Sunday, September 27, 2009

B2B Networking: Creating Your Power Team

The key to referral based selling B2B is to establish a "POWER TEAM." A group of like-minded individuals who are looking for and working with the same prospects as you. I first stumbled upon business networking in 2006 when I joined Business Networking International (BNI) a referral based organization who who's motto "givers gain" helped grow my book of business. At the weekly breakfast meetings each member delivered a 30-second infomercial about their business, and concluded the meeting with the passing of referrals.

This group became my sales team, 20 -30 different professionals who kept my business services and goals in mind as they went about their personal business. The exchanging of referrals was much better than spending a day on the phones telemarketing.

BNI is not the only referral based group available and I would be happy to share my experience and to those interested in joining or starting their own group.

Whether you choose to join an organized group or start your own, you will be more successful if you establish a close Power Team of professionals who provide similar and complimentary products and services to yours. For example If I was a business banker I would want to partner with the following people:
  • Payroll Service
  • CPA
  • Bookkeeper
  • Business Formation Attorney
  • Estate Planning Attorney
  • Insurance Agent
  • Commercial Realtor
  • Business Consultant
  • Who else can you think of???

A Moving Service:

  • Moving Coordinator
  • Commercial Realtor
  • Residential Realtor
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Property Management
  • Phone Sales (Service)
  • Phone Sales (hardware)
  • IT Service Provider

I can go on and on. Go ahead tell me about your business and target customers and I can come up with a POWER TEAM that is right for you. Go forth and NETWORK!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Building Rapport the Easy Way

Rapport building is the first step of the sales presentation and commonly the 2ND most important behind CLOSING of course. Here is an easy to remember strategy for relating to your prospect I call the F.O.R.D.S.

F- friends and family. If you were referred into a presentation by a friend or client make sure to take advantage of that relationship. People like to buy from people their friends know and trust. Family is also a great way to relate to anybody and can be as simple as having the same first or last name as someone in your family.

O- organizations and associations. memberships in the local Chamber of Commerce, American Bar Associations, and business-to-business networking groups to name a few are great conversation starters. It is easy to find out as you may see plaques on the wall or stickers on the prospects door that list their memberships. Or your can simply ask.

R- Recreation. This can be an easy giveaway as soon as you step foot in a prospects office. Look for golf clubs, pictures of vacations, boats, and cars.

D- Dreams. All people have dreams, and in business settings and offices you can tell a lot about a person by looking around their desk or office. For most entrepreneurs their business was once their dream and they are always happy to talk about their business and how it has grown and the direction they are heading.

S- School and Sports. Look for diplomas and certificates on the wall and around the office. Sports team memorabilia and pictures of athletes. This can tell you a lot about their interests and where they or their children were educated. Always a great conversation especially if you share the same interests, went to the same school or know someone who does.

There you have it, now there is no excuse for not having anything to talk about besides the weather. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prospecting with "The Waive"

Since making first impressions is critical to the sale you might as well start with a smile and a waive.

When conducting b2b cold calls in person, I will assume you have never been to the business or that you know who you are looking for (the decision maker).

Enter the the business and waive to the first person you see, it may be the receptionist or someone in an office or even people in the back of a warehouse. When you waive to a person it is human nature for them to waive back at you.

Waiving also reduces the awkwardness of entering a business you have never been before.

The waive is simple to do and anyone can do it. Start with a simple raise of the hand, and try not to shake your hand too much while in the air.

Catch "The Waive" and warm up your cold calls.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Objections Please

Objections are like excuses everyone has them, but depending on how you handle them, they do not always stink. Welcome to my blog! My sales career began at a young age where as a boy I sold tortillas door-to-door. Through High School and College, I helped manage my parents’ restaurant and catering business. I earned a B.A. in Marketing from Colorado State University, and am a 2011 MBA Candidate at the University of San Francisco. My professional experience includes B2B sales in the office supply and financial services industry. Today I am a Sales Manager for a Fortune 500 company.

I have mastered prospecting techniques and will share tips to help you generate more sales. Regardless of the product, service, or idea you are selling we all face objections from our perspective clients. If you make a list of all the objections, you hear you will find only a few core objections people have:

“Not interested”
“I am happy with my current service provider”
“I am satisfied”
“Too expensive”
“I don’t want to make a change right now”
“I am too busy to meet”
“If it ain’t broke why fix it”
“Take me off your list”
“No soliciting”
“We’ve got that taken care of”
“My family member does that for me”
“My accountant does that for me”
“I have been with my current service provider for 20 years”

The list goes on, but when you analyze the reasoning behind these objections, you will be able to consolidate them down to only a handful.

You can get past most objections by saying the following words “Great, Perfect, and No Problem” (GPNP). That is right, it is that easy. Go ahead and try.

“Not interested”
Your response, “Perfect that’s exactly why I am calling”

“I am too busy to meet”
Your response, “No problem, all I need is 15 minutes how about next Tuesday at 11am?”

“My accountant takes care of that for me”
Your response, “Great, I am glad you see the value in outsourcing to a third party”

Easy right, three simple words that get you past the objection, buys more time and allows you to ask another question. Listen to what the prospect is saying, (insert G, P, N, P) and pause (to show you heard them) and continue with your qualifying questions)

Please share your comments, results, and stay tuned for more sales tips.