If you read my blog often you know that I am really big on having a process for everything. Why? First, most sales people thrive when structure is present. Second, I am a roll with the flow kind of guy and I recognized long ago that randomness kills my ability to be a raging success.
So, as I looked to refine how I host my sales calls, I looked for a simple, repeatable pattern of success. I found that pattern when I changed my typical sales call into small defined segments. I soon realized I could host a really solid sales call in 10 minutes or less. Because most sales people lack a process when they make sales calls, this simple approach really boosts confidence and creates a plan for success. Plus, it also stops those long, boring sales calls that result in little more than a request for a blind proposal that often goes no where. In my ad sales training workshops I teach what I like to call “The 10 Minute Sales Call”.
We start by breaking up the 10 minutes into five segments. Each segment is 2 minutes long. Thus five times two equals ten. Now, just in case you feel that 2 minutes is too short, please hold your breathe for the next 2 minutes. Ready... go. Each two minute segment serves a unique purpose.
Segment #1 of 5: Personal connection. Since birth you have been taught not to talk to strangers. So, you face "stranger danger" from the moment you walk into any sales call. It is imperative that you prep for the sales call by visiting LinkedIN or the clients web site. We are looking for non-creepy points of connection. Perhaps you share a past work reference or a hobby. All the time, at my ad sales training workshops, I am asked if this has ever back-fired on me. I have never, ever had a client call me creepy or a stalker. I am researching them in an effort to be exceedingly relevant and beat the "stranger danger" taboo in this two minute part of The 10 Minute Sales Call.
Segment #2 of 5: Sharing Success Stories. Smart people surround themselves with others that are successful. If you don't, you should. So, sharing success stories of other advertisers that have worked with your media is very important. People love to hear about success. They want success. You can be that person that brings them success. The other aspect of this segment, that is important to note, is based in science. If I tell you to NOT think about success, what do you think about? So, collecting and sharing your 4 best marketing or advertising success stories is critical in this second two minute step of The 10 Minute Sales Call.
Segment #3 of 5: Asking critical questions. Sales people are masters of controlling the conversation. Most sales people will talk and talk and talk. Only when the advertiser appears sleepy do they stop talking. Sales people hate silence. To be effective, you need to stop talking and start listening. I coach all my ad sales training reps on this point. You need to have at least 10 great sales questions. Questions that lead to a point. Not questions that are just open ended to start a conversation. Worst question ever... “tell me about your marketing goals?” Come on! You can do better than that. How about, “If you decide to run an ad with me, what would you want to have happen from that ad? Please be specific.” Or, another good one... “In what areas do you out perform your competitors?” The goal of this segment is to gather recon so you can make your pitch sound custom to them and not generic. Find your critical questions. Rehearse your critical questions. Share them with others on your team. Critical questions rule the sales call and you need them in this two minute part of The 10 Minute Sales Call.
Segment #4 of 5: Presenting your pitch. What? We are just now pitching our products? Really? OMG! I only have 4 minutes. What about my Power Point? What about my demo on my laptop? Really? How about this. Have three sales sheets with you and craft your pitch around these three sales sheets. Be specific and weave into your pitch all the things you have learned so far on the sales call. The sales sheets I bring are: A data sheet, an offerings sheet and a price grid. That is it. Who we are. What we have to offer. Here are our pricing options. Your pitch should be tight, simple and ROI focused. What's in it for them is critical in all you pitch. Without steps 1-3 you can not expect to close a sale and that is why the pitch is in segment 4 of 5 of The 10 Minute Sales Call.
Segment #5 of 5: Closing the Deal. 90% of sales people are afraid to ask for the order. It is very easy. First ask if they like the idea. If they say yes, then ask what they feel is a solid next step together. If they say they have no money, ask again if they like the idea. If they like the idea then ask them what your fee needs to be to make this happen. Go back to your success stories and use the old feel, felt, found sales tool when money becomes the focus. Get them off of the money. I know how you feel. John Doe business felt the same way. Then they ran an ad with us and three months later they were back on top. Don’t over promise. Instead, paint a picture of potential. This is such an important 2 minutes of the 10 Minute Sales Call.
So, how do you become a master of the 10 Minute Sales Call? Practice. I know. I know... role playing stinks. I get it. But, it works. Grab a stop watch and start the process toward success. If you can promise your clients 10 minutes than you are not wasting their time. Everyone has 10 minutes for a good idea or conversation.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant, international business speaker, IT Sales Training expert and is the President and founder of 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique internet revenue consulting firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Sales consultant and business speaker Ryan Dohrn travels the globe teaching media sales training classes and offers detailed coaching help to business owners and media companies looking to make money online.
Ryan R. Dohrn
360 Ad Sales Training and Strategy
Brain Swell Media LLC
Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.