What makes a new prospect want to meet with you? Even sales veterans have a tough time establishing a reason why a prospect should meet with them, but a well-rehearsed credibility statement will provide that information in a succinct, effective manner. A credibility statement conveys the experience a sales rep and/or the company brings to the table, and expresses the success that the seller and/or company could generate for the client.
1) What is your credibility? Even if you are brand new to media sales, you still have a level of credibility built up; just reflect back on all you have done for clients in the past. One of the reps that we work with has 25 years of experience in media sales. Does this matter? Yes, in a big way. This rep can share success storied with prospects about how he has helped other businesses generate revenue increases during his years selling media.
Most sales reps open a prospecting phone call with a feature but leave off the benefit, or reason for, the client to arrange a meeting. A typical first phone conversation starts with a sales rep asking something like this: I would like to come by and present some new packages we have developed. I will be in your areas soon and would like to discuss these packages with you. Ninety-nine percent of the time this results in a No thank you, and the sales rep proceeds to the next suspect on his list of 160 prospects. Thats a tough way to make a living.
Still, its not a good idea to open your association with a prospect with a credibility statement. You must first do your homework. This means making sure you know the person youre calling is the one responsible for profitability at that company. Talking to someone during an initial walkthrough of the business is a good way of identifying this contact name. Once you have made the initial contact on the phone, use one of several credibility statements that suit your experience. And be direct -- first impressions mean everything.
One sales rep we consult has been selling online advertising for just two months. Although she has previous experience selling media, she has no online-specific experience with her company. She recently improved her credibility statements so she could increase her ratio of establishing the appointment. Her success ratio flipped, to a closing ratio of 90 percent. Heres what shes saying:
2) Credibility Statements:
I have more than nine years experience helping clients find solutions that will best suit their business goals and objectives. I have been able to assist businesses achieve a return on their investment by getting to know their business and by successfully understanding my clients needs, which has led to increasing the return on their bottom-line marketing dollar. Though I have done extensive research on your company, I look forward to getting to know your business personally by meeting with you directly. I have an opening Thursday at 11:20 a.m. or on Friday at 2:40 p.m. Which day is better for you to discuss potential ways to increase your business?
Its an exciting time at name of company. Were breaking records with more than 135,000 views per day. Thats over 950,000 views per week! It is a fantastic medium to reach potential clients, especially with support from radio and TV which acts as our air force. No other medium in our area has statistics like ours. My research has determined that increasing sales and inquires is important to you, and I have ideas about how to do this. I dont want to make any assumptions about your business, so I would like to meet with you and ask some questions. Are you available Thursday at 11:20 a.m. or Friday at 2:40 p.m? Which day is better for you?
Name of company has been successful assisting other community developments, such as Home Town Properties, sell out during their priority pre-registration. With springtime -- your busiest season -- fast approaching, Im sure that increasing sales and inquires is important to you. I have some ideas about how to do this. I dont want to make any assumptions about your business so Id like to meet with you and ask some questions. I have a couple of openings on my calendar. Are you available tomorrow at 11:20 or Friday afternoon at 1:40?
3) Remember: Always use distinct times when setting appointments. The prospect will remember you, and you will have a better chance of not being forgotten in the clutter of sales reps calling daily. If you are more than two days out from your set appointment, always send a confirmation note to let the prospect know you are serious about meeting them. That confirmation note should be in the mail, not email unless its a day in advance.
Practice, drill, and rehearse your credibility statements so they become second nature when youre on the phone. Like the sales rep in these examples, you can increase your closing ratio by working on your credibility statements.
Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at email@example.com
As seen on Radio Ink Headlines
February 4th, 2013