ESSENTIAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TIPS
Posts Categorised: Staff Development
Being successful in making appointments is one of the most important elements of the sales process.
Having identified a ‘Hot Prospect’ we must be careful not to frighten them away. Bear in mind that people don’t want to be sold to, they prefer to buy.
They also prefer to buy from people they Like, Know and Trust.
You would be crazy to make a phone call for an appointment and not to expect some resistance. You would be crazy to make this phone call expecting the prospect to say where do I sign?
You must never attempt to sell your product or service; you must be totally committed to only ‘Selling the Appointment’. It’s at the sales appointment that you will attempt to sell your product or service if the prospect has a genuine need for it
Calling a total stranger and attempting to persuade them to agree to a sales meeting can, for many salespeople, be very hard to do.
Simply picking up the phone takes courage and converting the call into a sales appointment demands great skill.
Prospects may react with hostility or courtesy, but that won’t change the odds. You may face a firestorm of rejection for every spark of interest you ignite. Even seasoned salespeople shudder at the thought of cold calling.
Six Steps To Making The Sales Appointment
- Write A Detailed Telesales Script.
With limited time on the phone, a written script helps you to focus on the key points you wish to make.
In a few short sentences, you must provide an outline description of your product or service and compelling reasons why the prospect should meet you.
You decide ahead of time how you wish to present yourself, what reaction you want to get, and how to ask for what you want.
You must resist the temptation to handle and cover any objections over the phone.
- Position Yourself Correctly
It helps if you don’t start on thin ice. Before calling, send the prospect a smart, useful introductory notice.
Make sure you enclose a note describing your services and indicating that you will be calling in a few days to gauge interest.
This allows you to use introductory phrases such as “I’m just following up on the brochure, white paper or special report I sent you, and I would love to get together with you for further discussion”. Again, resist the temptation to discuss the detail over the phone or you may well be talking yourself out of an opportunity for a face to face appointment.
- Be Nice To Gate Keepers
An executive P.A.’s job is to guard the inner sanctum. Becoming irritated, frustrated or rude with such assistants will only ruin your chances of success.
Think through strategies to get gatekeepers to open doors. Create a friendly mood. Learn screener’s names and preferences. By making the gatekeeper an ally, you’ll win access more easily.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
As with most skills, the more calling you do, the better you’ll get.
For important calls stand up, this will give your voice greater authority, enthusiasm and energy. Sound confident and enthusiastic, but do not sound like a high powered sales person as that will make the prospect defensive.
- Customise Your Delivery
Don’t become attached to any particular script or style.
Every customer has specialised needs and preferences. Bear in mind that people don’t want to be sold to and be careful not to sound dominating, control the call by all means, but nobody wants to be dominated.
“Mr/Ms prospect… there is something I wish to show you”, now this can be your product and in the absence of a product, it can be a PowerPoint Presentation. If you don’t have a PowerPoint Presentation to show him, you can show him your personality, your enthusiasm or better still your positive passion for your product or service.
Instead of sending the information you can bring it with you and show it to him. You need to have a reason to visit him, if you say “I have something to tell you” you are inviting the response, “either tell me now or send the information”.
A buying signal is an enquiry or question from the prospect which suggests that you have a potential sales opportunity.
The prospect is not necessarily saying “I want to buy your product”, he is saying “I am interested in securing more information”.
Buying signals need to be handled with kid gloves.
In our endeavours to sell this appointment, we will more than likely encounter the prospect asking some questions on our product or service.
We must then do what becomes difficult for most salespeople and resist the temptation to answer all his or her questions. Because, if we do, we may then be eliminating the need for a sales appointment.
Most people believe that, in not answering the question, we may appear incompetent, inefficient or evasive, whereas a successful salesperson recognises that the fish is biting and we have to be careful not to frighten him away.
Replies To Buying Signals
Your replies to buying signals will depend entirely on whether you have decided that the prospect is a qualified Hot Prospect or whether you are still trying to qualify them. If they are considered to be qualified you do not answer his questions, you respond with “when we meet I can best demonstrate the answer for you”.
The bottom line to this sales appointment telephone call is that we are not trying to sell the product or service over the telephone, we are only trying to secure a sales appointment.
On the telephone you will be lucky to keep the prospects attention for a few minutes, but when you get in front of him and provided you are asking the right questions you will frequently be invited to stay for coffee and a first meeting of some sixty minutes is not uncommon.
Whilst you may well need not less than sixty minutes to fully demonstrate your product or service, it is prudent that you hold this information back as you endeavour to secure your first Sales appointment. Bear in mind, the prospect needs to get to Know, Like and Trust you.
For the first appointment your objective should be to secure a follow-up meeting. On this basis, for the first appointment why not say that ten minutes will be plenty. Make it easy for the prospect to agree to see you in the first place.
Sixty minutes in a prospects busy diary is a big ask simply to meet a sales person for the first time. Be prepared to stay sixty minutes, but this will only happen if you have earned the right.
A great attitude for this first sales appointment is that it is just that, a first of many appointments to the same prospect who becomes a magnificent and profitable customer.
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Is a happy work-force more productive and effective than an unhappy one?
1. “A happy workforce is more engaged, creative and more focused, increasing the overall productivity of a company” – Tim Smedley for the Guardian Professional Network.
2. “A happy workforce is a more productive workforce, it makes sound business sense and has significantly outperformed their peers throughout the recession, despite having also had to restructure and downsize” – Martin Leuw of the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies.
3. “It’s no secret that a happy workforce is a considerably more productive and therefore more valuable to a company” – Spectrum Health.
4. “Happy workers are more productive workers and they are less likely to leave. Love them and they will love you back” – Simon Devonshire Daily Telegraph SME Masterclass.
5. “The old adage that a happy workforce is a productive one is a business philosophy that still rings true today, perhaps more than ever” – Stephen Menko Director of HR recruiter.
6. “Happier staff work more efficiently and have less absenteeism” – Martin Seligman Psychologist.
7. “Happy employees are usually better liked by peers and this translates into a more fruitful teamwork environment, more satisfied customers and improved sales. An unhappy worker is an unhealthy worker and an unhealthy worker will cost your business money” – Harvard Business School.
Tim Meagher’s latest book “The Happy and Effective Staff Handbook” will show you how to increase the effectiveness and overall efficiency of your staff in the workplace and how to maximise the profitability of your business.
These invaluable insights are based on over three decades of working with hundreds of business owners and thousands of staff across eighty four industries.
Packed with over 45 pages of useful advice, this informative and unique staff handbook will help you to develop both your employees and your business and explains why you should invest in a happy workforce
Imagine a scenario at two different companies in which employees are asked to work on two weekends during a particular month. The employees at both companies are paid roughly the same to do the same types of work.
However, at one company, the employees turn up for their overtime with a minimum of resistance and an attitude of pulling together to everyone’s benefit. At the second company, employees are bitter and resentful. They turn up and do the work, but they have poor attitudes and are not as efficient as they could be.
If both companies are paying their workers the same amount, then why do the two businesses produce such different results? Clearly, it’s employee morale, but what actions result in high or low morale?
Not every company can provide the perks of a Google or Nike with their game rooms and employee “campuses” in place of traditional office space. However, there are tried and tested ways that employers at all budget levels can increase employee morale. Here are 6 ways your business can benefit from immediately:
Say thank you
It seems like such a simple thing, but expressing appreciation to employees whether it’s in their daily duties or after they have gone above and beyond can go a long way in boosting morale.
Foster good communication between employees and their supervisors
An employee who feels as though they are able to discuss problems and solutions with management and is listened to feels engaged and empowered, and this is key for employee morale. Employees who are encouraged to provide feedback feel a measure of investment in the company that increases their sense of loyalty.
Provide opportunities for training and advancement
No one wants to work a dead-end job, and giving employees opportunities to learn and grow on the job keeps them engaged and invested in their work. If employees see a future for themselves at a company, their morale will naturally increase.
Partner with local businesses for employee perks
While it’s important to provide tangible rewards in the workplace, it’s equally important to recognise that your employees have a life outside of work, and providing perks in the form of restaurant discounts or passes to games, movies or theme parks recognises that fact. Small perks like these may not cost much when measured against the company’s bottom line, but they can go a long way to increasing employee morale.
Some studies have shown that one of the single most reliable predictors of employee morale is whether employees have a good friend at work. Making sure employees have a little time for socialising with one another while at work is more effective for building a strong work force in the long run than trying to ensure that every moment of their time is spent on productive company projects.
Talk to employees
Regardless of what management seminars and surveys say, different things will motivate employees. Some may enjoy a day devoted to fun activities like playing games while others may grimace and wish they were back in front of their computer monitors. By going straight to the source and asking employees what they would enjoy, managers can ensure that they are making the most effective choices for their teams.
Employee morale is a crucial aspect of running a business effectively and one that is often overlooked. Businesses that remember to nurture their employees and show appreciation will be rewarded with low staff turnover and a workforce that remains dedicated even when times are tough.
For further information on how to boost the morale of your employees and encourage them to be more productive, simply click the image below to download our FREE Happy and Effective Staff Handbook right now!
Staff productivity in the workplace is connected to a number of different factors including how happy the staff are and how engaged they are with company goals. However, these factors can be difficult to quantify. If you want to encourage your staff to be more productive, what are the best ways to go about it? If happier employees are also more productive, then what types of perks and incentives tend to motivate employees toward greater productivity?
One of the most important things to do is making sure your employees have the tools they need to do their jobs. This sounds self-evident, yet you might be surprised at how many workplaces inhibit the productivity of their staff through outdated technology and outdated processes. All of the employee goodwill in the world cannot overcome software that should have been retired years ago or forms that require hard-to-get signatures to move up to the next level. Therefore, the first step in increasing workplace productivity is to look at how things are done and how they might be improved.
One thing to keep in mind during this stage is that “how they might be improved” may not always be the way that seems the most efficient. For example, it might seem that having staff that could work the longest hours possible with the fewest distractions is the obvious path to workplace efficiency. However, humans are not machines, and studies have shown a vanishing rate of return as far as productivity goes when employees are working long hours. Moreover, being treated like a cog in a machine does not make for a happy workplace, and a happy workplace is critical to long-term productivity.
Rather than strictly enforced long hours, workplaces where it might be possible to flex start times even by an hour or so gives workers a greater sense of autonomy. Furthermore, contrary to employers’ nightmare visions about a day of working at home consisting of the employee watching daytime television, running errands and chatting on the phone to friends, many at-home workers have demonstrated more productivity because they are not constantly being interrupted by their co-workers.
Any flexibility of this sort that can be built into the office routine is likely to boost productivity. Employers who still feel anxious about a potential negative effect on productivity can introduce a trial period and track how productive their employees are with and without flexible hours and options to work at home one day per week.
However passionate people may be about their jobs, they also work in order to get paid, and financial incentives are still an excellent path to boosting productivity. Bonuses that are tied to company profits or to production numbers reinforce this direct relationship.
Not all managers are empowered to offer bonuses, and small businesses may operate within a tight enough profit margin that such an approach is not feasible. In these cases, other perks tied to productivity might be offered such as paid time off or afternoon pizzas paid for by the company.
Try to provide productive employees with opportunities for advancement, and if that is not possible, giving them the opportunity to further their Staff Development Skills through additional training and education can be a reward or incentive as well. Having clear goals communicated effectively is also important. Strong leadership in the form of management that shows appreciation and encourages employees to do their best will also lead to a rise in productivity.
There’s no great secret to improving staff productivity
Give them the tools they need to achieve clearly defined goals in an atmosphere where they feel valued. With an approach to productivity focused on staff needs, productivity will soar.
For further information on how to encourage your staff to be more productive, simply click the image below to download our FREE Happy and Effective Staff Handbook right now!
Motivating employees and ensuring that they are working to their full potential is an important aspect of being a manager. Doing so involves engaging employees as fully as possible in their daily tasks.
Here are five employee management tips to strengthen that engagement and help you get the most out of your employees:
1. Get them invested in the success of the business.
If a manager can pass a portion of company profits on to their team in the form of performance-based bonuses, this is one of the best motivators. However, if this is not possible, less costly incentives may range from a staff pizza party to ensuring raises and promotions for those who are integral to that success. The key is to make sure that the concrete success of the business is linked to those incentives. Managers should also make sure that staff understands the company’s vision and how their work supports and advances that vision.
2. Show appreciation
This is separate from linking employee efforts to company profits. Showing appreciation in this context should be based only on employee performance. In fact, it may be particularly important to do so during times that are stressful and when employees are working hard but seeing few concrete results.
It may not sound like much, but saying thank you is something managers should make a point of doing on a regular basis. Employees should be thanked for going above and beyond but also for their regular efforts.
Appreciation can be shown in other ways as well such as complimentary tickets to watch a local sports team play or periodic staff luncheons for which the company picks up the tab.
3. Work to align employees with job descriptions that develop their interests and skills
A good manager should know their employees well enough to know what they like and what they are good at. Working to ensure that team members are in positions that make the best of their strongest skills as well as giving them the opportunity to build on their interests is another way of making sure that employees are invested in their jobs.
4. Give them autonomy
Who is likely to perform at their highest level: people who have very little say in what they do, how they do it and when they do it or people who have at least some input into how their work day unfolds? Many studies have shown that a lack of autonomy can be a major source of job stress, so finding ways to give employees some control over their work can go a long way toward reducing this stress. Whether it is empowering employees to make decisions, permitting them to develop their own processes or simply allowing them to make some choices about the order in which they will work on tasks on any given day, granting some independence to employees will enhance their job performance.
5. Promote effective communication
Employees should have a clear idea of what is expected at them at work, but managers need to go beyond communicating with their staff. They should also work to foster communication between co-workers and between their department or work group and others. Good communication should include directness and transparency. Employees should also know how to proceed if they have a grievance about an issue or co-worker or other problems at work.
One of the most important aspects of Staff Development and getting the best from employees is making sure that employees know they are valued. Concrete rewards and demonstrating appreciation for company success and for hard work, providing employees with engaging work and independence, and making sure that communication is smooth at all levels will make the workplace one where employees excel.
To assist further in getting the best out of your employees we recommend downloading a FREE copy of our Happy and Effective Staff Handbook. Simply click on the image below.