, it is the fear of the unknown rather than anything else that puts sales people off. This is only enhanced by the fear of rejection, a phrase that surely also needs its own phobia name!

While technique is critical, this comes with experience and confidence. The first defining characteristic of a successful cold callers is their persistence. Recent research showed the enormous mismatch between what most sales people thought was a sensible amount of persistence and how many rebuffs prospect really give. 43% of the sample said they would give up calling after the very first rejection from the prospective customer. Another 23% said they would not call again if the customer said no a second time, 15% the third time and 11% the fourth time. This left only 8% of the sample of sales people chipping away at the prospect's resistance. However, the research showed that when questioned 73% of prospects said they would give 5 or more "objections" before buying!

So the major lesson is not to take now for an answer. The second lesson is to make sure you are speaking to the right person.

All too often, salespeople start selling to the first person that picks up the phone. This can be a waster of the caller and the prospect's time if the person at the end of the phone is not the MAN. This is not me being sexist, the MAN is an acronym for Money, Authority and Need. Someone who is happy to listen to your pitch but can't sign the sales order is merely a recommender.

So how do you make sure you get to speak to the MAN, not the recommender? My favourite question is to ask: "apart from you, who else is involved in [this buying decision]". The boost their ego by admitting they have a part in the decision and then you get them to say who else you should really be talking to.

However, when calling a business, the first hurdle to get past is the person we call the "gatekeeper". Often this is the PA, the secretary or the junior colleague who's explicit job it is to get rid of sales people. However, the target prospect does actually want to still hear from people that can do him good deals, save him money, provide a better product or inform him or her of market developments. But the gatekeeper thinks it is their job to stop ANYONE getting through.

The first tactic to get past gatekeepers is to make friends with them first. Then it is much easier to negotiate a contact with your target. The temptation is to show our frustration with the PA who keeps promising to pass on messages. But they will be pleasantly surprised when you show respect!

You are very likely going to have to speak to the gatekeeper several times before accessing your quarry so make notes about their likes, dislikes, family interests, holiday, anything that gives you something to ask about when you next call. It may sound contrived, but most gatekeepers will begin to crumble when you begin to emerge as a kind, empathetic person.

Don't be too proud to use the pity card: as an MD, I still find a winning hand with "my boss has told me not to speak to him until I get through to your boss, you could not help me out this one time could you?".

The reverse of this one is to simply state the first name of the person you wish to speak to with an upward inflection: don't ask to speak to the person, don't say please, just firmly say the first name. Many times it will be assumed you are a known contact and you'll be put through.

A classic is to get put through to accounts. Then tell the accounts people you have obviously been wrongly connected by the operator but "is there any chance you can connect me direct to Mr X to save me going around the houses". You will then be an internal call and may even find out their extensions!

And if you don't get to speak to the person you want, despite being put through DO leave a message on the answerphone. It may be a million to one chance, but it is still a chance they will call back. But keep it brief and don't leave them enough information to decide they can not bother calling you back. Use just your first name, abbreviate your company name - leave out anything that says what your company does - and leave your number, stating it twice.

A little confidence goes a long way. The first times you try these techniques you won't have believe in them and they won't work. But keep bashing away and you will be soon setting your self and your colleagues appointments as if you were born to it!

Andy Szebeni is director of sales training and telemarketing company A&P. For more information and free tips and hints go to http://www.a-and-p.com.

By Andy Szebeni

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Social Media LIVE Event With The Experts...Jeff Sieh, Dustin W. Stout and Rebekah Radice

No doubt about it, folks are absolutely LOVING the SiteSell Presents Summer Series!

Audience Comments.....

** My best take-away from Guy Kawasaki is to empower people... and yeah, Canva! And from Mia Voss, what lights you up? 45 minutes very well spent. Thanks SiteSell. - Glenys Morgan

** Gold: "Not doing Social. Being Social" Kenneth Manesse Sr. - Stephen Crewson

** Fantastic show Mike Allton, you did it again! Forwarded your show link as I was watching because it was that great! Having Wade Harman, Kevan Lee and Demian Farnworth was awesome. Learned so much. Can't wait for next Monday. - Karen V. Chin

Hope you and your audience feel the same as Glenys, Stephen, Karen and the hundreds of others who watched the first two shows. These events are excellent examples of the kinds of valuable resources and information people have come to expect from SiteSell.

And SiteSell CMO, Mike Allton, will be back on Monday, July 20th, to host the 3rd "SiteSell Presents" show about Social Media Marketing.

Monday, July 20th
12:00 Noon EDT
Topic: Social Media
Guests: Jeff Sieh, Dustin W. Stout and Rebekah Radice
Event Link: CLICK HERE
YouTube Link: CLICK HERE

SiteSell Presents

During next Monday's LIVE discussion, popular Social Media experts Jeff, Dustin and Rebekah, will share their insights about social media from their own unique experiences.

Guest Bios For This Week's LIVE Event

This week we are talking about Social Media and will be offering insights and discussion from Jeff Sieh, Dustin W. Stout and Rebekah Radice

** Jeff Sieh is the owner and Creative Director at His Design Inc., a multimedia company that he’s run for over 12 years in Longview, Texas. He is also the creator and host of the Manly Pinterest Tips Show and Podcast. A show dedicated to adding testosterone, one pin at a time to Pinterest.

Follow Jeff: https://twitter.com/jeffsieh

** Dustin W. Stout is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Weal Media. He is a web designer, branding enthusiast, blogger and social media junkie. Creativity is his fuel, social media is his game, and Jesus is his homie.

Follow Dustin: https://twitter.com/DustinWStout

** Rebekah Radice has been blogging since 2004 on one of the top social media blogs, rebekahradice.com - voted a "2015 Top 10 Social Media Blog" by Social Media Examiner. As a recognized leader and influencer, Rebekah has been featured on Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Steamfeed, 12Most and Alltop.

Follow Rebekah: https://twitter.com/RebekahRadice

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Full Schedule and Lineup: Event Schedule & Guest Presenters

SiteSell offers a free eCourse on Entrepreneurship that will help you recognize and overcome the most common fears that stop budding entrepreneurs: FREE Entrepreneurship Course

Make sure to RSVP, and feel free to share your questions on the Event Page as we will be pulling the best comments and questions into the broadcast for our panel to respond to.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss any future shows, be sure to RSVP to this one, and we'll add you to a special VIP circle and invite you to all future shows.

Simply register for this event right here.... Event Registration

Cold Calling Made Easy

In my ten plus years of sales and marketing work with small businesses, many of them would ask me "Does cold calling really work?" They would profess to be leery of doing it for fear of rejection or simply through fear of making the call. They had questions such as: "I hate feeling like I'm being sold, so I want to learn how to come across less like a salesman." "What's the MAIN purpose of cold calling anyway?" "Is it to get the decision maker's name or to make an appointment?" "Do you recommend phone calls, or personal visits, or mailing literature first?" "How often should I try to contact a person?"

First of all I want to mention that you need to make sure any list of names or prospects or whoever you are calling is not on the Do Not Call List or you could get in big trouble. Go to donotcall.gov to find out more about it or to sign up as a consumer or a telemarketer.

I did a little research online before I sat down to write this and I found just a ton of information on cold calling and sales (like I had suspected). I thought I would find a simple 10 step process that I could shoot back at you that would sum it all up, but no such luck. I found a lot of sites who claim to have the best cold calling secrets out there, some sites who claim cold calling just doesn't work anymore, some sites with numerous articles written on the subject and then some sites selling all kinds of books and CD's on how to improve your skills. You know I will always recommend reading books or listening to CD's about certain topics to make you better at what you do and in this case, it may not necessarily be books about cold calling but rather about SALES. Knowing good sales strategies and closing techniques can really help when cold calling because you learn to react quicker and respond better to objections or negative responses.

Is there anyone out there who really uses cold calling as their main lead generating avenue however? In this day of relationship selling, I can't even imagine cold calling in my business. In fact, all the telemarketing calls I get at home are either mortgage companies (#1 by far) trying to give me a free loan comparison analysis, phone companies trying to get me to switch or credit card companies trying to get me to sign up or transfer balances to their card.

There are of course certain ways this could be good, for example IF the mortgage company knew I had a high interest loan, say over 8% (glad I don't, but you get the point), getting my name from a list from their title company, they could possibly tempt me with a 4.5 or even 6% rate over the phone enough to warrant the free analysis.

However, every one of them that calls me can never beat the rate that I currently have which tells me they haven't done their homework to narrow down their target list. In turn they are wasting hours of their time calling on people like me. Why wouldn't they just get a list of prospects that REALLY have high rates, ones who would be easier prospects? I would.

Then, using the mortgage company as an example. People these days don't have a lot of time and I would venture a guess that most don't like receiving telemarketing calls, especially those that don't get to the point of the call. You know the ones...they say hello Mrs. Saallla (can't pronounce my name of course and stumble over it a few times); I say "hello, it's Sawa". Then they ask "How are you this evening?" and I say "Does it really matter, what do you want?" (Yes, I know, sometimes I am harsh). Then they say, well Mrs. Saallla (again), let me tell you why I am calling.... (By that time it's too late, I'm done with them). You know what I mean?

Develop a good script to grab their attention and get to the point in the first sentence or question. Practice your script on friends and colleagues, role play. When you do start to use it, try it out on the coldest leads you have not the hot ones, save them for when you have more practice or you may blow some big opportunities.

The question I ask you is who is your target market? Are they going to be receptive to cold calls? If not, you might want to find another way to reach them - more than likely there are numerous other ways to market to your target market. Just know that if you are calling the consumer you will need a whole different script than if you are calling a business prospect - many factors come into play such as the "Gatekeeper" (receptionist) or kids, answering machines, etc. Do you leave a message or don't you? I say you do - you've already spent the time it took to make the call and wait for the machine you might as well leave a clear, short and well constructed message. Then when you call back a few days later, it's a WARM call.

So, as far as when to cold call in your sales process, do you call first, mail a letter first or send an email? This will depend on your industry and your target market and what they would be most receptive to or how long your sales process is (the higher cost of your product or service may warrant a longer sales process). I normally suggest mailing a letter or emailing if you have their email first and then when you call, it's not a cold call but a follow up call to the letter or email; hence eliminating the 'cold call'. Of course it isn't that simple, you might need to send 2 letters, a brochure, email 4 times with attachments or links to your website and you probably will have to call at least 6 times, leaving 3 or 4 messages before even considering to give up (in an aggressive industry where there is a lot of competition you will want to be persistent). Many people value persistence as a good quality to have, you don't want to be annoying or a pest, but a confident salesperson being persistent with their prospect can be respected and it also makes you look more dependable and reliable.

The following websites are ones I found (I am not familiar with them all) that you might find helpful, some have email newsletters that you can subscribe to. Anytime you can get constant reminders about a subject you are weaker in, suggestions, tips, etc. it can only make you stronger in that subject.

1. coldcalling.com - newsletter and book suggestions
2. briantracy.com - sales guru
3. nevercoldcall.com - another option?
4. gitomer.com - sales guru
5. eyesonsales.com - many articles on the subject
6. wendyweiss.com - a couple good free reports
7. leadsintogold.com - articles about why not to cold call

To be honest, I think I would find other ways to promote your business and generate leads rather than wasting your time on the phone. If you are a good salesperson and a real expert in your field, you might come off a little desperate if you cold call. I don't mean to offend anyone out there who IS cold calling. I've done it; I've even done door-to-door sales before! I find that I am more effective in front of people, in person and most of the time they need to see me quite a few times (building relationships) before they'll even consider talking to me about their marketing needs. You can't build that type of relationship over the phone, not with one call or 20 calls. Good luck and let me know what you think of what I said here; I'd be interested to know what works for you and what you've tried.

(c) Copyright 2010 K. Sawa Marketing International. To publish this article in your ezine or website please include the following blurb: Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Author, Speaker and International JumpStart Your Biz Coach who's helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and their personal life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself business-building products. She's been featured on various news talk shows and radio shows including Oprah and Friends XM Radio. Go online now to get started with her Free Entrepreneur's Success Kit at http://www.JumpStartYourMarketing.com

By Katrina Sawa

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Can It Get Any Colder? Tips For Warming Up Those Frosty Cold Calls

Just about everyone that has ever worked in the business world has had the experience of making a cold call. Even the executives you target when you perform this dreaded task probably had to make them at some point in their careers. So why is it so hard and why do they call them cold calls? It seems that categorizing them with that stigma gives them a bad reputation from the start, which makes the cold callers job that much harder. I've been in the cold calling seat for close to 4 years within the information technology (IT) industry and although it can be like climbing a steep, jagged mountain covered in evil Furby dolls when you first start, I have compiled a list of tips that can give any cold caller an advantage over the competition. These tips apply to any industry and are not limited to IT.

1.) Job Titles - When speaking to a prospect for the first time, unless you are 100% certain of their job title, make sure you always give them the benefit of the doubt and assume their title is incorrect. For example, lead information sites (jigsaw/data.com/discover.org, etc.) may list a contact as an IT Manager or IT Administrator and after speaking to the contact or looking them up on LinkedIn or the company website you find out they are actually the IT Director or CIO. We have all done this before in our calls. "Hi Jim, I had you as the IT Manager with ABC Corp?" To their reply of "I'm the CIO" and an almost guaranteed hang up afterwards.

You may have the suave skills to turn this call around, but when these contacts get double or triple digit cold calls every day, the last thing you want to do is undermine their hard work with a title that insults their intelligence.

2.) Name Pronunciation - If you ever have to cold call in the IT world, you will quickly realize that not everyone you call has an easy-to-pronounce American name like Sally, Bob, Fred or Kim. On your first day, you will run into names with enough syllables to tongue-tie the writers on Sesame Street. It is vital that when you come across one of these behemoths that you A.) Take note of the pronunciation of the name on the prospect's voicemail B.) Ask the secretary or operator for the proper pronunciation before you call them C.) When you get the prospect on the phone, clarify the correct pronunciation of their name and/or ask what name they typically go by if their first name is long-winded. I have found in my experience that this can go a long way and help you stand out from the average cold caller who would pronounce "Jaise" as Jay-zie when it is pronounced Jace with 1 syllable (actual real life example).

3.) Be Respectful - This is a major factor that every cold caller should take into consideration and is something that took me to the next level. Everyone has a different approach when presenting themselves and their company in an opening greeting, but after you do that in no longer than 10 seconds, you should always ask if the prospect has time to speak or if it's a bad time for them. You have to accept the fact that the people you are calling have their own agenda and may not have "take cold calls" blocked off on their calendar when they pick up the phone. You will ask "then why did they pick up?" They may have thought you were an internal employee, family member or friend calling from a similar number. By asking if they have time, they will usually either say "yes," in which case they respect you for asking or "no," in which case they will provide you a better time to call them back or may try to blow you off completely. However, even if they give a negative response, you will find that your numbers will improve by doing this versus simply going into your pitch without asking first.

4.) LinkedIn - DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the power of this tool. Even if you get contacts or account information handed to you from a site or service that claims to know it all, you should always be verifying your information before calling a prospect. Depending on what service or product you are selling (I'll stay in the IT realm as that is where my experience lies), you always want to make sure you are targeting the right person and not wasting your time. As an example, say you are provided the contact, Will Smith (no relation) as IT Director for Prince of Bel-Air Corporation (also no relation). You are selling pre-packaged software, but before calling you look up Will on LinkedIn and see that his experience is strictly hardware related and nothing he does has anything to do with software. It may sound stupid, but I would say more than half of the time you are calling the wrong person. By verifying that your contact actually works within the area you are selling, you will be 90% more likely to get a meeting, sale or interest from the prospect.

I'll provide some expert tips on LinkedIn and ways to find more prospects in a future article.

5.) Attention to Detail - This is vital if you are sending out emails, meeting requests or any form of communication. You are the luckiest person on earth if you have never received an email with your name misspelled at the very top. My name is Jeff, but I've seen Jef, Jeef, Geoff, Jefff, Jefforey, Jeffy, you get the point. It's really not that hard. Again, go back to your friend, LinkedIn, and verify the spelling. If that doesn't work, talk to the secretary and confirm the spelling so you don't look like a retard and/or a foreign spam mailer.

Attention to detail is also vital when speaking to a prospect that provides you with information to follow up on. If they say they are not looking for a solution now, but think that they will in 3 months, you should be taking down the notes and marking a follow up on your calendar. Again, you may follow up and find that the initiative may have gone dead or got pushed back, but you are still giving yourself better odds than not following up at all.

6.) Short and Concise Pitch - This is where the cold can get colder. Everyone has their own method of madness when establishing their pitch. You have to keep in mind again, that most of the time (especially in IT) prospects are busy with their own responsibilities and don't have time to sit through 50 cold calls per day, where the cold caller takes 7 minutes to convey what their company does.

You want to tailor your specific message to the prospect you are calling (you don't want to be selling software solutions to a prospect that only deals with hardware and vice versa). Again, LinkedIn can be your best friend as the prospect will usually have a summary of their experience listed on their profile and/or skills listed (at the bottom of their profile) that were endorsed by past and current co-workers, friends and people they do or did business with.

My recommendation is to have a solid idea of what your company does and be able to give an elevator pitch within no more than 30 seconds. Most decision makers that you target will probably lose interest in about 15 seconds, if you don't mention a keyword that matches their current initiatives. Don't be afraid to practice and continually change your pitch until you find one that matches your style and gets consistent results.

7.) It's Tricky - I'll leave you with 2 additional tips that I picked up along the way. Google and voicemail surfing. Google is an immensely powerful tool that many people don't take advantage of. You will run into secretaries, gatekeepers and people whose only job is to keep you from speaking to the targeted prospect. When this happens and you have no other way to get the prospect's direct phone number or email address, try typing their name, the company name and/or the company phone number into Google and see what comes up. For example, try "Will Smith Prince of Bel-Air Corporation 610-484-" and see what results comes up. Try the company's website URL too such as Will Smith Prince of Bel-Air Corporation @bel-aircorp.com. Again, don't stop with these two examples. From time to time, you may come across valuable spreadsheets with additional information you can use or another site where their information is listed. Remember, you are cold calling and you need every advantage that you can get. Maintain the mindset that if you don't sell to them, someone else will.

Voicemail Surfing can be tricky, but can pay off big time. It can be as simple as using the dial-by-name feature when you first call a company or more complex as in hitting **6 when you get transferred to a prospect's voicemail. It all depends on what kind of phone/voicemail system they have set up. Sometimes, it will provide you with their extension and others it may not. I'll focus more on this in a later article, but it is worth trying by dialing * or # when you get to a prospect's voicemail to see if they have a searchable directory. This is ideal for when you have to ask a secretary to be transferred to a prospect and there is no initial dial-by-name option. It won't work every time, but as Paul Rudd stated in Anchorman; "Sixty percent of the time, it works every time."

By Jeff Sussmann

Saturday, July 11, 2015

WRITING/BLOGGING With Demian Farnworth, Wade Harman And Kevan Lee

Join us each Monday throughout July as we dive into discussions on Entrepreneurship, Writing & Blogging, Social Media, and Search. These panels, presented by SiteSell, will feature tremendous guests and are hosted by Mike Allton.

Last week's presentation with Guy Kawasaki, Mia Voss & Kenneth Manesse Sr. was a lively one, complete with expert entrepreneurial advice and pearls of business wisdom. If you missed the event, be sure to watch the replay ...

ENTREPRENEURS With Guy Kawasaki, Mia Voss, & Kenneth Manesse Sr

This week we are talking about Writing & Blogging and will be offering insights and discussion from Demian Farnworth, Wade Harman, and Kevan Lee.

Guest Bios For This Weeks LIVE Event

Demian Farnworth is the Chief Copywriter at +Copyblogger. His main gig is to write web copy that conquers the web's two main problems: obscurity and neglect. When he says obscurity, he means web content that is buried beneath billions of web pages. By neglect, he means if someone actually finds your page, they'll more than likely ignore or abandon it. To overcome those two problems he writes web content that search engines can easily find and people can't resist.

Follow Demian: https://twitter.com/demianfarnworth

Wade Harman is a full time social media marketing blogger. He has a Psychology degree and he uses it to help people create action from their updates on social media. People these days have a twisted sense of how marketing is done and he’s here to set them straight. Become a Hero to one individual at a time and stop marketing to the masses!

Follow Wade: https://twitter.com/wadeharman

Kevan Lee is the Content Crafter at Buffer. This is where he shares his best, actionable advice on content marketing, his favorite writing tips, and his top time-saving tools.

Follow Kevan: https://twitter.com/kevanlee

Full Schedule and Lineup: Event Schedule & Guest Presenters

SiteSell offers a free eCourse on Entrepreneurship that will help you recognize and overcome the most common fears that stop budding entrepreneurs: FREE Entrepreneurship Course

Make sure to RSVP, and feel free to share your questions on the Event Page as we will be pulling the best comments and questions into the broadcast for our panel to respond to.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss any future shows, be sure to RSVP to this one, and we'll add you to a special VIP circle and invite you to all future shows.

Simply register for this event right here.... Event Registration

Why You Need Phone Scripts

Everyone has an opinion on whether or not you should use phone scripts when selling or prospecting over the phone. Those who don't believe in using them cite many reasons including:

- Using scripts makes you sound like a telemarketer
- Following a script is too confining - you have to "go with the flow" of a conversation
- You can't consult with a prospect if you're following a script
- Scripts all sound so "salesy" that it turns prospects off
- People can always tell that you're reading something, so you sound unprofessional
- You can't script out everything - sometimes you just need to be able to adlib a little
- Script were O.K. in the beginning, but now that you're a "pro" you don't need them...

And so on. I bet you can think a few reasons yourself why you'd never be caught dead following a script...

And then there are those who believe that you absolutely must follow a script. Having written several books on phone scripts, you can imagine I subscribe to this group. Some of the reasons I believe you should follow a script are:

- Following a script actually makes you sound more professional
- Following a script ensures that you ask all the right qualifying questions
- Scripts make your job easier because you know where you've been and where you're going
- Scripts allow you to truly listen to what your prospect is really saying...
- Having a script to follow gives you confidence and control over the sales process
- Following a scripted sales approach allows you to practice perfection on every call

Each of the above reasons for following a scripted sales approach powerfully affects each stage of your sales process, and any one of them can make or break a sale. But the real argument I present to those who insist on not using scripts is this: Where you know it or not, you already are following a script.

Think about it: If I were to record all your calls for a week and then transcribe them and hand them back to you, isn't it true that what I'd be giving you was your own "script"? Isn't it true that you are saying the same things, over and over again, each time you get a question, objection or blow off? Sure you are!

You see, right now everyone is already using a script of some kind, but the problem with most of them is that they were developed in the heat of the sale, while they were taking "in-coming" from a prospect or client. Most of the responses sales reps use were thought up on the spot and in response to (and often in defense to) some type of difficult sales situation.

Just think about how you habitually respond to blow offs like, "What is this call in regards to?" or "We wouldn't be interested," or "Just email me something." Chances are, you are using ineffective responses that just cause you frustration and phone reluctance.

On the other hand, one of the biggest benefits to using professionally prepared scripts is that you can design the most effective response in advance, and then deliver your lines like a professional. I often like to cite Marlon Perkins from the old TV show, "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," when making this point.

If you remember, his associate, Jim, was always out in the field "wrestling with the alligators," while Marlon was reporting from the "safety and comfort of the land rover." I always remember Marlon then taking a sip of ice tea and thinking, "When I grow up, I want to be Marlon and not Jim!"

In sales it's the same thing. If you are not following a prepared and effective approach, then each time your prospect answers, you're suddenly like Jim, "wrestling with the alligators." If you take the time, however, in the safety and comfort of the conference room, to craft out the best responses, statements and questions to the selling situations you run into day after day, then you can calmly and coolly deal with those situations. And even take a sip of ice tea in between responses!

As I've just mentioned, 80% of the selling situations you face are the same ones you faced yesterday, last month, etc., and they're the same you'll be in next week and next month. This is one of the best things about sales that most sales reps never take advantage of. The top producers in any industry know this and use it to their advantage by taking the time to script out the most powerful and effective responses to them, and then they drill, practice and rehearse them so they sound natural. That's why top producers sound so smooth and professional. They have taken the time to internalize the scripts so they can deliver their responses naturally.

And just a word about practice. Did you notice I didn't say they "read their scripts"? Every professional - whether it's an actor or dancer or football player - spends hours and hours learning their craft and practicing their techniques so when it's time to perform, they do it automatically. Don Shula, the Superbowl winning coach of the Miami Dolphins, once said that his players practice every day until their assignments and techniques become automatic. He said that come game time if a player needs to "think" about what to do next it's already too late!

And it's the same with any sales professional. If you need to think about how to respond to a question, a blow off, an objection or stall, then it's already too late! If you have scripted out the best approach or response and memorized it, however, then you can handle those situations like a professional. And this gives you the best chance of succeeding.

So, should you learn and use well-crafted, real world responses that give you the best chance to succeed in the selling situations you get in day after day? Or should you continue to make things up as you go along, hoping that what you say will occasionally work while you keep wondering why sales seems so hard for you, but easy for the top producers in your office?

The answer to that question will determine whether or not you choose to learn and use scripts, and how successful - or unsuccessful - you'll be in your career...

Copyright (c) 2015 Mr. Inside Sales

Mike has been voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Professionals by The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and is THE recognized authority in the industry. Mike is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams. http://www.mrinsidesales.com/

By Mike Brooks

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ENTREPRENEURSHIP...With Guy Kawasaki, Mia Voss, & Kenneth Manesse SR

Mike Allton, SiteSell CMO, is hosting a new first-time-ever series "SiteSell Presents". The events will be live Google HOAs (Hangouts On Air) and feature a very impressive line-up of industry experts and covering the following areas...

* Entrepreneurship
* Marketing
* Writing & Blogging
* Social Media
* SEO

The first HOA Was Monday July 6th....and you can watch the video above.

During the HOA, the panelists will share incredible insights about Entrepreneurship from their unique perspectives.

GUEST BIOS FOR THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP HOA

* Guy Kawasaki is the Chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, advisor to the CEO of Motorola and chief evangelist of Apple. He has written thirteen books including The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us, and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

* Mia Voss is a professional show host, interviewer, and Video Content Brand Host. She has produced and appeared in over 300 episodes/programs on YouTube. Her energized interview style brings out the best in her guests, engages & entertains the audience and always provides #Infotainment.

* Kenneth Manesse Sr. is a Micro-Entrepreneur Specialist with over 25 years of business experience. He has provided help to small business owners and organizations to implement sustainable positive transformation. His approach with CEO's, executives, managers, professionals, and startup entrepreneurs gets them to realize personal success and profitability.

To learn more about this and other upcoming Hangout On Air events....simply visit this event site: Entrepreneurship HOA Event

Is Your Phone Sales Opening Cliched?

Have you taken the time to think about your telephone presentations lately?

Year by year, as people continue to communicate by text on the smartphones, it becomes more challenging to communicate by phone. Challenging but not impossible. Taking the time to tweak our presentations keeps us on our toes and continually helps us to become more successful selling on the phone.

Possibly the hardest thing to do these days is reach a decision maker by phone. People don't listen to voice mails, don't pick up if they don't know your numbers and generally make a snap decision whether they want to speak with you.

What happens when you do reach them, though? Are you making the most of your opportunity? Have you created an opening that makes people want to listen to you and become active participants in the conversation? All too often when I look at prepared scripts, I notice sentences that might look well in a direct mail piece but will either get you shot down quickly or simply won't engage your prospective customer.

Here's two clich�d examples: openings that tout money savings or a saving of time and effort. It may very well be the case, but everyone says their product either:

  1. Saves you money
  2. Saves you time
  3. Makes your efforts more efficient thereby also giving you savings from 1 and 2 as well.

Seriously, everyone says it. But because everyone does it, there's a major downside. Doing this actually makes it easier for a decision maker to tune you out - because you're not different from anyone else who calls - and they'll try to get off the phone as quickly as possible. Not what you are looking for, I'll bet.

Let's think about a better way, even a simpler way.

Why not just introduce yourself and your company name, make a quick one sentence statement about what your product is, and then ask some questions. Use a combination of open and closed ended questions.Take this opportunity to learn more about your potential customers. This makes it easier to learn more in order to tailor the rest of your presentation to your decision maker's needs.

In fact, one of the things you might find is that this decision maker is not a potential customer. Isn't better to find that out up front? Isn't it better to learn who you should be talking to or know that currently your products/services are not a good match for a particular organization?

Sit down and review your opening. Make it natural sounding. Avoid tired and hackneyed phrases. Take the time, instead, to become genuinely interested in your prospect. You'll be far happier with the results.

Jo Ann Kirby is president of KRG Communications Group. She has 20 years experience in inside telephone sales/mgmt & customer service; in both inbound and outbound environments. Jo Ann also has an extensive practical and educational background in training & development. As a coach and motivator of sales and service personnel, Jo Ann works with a wide variety of positions in different industries. She also excels at needs analysis and coaching to success. Jo Ann's goal is to help you be successful in your endeavors. Find out more at http://www.usethephoneforresults.com

By Jo Ann Kirby

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Lead Generation for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

For business owners that are looking for some of the best solutions that are available when it comes to lead generation, there are a few tried and tested methods that are known to work, and a lot of very publicized methods that are best considered to be very well publicized secrets! by well publicized secrets I mean all the lead generation tactics that are well publicized for which you need to sign into some program to understand how the founder of that program miraculously discovered that by doing something very simple he or she now has millions of people begging to buy their product or service etc.

That's not what I am here to talk about however, there is a very effective way in which to generate leads and that is simply called a tele-calling lead generation process. How this works is simple, call centers call thousands of leads everyday searching for potential clients that qualify for the business requirements. In other words what they do is call up specific data bases of potential clients that fall within certain criteria and qualify interested people as a potential client then pass back that information to the parent company as a verified potential lead.

The process sounds simple enough and apart from the technicalities of operating the process, the business module is simple, as well as very profitable for the business that obtains leads in this manner.

There are numerous business that run lead generation processes, and these are all generally big businesses, these include banks, financial institutions, and other big businesses. The reason they do this is simple, there is no point waiting for your clients to contact you, it's better that you contact them. Also this is the one sure shot way to ensure that organizations have a steady stream of new clients every day, and there could be nothing better than that for business. However, it's not to be misunderstood that this is a process that works well only for banks and big businesses, this is a module that can work wonders for any sized business, including small and medium sized businesses.

Typically, call center lead generation entails using about 30 to 40 callers in a single process, and this number of lead generators are able to secure between 60 to a 100 new confirmed clients on a daily basis. However, there are organizations that have hundreds of lead generators working indirectly for them, and they are able to generate a far larger number of potential clients on a daily basis.

The truth about this form of lead generation is that it has received a lot of negative publicity, and yet there are numerous businesses that still do it, achieving fantastic results because its so effective. This is the world's best method of lead generation, and the only one that is confirmed to work wonders, while it may not be the simplest thing to set up a call center lead generation process, the bright side is that this is what organizations out source to professionals who are very apt at doing the job. The end result of running such a process is getting a lot more business, and in some cases this single act of tele-calling lead generation can change the dynamics of certain businesses.

There are a lot of finer details that need to be ironed out before setting up a lead generation process, and these are all details that are related to the quality standards that need to be maintained etc. Typically, the quality standards include a verification recorded call of the potential lead where the lead is asked to confirm that they are interested in the product or the service being offered etc. The verification calls are generally scripted on request of the business that the leads are for, and then the leads are passed on to the business for further processing.

This is the entire process of lead generation done in call centers, and generally such processes are out sourced off shore to make them more financially viable.

By Dion J Shohal

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Telemarketing Companies Help Businesses Get A Niche In The Competitive Market

Telemarketing is a process of direct marketing in which telecallers make telephone calls to prospective customers in order to solicit them for buying a range of consumers products and services. The telephone is a powerful tool that directly connects a seller to a buyer so that they can talk to each other and can make a common understanding concerning the buying and selling of products and services. Being the most interactive marketing medium, telemarketing allows telemarketers better opportunities to do the following:

  • Answer your prospects questions
  • Address their concerns
  • Overcome their objections

Ohio is a great place to work due to the availability of the best business climate. Ohio is the capital city of Columbus and is home to many prestigious brands, such as Procter & Gamble, Timken, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, AK Steel, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Wendy's. In such a perfect business environment, one can easily find the best call centers that offer their inbound and outbound telemarketing services.

There are many reputed and professional telemarketing companies in Ohio that are known for giving their new as well as existing clients flawless and user-oriented telemarketing services matching their exact business needs. Mentioned-below are the two common telemarketing services in Ohio. These include:

Voice-based telemarketing services: Lead generation, collections, customer service, help desk support, web/IVR, telemarketing, up-selling, cross selling, surveys and appointment scheduling, product promotion, accounts receivable management (ARM), loyalty programs, retention programs, data verification, and lead qualification.

Telemarketing services based on non-voice services: Email marketing, live web chat, search engine optimization (SEO), shared services, social media marketing, landing page campaigns, web marketing, loyalty programs, refund processing, email support, email management, data processing, online payment processing, claims processing, and online order processing.

Telemarketing is an effective marketing method that can be perfectly used to increase profits, build new customer relations, understand the needs of customers, and promote commercial products or services.

Telemarketing is highly beneficial for businesses of all sizes and types as it is considered as the only marketing medium that allows telecallers or telemarketers to adjust strategy midstream and make changes any time to get better results. With it, one can easily change sales' offers and can influence audience with just one phone call. In this marketing process, calls can be made 24/7 as it allows you to adjust the calling hours according to the suitability of telecallers as well as the person who holds the phone on the other side.

Robb Auber, CEO in Teleiman telemarketing call center Ohio - pointed few important tips to increase your business ROI with the help of telecallers and telemarketing companies.

By Robb Auber