Sales Prospecting Techniques that work in the 21st Century

Sales Prospecting Techniques are written about all the time – unfortunately most of what’s said is either outdated or simply wrong. Here is an example of what one famous sales trainer recently wrote,

“When I am working with my coaching clients I find that a lack of consistent sales is caused by a lack of consistent prospecting. A failure to prospect on a regular basis is what causes the feast and famine syndrome of sellers, why one month they earn a great commission check and the next they don’t.”

Sounds right doesn’t it? But is it really? Is it really that simple? Let’s look at the solutions this trainer recommended:

  • Cold calling
  • Direct mail Fax blast (is that even legal?)
  • Voice mails
  • Regular email newsletters
  • Monthly printed newsletters
  • Customer ‘reactivation’ calls
  • Face-to-face door knocking
  • Seminars
  • Sending a catalog of your product listing to your customers
  • Offering a free white paper
  • Website lead generation
  • Offering a free trial
  • Radio, TV, Newspaper, Online, Magazine Advertising

How many of those sales prospecting techniques have worked for you? How many of them work for anyone? In fact how many of them can a customer facing salesperson actually execute on? Advertising? Really. Building a website or holding a seminar? With the demands to hit your numbers, endless paperwork, customer support and the work closing current opportunities do you have time to write a white paper or arrange a conference? This is the kind of sales prospecting techniques that get told to sales people as legitimate advice. And they are all, well, err, how can I put it nicely – nonsense. [Read more...]

Sales Coaching Newsletter & Tips

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PS: Breakout Selling is having a sales contest right now for the best sales story. If you click here you could win a free Flip Camera. The complete details of this sales contest can be found at Win a Flip Camera Sales Contest

PSS: Breakout Selling is also offering lead generation coaching and sales prospecting information absolutely free (but for a limited time). You can find out more by Clicking Here.

Membership in Breakout Selling

Having a coach and a mentor is what successful people have in all walks of life – athletes, entrepreneurs, and sales people. Coaching helps people get unstuck and moving forward.

Imagine having a coach 24×7 online all the time ready to help. How would that impact your business?

Coaching helps people get unstuck, stay motivated and achieve better results. What is the common element among the most successful people – whether they are salespeople, entrepreneurs or athletes? Having a coach. Now imagine having support and mentoring 24×7 online when you need it the most. That is why Breakout Selling created its coaching program.

Breakout Selling only coaches a limited number of people. If there is an opening you can click the membership card below to find out more information.

We’re Sorry

At this time our Coaching Membership is full.

Sorry…our coaching program does fill up fast.

However the biggest need of most salespeople today is having enough people to sell to. So I’ve created a very special offer that you can read about below.

Would You Like to Double Your Leads and Opportunities in 26 Days?

  • Is your pipeline full or are you being hammered to find more opportunities?
  • Do you chase after every deal working with people that you can’t stand because you need the business?
  • Are your manager’s phone calls pleasant or full of haranguing to do more cold calling and prospecting?
  • Are you satisfied with your income and sales results?
  • Are you happy as a professional salesperson or burning out from overwork and stress?

If not having enough people to sell too I have a very limited time offer that will get you more leads and opportunities in only 26 days. Just click the button below to find out more.

Emotional Triggers for Selling

Emotional triggers are really important in selling. When used the right way, they can be extremely effective.

People make decisions based on emotion, not logic. Of course buyers have logical sounding reasons for their decisions. We justify with logic but buy on emotion. This goes for any market. A lot of salespeople make the mistake of thinking their customers are too sophisticated for emotional selling. This is not true.

Selling with logic is seldom best strategy and rarely works. This is because people make decisions based on emotion, and then attempt to support them with logic. If you grasp this, your marketing efforts will really take off. If you doubt this think about how you buy.

So how do you use emotion to sell? First you have to get inside your prospect’s head. Think about exactly why they want certain things. Then focus on the benefits, not the features of your product in your ad copy. Whether you’re selling to an individual, a family, or a business the people involved need personal reasons for buying – wins. The more emotionally involved people become with your offer the less you’ll be competing on price.

For instance, let’s say you are selling a guide on how to make money from home. Do not just tell them all the features of your product. If it teaches them how to make money with Google Adsense, do not talk them to death about the specific strategies it goes into.

Instead, you might want to tell them how much money it can make them, and remind them of why they want to earn that money in the first place. Emphasize what they can do with that money, such as gain time freedom, giving back to others more, travel more, experience more things, and so on.

These emotional factors will make the biggest difference in their buying decision. Just talking about your solutions and products isn’t going to strike the crucial emotional cord with them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t talk about them. However, do not make them the focal point. The more customers are focused on features and benefits the less they’re thinking about results – and all of the excitement and good feelings that come with those outcomes.

To do this most effectively, try to really know your customers.Why do they want your product? People don’t buy drills because they want nifty motorized gadgets – they want holes. People don’t spend hundreds of dollars on the newest golf club because their golf bag isn’t yet full, they buy new clubs for the bragging rights of beating their friends and peers on the course.

The fastest way to get to know your customers is to target people and groups that you are either familiar with or can learn about. It’s so important to pick out a certain segment of people and target only them. This way, you know exactly what they want. Then you can tailor your message to them specifically.

For instance, if you are selling a product to the golf crowd, you would want to pick a certain segment of them and market only to them. You might choose only low handicappers, medium handicappers, or high handicappers. You would then tailor your benefits specifically to them.

“If everyone is your customer, no one will be your customer.”

Just about everyone has heard this saying, and it is true. The only way to really play to the emotions of your crowd is to know exactly what they want, and then tailor your message accordingly. Hopefully this advice will help you dramatically improve your selling efforts.

PS: Breakout Selling is having a sales contest right now for the best sales story. If you click here you could win a free Flip Camera. The complete details of this sales contest can be found at Win a Flip Camera Sales Contest

PSS: Breakout Selling is also offering lead generation coaching and sales prospecting information absolutely free (but for a limited time). You can find out more by Clicking Here.

Motivation is the Key

When it comes to selling, being motivated is key. Without it, you’ll never become successful.

Selling has a lot of challenges. Whether its deal that goes south or a customer that just can’t seem to be made happy, unless you have significant drive you simply won’t push through.

Lack of motivation is one of the biggest reasons that salespeople fail.  If you are really willing to go after something, you will stop at nothing to get it. However, most people give up long before they reach their final goal.

So the obvious question is, how do you get motivated? It’s actually not hard. Here are two ways to do it:

#1) Set specific goals

Let’s face it, you really can’t be motivated if you have no direction. You have to have a strong “why” or else the pressures and strain of the job will burn you out.

You’ve no doubt heard about goal setting before, and maybe you’ve even read books about it. Everyone knows they should have goals. However, until you sit down and write out your specific goals and set a deadline for them, you are going to have a hard time making money. You’re simply not really serious about success until you’ve clearly thought through your goals, written them out and live by the plan it takes to get them accomplished.

Plan out exactly what you want to achieve and when you want to do it. Don’t set too many goals at once. Consider having just one or two main things to work towards.

You could try thinking about what your ideal lifestyle would be like, and then figure out how much money you need to get there. That will become your new goal.

#2) Self-talk

Everyone knows that positive self-talk is important. However, most people aren’t aware of how to do that. Once you know what you want, the self-talk part is easy: just stay focused on your goals.

Most people spend all their lives focusing on things they don’t want. You’ve probably heard of the Law of Attraction, which states that what you focus on the most is what you end up getting.

So instead of focusing on what you don’t want, get clear what you do want. Then focus on that constantly. It might help you to put pictures of things you want to achieve in areas where you view them often, to constantly remind you of your goals. This is what’s really going to give your sales life pep and enjoyment.

Here is another tip: Instead of saying that your goal is to simply make a lot of money, how about changing it to say your goal is to live the life that a lot of money allows. Nobody just wants to make a six-figure income. They desire what that six-figure income can do for them, such as enabling them to help others, improve their own lifestyle, and so on. When you focus on the way you really want to live your life rather than an arbitrary monetary figure, you really zero in on what your needs and wants are.

This is why it is so important to get clear why you want the money before setting monetary goals. It will give you a definite target to shoot for, and will most likely solve any motivational problems you are experiencing. Having clear exciting goals strengths you and enables you to maintain a positive attitude regardless of the pressures or circumstances thrown at you.

PS: Breakout Selling is having a sales contest right now for the best sales story. If you click here you could win a free Flip Camera. The complete details of this sales contest can be found at Win a Flip Camera Sales Contest

PSS: Breakout Selling is also offering lead generation coaching and sales prospecting information absolutely free (but for a limited time). You can find out more by Clicking Here.

Lapdances are Not Expensible

Last night at dinner a co-worker asked me if I would “do it again?” Would I leave the comfort of a salaried management position to go into sales if I could get a mulligan (free do over)? The question came up as we were swapping war stories and thinking out the various twists and turns that shapes one’s career over a lifetime.

The question is a good one? Would you do it over again? Are you happy with your choice of profession? Sales can be hard; sales can expose you to the worse side of human nature; sales can be relentlessly demanding. Are the benefits enough? How does a salesperson stay ‘charged up,’ motivated, energized, positive? How do you? Would you recommend becoming a salesperson your son or your daughter? The important why and why nots of these questions we’ll have to discuss over the next few weeks.

How to Avoid Distraction and Prevent Interruption – Top Tips

Many salespeople work from home offices. There are a lot of advantages to working from home. However to be successful a person needs discipline and structure.

It is easy to become distracted when you’re working from home. True, you don’t have your coworkers talking about last night’s Dancing with the Stars or showing you photos of their children. However, you do have other distractions, like last watching TV and your children. How do you handle them and still manage to be productive? It isn’t easy. Here are seven tips to avoid distraction and prevent interruption – and they’re useful even if you don’t work from home.

#1 Create “work time” and set limits. Get a do not disturb sign if you need to. Just make sure everyone knows you’re working and not to be disturbed. It’s helpful if you can create special times during the day that are devoted to work and special times that are devoted to family, chores and errands.

#2 Close any and all computer applications that aren’t directly related to what you’re doing. Yes, that means Facebook and Twitter too! And of course close your email unless you’re checking it.

#3 Speaking of email, stop checking it every five minutes! Check it three times a day, max. Check it once in the morning, once in the evening and once during lunch. This is a foundational principle of effective time management. Don’t let email control your day. Controlling email is one of the most proactive steps you can make. Instead of reacting to every interruption – phone calls and emails – that comes your way, organize your time and make sure that you accomplish the most important tasks that directly get you to closing a deal.

#4 Turn off your phone or set specific ring tones for important numbers and ignore all other calls. Google Voice is a great tool because you can have voice mail messages sent to you as text messages. That saves you time during your lunch break because you can check your voice mail and your email at the same time.

#5 Remove the television and the radio/stereo from your office if they’re distractions. Generally, television is a distraction for most people. However, some people find it easier to work to music. You decide. You know yourself better than anyone else. If music is a distraction, remove it from your work environment.

#6 Plan ahead. Take the dog outside before you settle down to work. Use the facilities and grab some food and something to drink so you don’t have to get up while you’re working.

#7 Set time aside for chores and errands. Laundry, dirty dishes and grocery shopping can wait, right? However, if you haven’t set aside time to get them done they’ll loom over you and distract you from getting your work completed. Schedule time for them and the stress is removed. You can focus on being productive. Most Importantly -Don’t do non-selling activities during time you could be selling.

Distractions are a part of working from home or anywhere else. As they arise, you’ll need to figure out the best way to manage them and prevent them. Enjoy the benefits of working from home for what they are and the amazing freedom you do have.

Selling Against the Goal

Selling Against the GoalThis book cannot be praised enough. There are thousands of books and systems for sales. Almost all of them ignore or minimize the realities of how hard it is today to get into accounts to even begin `selling.’ Most sales books have little useful information on prospecting or lead generation. No matter how good you are if you can’t get in the door you can’t be a solution, strategic, customer-focused, closed sub (Sandler), or ad nauseam `flavor of the day’ seller. This book, coupled with “Selling to Big Companies” has replaced 90% of my selling library and is an indispensable read.

“Job Title: Sales Rep. Job Responsibilities: Generate Leads. Close Sales. How to Get the Job Done: It’s up to you, my friend.” This is how the book starts and isn’t it TRUE. No-one tells us how and the real help we get as out-in-the-field salespeople is minimal. Few companies are good at generating leads! Most books written on the topic are for management (Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, for example, is a great book, but not for the grunt on-the-ground like me). Other books just rehash cold calling techniques that simply don’t work in this overworked, too busy, voice mail and email business environment.

Most importantly this book is a practical workbook: not simply a theoretical system of selling that does you no good in the day to day selling world where we all live. This book tells you how to make a territory plan and then develop leads and prospects within your territory. The book works from your goals, even targets the amount of prospects based on your averages and financial plans. The book have very explicit instructions that show you how to work an area, develop business, and close sales. This book goes far beyond the worn out and doesn’t work advice of `just cold call more.’ This book may have saved my career. It will definitely improve anyone’s sales efforts if they apply it.

Selling to Big Companies

Selling to Big CompaniesA prospecting plan for ALL salespeople, not just big company sellers

This book cannot be praised enough. This book isn’t just for selling to big companies! This book is for anyone who needs prospects and whose company does a poor job of generating leads for them (everyone is in this situation I think). Selling to Big Companies debunks many of sales myths, especially those loved by out-of-touch managers who want more results but are clueless about how to get them. We are living in the `perfect storm’ of sales resistance, especially in regards to getting in at all. Selling `high’ isn’t the answer, any more than the tired, worn-out approach of cold calling. This book, however, is the answer!

There are thousands of books and systems for sales. Almost all of them ignore or minimize the realities of how hard it is today to get into accounts to even begin `selling.’ Few books have little useful information on prospecting or lead generation. No matter how good you are if you can’t get in the door you can’t be a solution, strategic, customer-focused, closed sub (Sandler), or ad nauseam `flavor of the day’ seller. This book, coupled with “Selling Against the Goal” has replaced 90% of my selling library and is an indispensable read.

Successfully getting into accounts (of all sizes) requires more than repetitive cold calling. Selling to Big Companies teaches how to create a value proposition. Not an elevator speech or a benefits statement but a carefully designed, researched, and targeted door busting concept for each business you’ve chosen to get into. The book also has good advice on the triggers that make getting in more likely and the other tactics a salesperson can use to break through voice mail, email, and the other technology ‘gatekeepers’ prospects have.

This book is a practical workbook: not simply a theoretical system of selling that does you no good in the day to day selling world where we all live. This book tells you how to make a plan, to create a prospect campaign: the how-to of developing leads and prospects within your territory. The book has very explicit instructions that show you how to work an area, develop business, and close sales. “If you’re not getting in,” for example the book tells us, “it is because your value statement isn’t very good.” This book goes far beyond the worn out and doesn’t work advice of `just cold call more.’ This book may have saved my career. It will definitely improve anyone’s sales efforts if they apply it.

Lead Generation for the Complex Sale

Lead Generation for the Complex SaleThis book is fantastic for sales leaders, management, and business owners. It points out that the average salesperson (in complex sales, i.e. capital equipment, business sales, etc.) must generate $1,000 in business per working hour to make their quotas. That won’t happen if we spend our time in unproductive, low quality work, regardless of how important such activities may be.

This book contains the strategies and tools for creating an in-house lead generation system that will help salespeople do what they do best: sell qualified prospects. This book will help transform companies into market/sales driven enterprises, critical to success in this age of hyper-competitively. I believe this is simply one of the best books on this subject (another is “The Fundamentals of Business-to-Business Sales & Marketing”). However many of the suggestions cannot be implemented and may even run counter to the politics and management of the organization you work for. Therefore most of the ideas won’t work for a salesman in the territory pounding away daily to get sales. For example, aligning business systems and the value proposition to optimize lead generation is imperative, however I can’t do that alone, neither can most salespeople.

If you’re an entrepreneur, a sales leader or a manager this book is a must read with sage and up-to-date advice. For the salespeople on-the-ground and in-the-field better book selections for lead generation are “Selling to Big Companies” and “Selling Against the Goal.” However, “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale” does inform every salesperson about the skills needed to be successful regardless of one’s position. Knowing business metrics, how to profile and evaluate prospects, increasing the value of the sales process by being a consultant and not simply a vender with PowerPoint are all critical success factors for modern salespeople. Not only will salespeople be dramatically helped by reading this book, they may be able to create upward pressure for the business and management to improve as well.