In business today, the humble telephone remains the most effective way to grow your business. The telephone allows you to make cold calls and find more clients to connect to; you can do all of this from the comfort of your desk. That being said, many salespeople will avoid the cold calling process at any and every opportunity.
So why do so many people have a problem with calls to new prospective clients? Here are some reasons that are common in most industries today.
- Lack of organisation
- No idea of how to make the process work
- Failure to develop a habit of making calls every day
- Call reluctance
- Not knowing of what to say
So the list will go on and on. The opportunity that exists here is massive; a good salesperson that can establish an effective call contact process in their market can create massive new business opportunity. That can then mean better salary or commission depending on how you get paid for results.
So what is the secret to progress here? The secret to making prospecting and cold calling work for you is to get started today and keep it going. Do not stop prospecting for any reason; every day you should be prospecting for new clients for at least 2 hours. This single fact will keep the business coming in and your pipeline growing.
If your industry is tough or slow, go back to the basics and get out amongst your clients and potential targets. Make prospecting the number one thing that you do every day. Quite soon you will see things change around for the positive and when that happens do not stop what you are doing, but lift your efforts even higher. Top salespeople know that everything comes down to them and what they do every day.
Negotiation is one of the great skills that a good salesperson should develop and practice. We are not all great at negotiation when challenged; it takes a mindset and a skill base that can help us work with the great number of variables that can apply in selling today.
Here are some tips for improving your negotiation skills today:
- Know your product or service comprehensively. That will help you with your dialogue and the variables that may come into the negotiation.
- The possible characters and position of the parties to the negotiation will vary greatly and you have to master all of them. A good negotiation is the result of careful planning and communication.
- Always see the negotiation as a series of small steps to the end result. Rarely will the outcome be achieved in one decision.
- If the parties decline to agree, take the time to know their ideas and restrictions. Something will be holding them back and will require understanding.
- Leave emotions out of the negotiation; they do not help. If the other party gets emotional, it will be a strategy and they are seeking to manipulate the circumstances for themselves. Do not let the other party’s emotion undermine the base plan or the momentum.
- Know where you must start the negotiation and where it should head. In saying that, you will also need to know the variables that can arise in the typical negotiation and have a strategy to work through them.
- When you find that there are differences between the parties, define them and then work through them individually. Focus on the interests and outcomes of the parties concerned.
- Be respectful throughout and after the negotiation. Follow through to the very end so that the parties do not feel that they have been taken advantage of.
- Creative thinking will help any negotiation move ahead. Sometimes the parties need to know more of the situation or maybe even want time to fully think through the facts.
- If either party produces obstacles to the transaction or the deal, ask them about the ideal solution and get them to talk about it in great detail. This process is called a ‘Freudian slip’ and will usually help you move the other party forward with facts and solutions.
Good negotiators are experts at their craft and their product or service. They practice and plan how they will communicate and build on any product or service offering. Over time they build an exceptional set of sales and negotiation skills. You can do the same.