I can’;t even begin to count the thousands of times that I’;ve heard Salespeople complain about the quality of their Leads and/or how much they hate Cold Calling or Prospecting. How can you blame them? Hey, rejection sucks. One of my sayings is that “ALL LEADS SUCK”. Granted I’ve been in and around the Lead Industry for over 20 years, however there isn’t any such animal as a Good Lead. Yes, I’m even referring to supposedly Hot Leads that come from Radio or TV Shows, the Internet, or even Trade Shows, even if they cost $20, $50, or $100 each. Possibly it’s wise to continue to Advertise in the Media or attend Shows for Credibility or Exposure, however I’m about to give you the single most important Skill you’ll ever learn about vaulting to the top of the Sales profession. One of the 5 Easiest Sales in the World is a Referral. In addition, I out of every 15 to 20 people who give you Referrals will be a Center of Influence (COI). This is a Guy or Gal that is so well liked or respected that whatever they do, all of their friends and/or associates will normally do the same thing. Each COI will be good for 5 to 10 New Accounts for you doing the next 12 months. Folks, this is “Found Money”. It’s the “Icing on the Cake”. It’s the “Manna from Heaven”. It’s the greatest shortcut to a Mega-Buck career that you’ll ever discover. If you’re not asking for Referrals on each and every Contact, you are resigned to Cold Calling for the rest of your life. First, you’ll need to appreciate that asking for Referrals is just like trying to make a Sale. You’;ll give them a Presentation (ask for Referrals) and then they will give you an Objection (why they can’;t or won’;t give your any names). You might say; “Everyone I chat with is nice enough to share 2 or 3 quick Names with me of Folks who might appreciate knowing more about (your product or service). Before you give me those Names allow me to mention that I’ll simply give them a courtesy call, introduce myself, and see if they would like to receive some information, and I won’t even mention your name unless you want me to. This might be a friend, relative, business association, or someone you enjoy an activity with. Who’s the first person that comes to mind?” If you closely study that “script” you’ll notice many interesting choices of words.“Everyone I chat with is . . . “ implies if they don’t give you Names they aren’t nice.“ . . . share 2 or 3 quick Names . . .” implies it won’t take long to get rid of you.“Before you give me . . .” implies it’s a given that they will give you Names.“ . . . give them a courtesy call . . .” tells them what will happen after they give you Names.“ . . . I won’t even mention . . .” reassures them that they won’t be embarrassed.“This might be a . . .” helps them sort through their 200-300 name Rolodex.“Who’s the first person . . .” notice you didn’t ask for a Name since you want them to visualize the person.“ . . . comes to mind?” sure beats “who can you think of?”Secondly, you’ll have to handle their Objection and then ask them again. Your goal will be to have more creative ways to ask them then they have ways to say NO. If they say; “I can’t think of anyone.” you could try; “That’s why I’m happy that my Manager gave me a List. Let’s see, how about your best friend?” or “Who do you look up to more than anyone else?” or “How about your Doctor?” or “Who do you go to for advice?” If they say; “I don’t give out Names.” You could try; “I’m glad you mentioned that since I won’t even mention your name if you prefer. Since we’ve cleared that up, how about a Rich Uncle?” Once you get your first Name, please don’t ask for any information. Instead, go for more Names. However, don’t make the mistake of asking; “Who else do you know?” which puts them back into their mental Rolodex. Instead keep helping them by suggesting; “How about the most aggressive person you know?” or“Who would be the most conservative person you know?” or“How about a successful business owner?” or“Who do you know that recently came into some money?” or“Who’s the richest person you know?”, After they run out of names you should ask; “If you were me, who would you call first and why?” I appreciate that getting Referrals is a challenge however you will be amazed at what they will now tell you about their friends, neighbors, and relatives. In many cases you can find nicknames, hobbies, type of work, information about their family, their personality, etc., all of which will help you approach them, build rapport, and eventually make a Sale. I mentioned earlier that Referrals are one of the 5 Easiest Sales in the World. Hopefully you’re curious about the other 4. You should be because between Referrals and the remaining 4 ways I’m about to cover, you will build an enormously successful and financially rewarding career, without every having to prospect again. The cost of constantly advertising for and looking for new Customers can be prohibitive to most Companies. Also, the time required to constantly cold call for new Customers is always prohibitive for Sales Pros. Depending on your Product or Service, see how many of these 4 you can use and you’ll become rich beyond your wildest dreams.  The Person you just Sold.Please appreciate that they are in a Buying Mood so please don’t stop Selling. You might be able to “Up Sell” by selling them a larger quantity. You might be able to “Cross Sell” by selling an accessory or some supplies. You might be able to make an “Add On Sale” by selling an extended Warranty, etc. A good benchmark is that 20 to 50% of Customers that just bought will buy more during the same Sales Call.  Existing Customers.I urge you to identify the 20% of your Customers that give you 80% of your Business. Then start tailor making a separate Presentation for each one based on their Buying habits and Needs. Please stop calling them and saying something stupid like “Hi, do you need anything this month?” or “Have you made a decision yet?” You’ll be amazed at the results because a good benchmark is that you’ll increase their normal Order size by 10 to 20%.  Former Customers.Whenever your Company looses a Customer to the Competition, please find out why. Instead of calling as another Salesperson, try saying that you’re with the Customer Relations Department. This will immediately lower their Defense Barriers. Then by showing a sincere interest in them and their concerns, the odds are they will tell you why they no longer do business with your Company. Especially if they’re angry, please allow them to vent their frustrations before trying to sell them again. A good benchmark is that at least 20% will become Customers again.  Other Salespeople.
Hey Guys and Gals, let’s face it. We Salespeople LOVE to be sold. Please don’t call me if you’re an amateur because I’ll eat you for lunch and probably ruin your career. However if you’re a Pro, I’ll buy almost anything. We appreciate a creative Opening that’s better than the other 95%. We love it when they Qualify us in a professional manner to determine our needs. We’re thankful when they tailor their Presentation to our needs, wants and desires. We’re pleased when they hang tough and don’t run away after 1 or 2 Objections. And yes, we absolutely go bonkers when they Close us with anything other than; “So what do you think?”
Stan Billue, CSP has been called the most Ripped Off, Respected and Referred-to Sales Trainer alive. He has built a 30 year reputation as a recognized expert in Sales Training, Telemarketing, Motivation, Mentoring, Marketing and Copy Writing. He’;s been a student of successful Business Owners, top Sales Pros, and imaginative Entrepreneurs, an hour a day for 30 years and doubled his own Income each year for 5 consecutive years selling over the Phone. Stan has taught more 6 and 7 figure a year Income earning Mega-Buck Sales Pros than any other Trainer. His power-packed Audio and Video programs are sold in 45 Countries. You can subscribe to his Free Monthly Newsletter at www.stanbillue.com