Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

What’s Best About North Carolina

September 30, 2009

In a recent post I shared some of the reason why I felt The Triangle would be the perfect home for Randolph Sterling’s newest branch, and thought I’d give you the opportunity to tell me what you like best about NC!


Closing the Deal on the Go: Referrals are Gems

September 22, 2009

Referrals are gems. In prospecting they are crown jewels. However, many sales people are reluctant to ask for them. Why? They fear rejection and do not want to appear in need of help. But the truth is most people like to be asked for help and will likely be flattered by the request. In fact many people ranging from Benjamin Franklin to today’s social psychologists have found that a good way to make another person find you more likable is to ask for a favor.

So, try asking your customers for referrals, especially right after you close a deal. Not only will this lead to more potential clients, but it will help strengthen the relationship you have with the client that gives you the referral (research shows that this causes your clients to further justify doing business with you on a subconscious level). Also, feel free to ask prospects, friends, relatives, and other referrals for referrals. Be specific when you ask. And, when possible, ask for the referral face to face. The eye contact will help you batting average go up.

Then, when you get the referral, ask for more than just a name. Try to get the person making the referral to make a call. If they say no, see if they will write you a note. A line on the back of a business card will suffice. And, if all they will provide is a name, see if they will allow you to mention their name, because without that, the potential of the referral goes down.

After you receive the referral, be sure thank the person who provides it, inform them of how it went, and ask for another.

So, do you ask for referrals? Take our poll, or leave a comment.

Do you ask for Referrals?

This post is based on material originally published in Closing the Deal.

For more information on Closing the Deal, check it out on Amazon.

(Burghgraef, Richard. Closing the Deal: Hot Sales Strategies that Make Money. Encouragement Press. Illinois: Chicago. 2007)

Is Cold Calling Dead?

August 5, 2009

As president of a company who provides inside sales services, of course I am expected to say that cold calling will never die. It is the backbone of the sales process…well…only if done correctly.

Let’s face it, salespeople hate to cold call for business. As soon as they get busy, the first thing that gets tossed aside is making those 100 calls to prospects and suspects. “I just didn’t have time, I was dealing with issues with my current customers” is a statement very often heard by sales managers around the globe. But what happens when things slow down? The rep is either back on the phone or trying to milk his current clients for new business that may or may not be there. Many reps get frustrated, blame the company for not putting out a good enough product or service and decide to move on (only to find the need for more cold calling at the new sales position they took.) Others hire a college kid or a son or daughter of an employee to “telemarket” for them. This often results in a prospect receiving a call like this: “Hello, my name is (fill in the blank here), and I represent this great company that wants to sell you something. They are really great. Can they sell it to you or can I have my dad’s poker buddy come in and tell you how great we are? How is Tuesday at 10 AM? Please say yes, they pay me by how many of you people I can find to meet with him.”

If all cold calling was done one of these two ways, yes, the process would be long dead, however successful companies will keep lead generation as an integral part of the sales process generally by doing one of two things: They will continue to have the lead generation process as part of their account executive’s everyday process and continue to emphasize the value of continuing to fill the sales pipeline. They will keep a close look at the new opportunities being found (either by the account executive finding new business on his own or by leads that may come in through other media) just as they do the deals that have been closed. Other companies will outsource this process, either to an outside firm or to a qualified professional internally. I’m not talking about a $10/hr or $50 per appointment college kid, I’m talking about an experienced inside sales professional who will take the time to understand what a company’s ideal client looks like and develop a relationship with them. That person will be empowered to not only ask questions to qualify these prospects but also be able to determine that this prospect may not be ideal for the company to work with and not waste the valuable time of the account executive.

(Now that I’ve told you what I think, it’s your turn to give me your thoughts. Is cold calling dead? Does it work for you? What’s been your experience withit? Leave a comment or take our poll.)

Is Cold Calling Dead?(answers)

What’s Your Best Way to Get New Clients? (Poll)

July 30, 2009

We told you what we think. Now it’s your turn to tell us!

What’s Your Best Way to Get New Clients(polls)