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How to Double Your Sales Wins Before Your First Call

double your sales wins, sales call plan

image courtesy Wrigley Corp.

Anyone engaged in selling, be it a salesperson or a business owner that promotes her own company, wants to develop new business from new and existing clients.  Unfortunately, most sales professionals lose the sale before they even make their first sales calls, and don’t even know why, chalking it up to a numbers game they can only control by knocking on more doors.  Well people, in my brain, my closure rate is to number of calls as margin is to gross sales—I’d rather call on half the prospects to get the same numbers. Read More…

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Resurrecting Repeat Business with Stale Client Accounts

Have you been having a good year selling?  Maybe you’ve had a good couple of years, landing new accounts faster than your office buddies can parrot, “Whazzzzuppppp!”  Great.  How healthy is your repeat sales pipeline?  You know, the sales where existing clients come to you for more of your stuff (goods or services), where the cost of the sale is much lower because rapport and trust were already established, the easy sales.  You’re hesitating.  Do you mean to tell me that your repeat sales pipeline isn’t full?  How embarrassing for you. 

Don’t feel so bad.  Sometimes we all get so busy prospecting and closing new deals that we neglect current accounts or even lose once solid business because we haven’t paid that customer a visit in a while.  This business need not be lost forever.  Here are a few quick tips to get your foot back in the door of lost accounts and open the floodgates to your repeat sales pipeline. Read More…

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Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World

The New American Business

The way we work in America is changing dramatically.  Virtual business, remote work, telework, distributed work, virtual staff like executive assistants, and leading virtual teams are all the rage for a variety of reasons.  Economics of lower-priced overseas competition, renewed US focus on quality of life, and simply the improved effectiveness of a virtual business model drive the shift.

Author of Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World Alan Blume believes that virtual work is transforming the very nature of cities and urban centers.  As more business is done from remote locations, cities are rapidly becoming cultural centers steeped more in entertainment that business.  There is simply little need to be “at the office” like we used to.  Take a look at the downward spiral in commercial office space real estate in recent years and you’ll see what I mean.  Companies who don’t adapt won’t be able to attract the best talent, maintain a financial edge, and may soon end up like Blockbuster Video as Alan describes it.

Executive Video Interview

Enjoy the two videos below where I interview Alan Blume about the changing nature of business today, the benefits of the Virtual Lifestyle, and the best ways to locate and hire virtual, outsourced staff to help operate your virtual business.

Read on to the bottom of this post to learn about a book giveaway that the author has agreed to for Smart Blog readers and viewers!

What’s so cool about a virtual business?

Read More…

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Customer Service Starts on the Phone: Telephone Training for Customer Service

“Hello!  Is anyone there?  Hello!”

“CCRRRSSSHHHH…ur order please.”

“Yeah, I’ll have the two cheeseburgers value meal , Dr. Pepper, no super size.”

(long pause)  “CCRRRSSSHHHH…thirty eight.  Please drive arou…”

“What?!”

“CCRRRSSSHHHH…thirty eight.  Next window plea…CCRRRSSSHHHH”

Although I was at a McDonalds, I could have sworn that clown head from Jack-In-The-Box was laughing at me.  This fast food drive-through experience may be familiar to you too.  Did you feel like an important cog in that establishment’s machine, or like a nameless, faceless number?  If you said the latter, you’re in good company.  I’ve got another question for you.  How would you like your customers and prospects to feel that way when they call your company?

Well, you know what?  In many companies, telephone answering skills are clearly lacking among those people paid to—you guessed it—speak to customers on the phone.  Many have never taken any formal telephone training for Customer Service.  Read More…

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Outgoing Voicemail Messages That Get Results

So why am I writing about Outgoing Voicemail Messages?  A while ago I published an article in various periodicals and online venues like AOL called “Leaving Voicemail Messages That Get Returned.”  Judging from the email I have received and how many websites have replicated that content, I came to the conclusion that this is a hot topic and republished that article in my SmartBlog post and online.  It makes sense to me to now share a follow-up on the use of voicemail, this time the proactive use of these hated systems in order to field incoming calls. 

You see, people have long hated speaking voice-jail because they know darn well they will be banished to digital purgatory, never to have a return to their calls again.  He who didn’t read my first historic (gimme’ some profs) article has become fed-up and won’t leave a message, either calling back when he can bug you in person or giving up entirely.  But this isn’t what you want, is it?  You’re an expert communicator, not a call screener who hides behind voice-veil.  You want the caller to leave a message that gets down to business quickly and makes responding easier than a closest to the pin contest against Tiger Woods.  Read More…

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Leaving Voicemail Messages That Get Returned

Harken back to years ago when I picked up a wireless communicator, or was it a cellular phone?  Maybe the better term is digital applications device these days.  I was late to the party and, swear to God, didn’t get my first one until the mid-90s.  Stop laughing!  Just because I tell you about communications doesn’t mean that I have to use all the accoutrements of the trade.  Einstein never used a Palm Pilot, so there!

So as I’m sitting in a four-hour delay in the Pittsburgh Airport, gate A-4, I look up and see a weird site.  About 70% of all the people walking in my field of vision have a similar device stuck to the side of their heads, talking into it, listening, nodding.  It was surreal.  One dude sits down next to me and is listening intently without speaking.  Every now and then he reaches up and touches a button on the phone, then listens some more.  After 5 minutes, he finishes and my curiosity takes over.

“So who were you talking to?”, I inquire.

Politely, although looking at me like I was a three-headed Ghydra who just fell off the turnip truck, he replies, “I wasn’t talking to anyone—just checking my voicemail.”

“Lots of messages, huh,” came my witty retort.

“About 10.  I’ll only return two of them.”

One of those cartoon dialogue balloons that means I was thinking appeared over my head with “A-HAH!” in all caps.  A communications challenge on the horizon.

You see, folks, the more technology we introduce to help us communicate, the less we actually communicate.  Read More…

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