An Approach that Will Guarantee You More Meetings with the Decision Makers!
It is typically in the salespersons best interest to befriend the gatekeeper and other staff in order to get to the decision maker. But what if, as a salesperson, you need to get to the decision maker and their staff cannot know any details about your business venture? How do you access the decision maker without getting you butt kicked out the door by trying to go over the gatekeeper’s head?
The majority of sales gurus these days will tell you that cold calling is dead, especially face-to-face cold calling. If that describes your situation, be sure to read my previous article on The Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Calling. So, although this may be the case for a variety of industries, there are some that do in fact require employing this brut methodology in order to access the decision maker.
In my current role, I have been faced with this dilemma. I have always been accustomed to being friendly and open with all staff and best utilize those relationships in order to ultimately reach the decision maker however, now my business is of an utmost confidential matter and it is crucial that I do not share the nature of my business with anyone but the decision maker.
After getting the door slammed on my ass on the way out of a business a handful of times, I decided that I needed to revamp my approach.
One prime example that stood out in my mind was when I went into a clinic that was clearly empty. There were no cars out front, no patients in the waiting room and clearly no patients in the treatment area. When I asked the receptionist if I could speak with the doctor for a minute, she hemmed and hawed and asked me if I had an appointment. When I told her no, she told me that he was VERY busy but she will check. She went out back and returned to inform me that he was so busy and doesn’t have any time this week.
This experience was akin to walking to an empty restaurant and the hostess asks you if you have a reservation. In sales, having thick skin is a MUST!
Before my next round of cold calls, I picked up some blank note-cards and envelopes. In each card I wrote a personal note:
Sorry to have missed you today. I was hoping to catch you to talk to you about a business opportunity. I will be in town (UNTIL DATE OR WILL BE BACK AT DATE) so you can call or email me anytime. Talk soon. Sincerely,
On the top flap of the card, I attached my business card with an adhesive (double-sided sticky) so that the card can be easily removed.
The card is inserted into an envelope and the DM’s name is written on the front of the envelope.
I show up at the clinic and approach the receptionist in a friendly manner and say “Hey I’m (NAME HERE). I have something for (DM NAME HERE). Is he/she available for a quick minute? I have something for them”
If they check and the answer is YES (wohoo!):
I put the envelope away and ask to speak to the DM privately for a minute and then give them my business card that’s in my back pocket and try to arrange a private meeting.
If they check (or don’t ) and say NO:
Give them the sealed envelope and ask that they kindly pass it on to the DM addressed on your card and mention that you will be calling the DM soon to follow-up.
Since it is addressed to the DM personally and hand written, even if the receptionist does not know you. the way you presented yourself is as though the DM does. For this reason, the receptionist or gatekeeper is highly unlikely to open the envelope or toss it out. Furthermore, mentioning that you will be touching base with the DM regarding what you have enclosed in this envelope will make it even more unlikely that it will be tampered with.
So far this approach has gotten me call-backs and appointments 75% of the time.
Surely much more effective than a phone call or random email!
If you are in this type of sales, I would love for you to try this and let me know how it works out.
Also if you have any other tips, please share!
Happy sales my friends.
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This entry was posted in Cold Calling, cold calls, sales, Sales and Relationships, sales challenges, sales pitches, Sales Tips, Success in Sales and tagged cold calling, cold calling tips, F2F Cold Calling, Gatekeepers, sales on August 6, 2016 by TravellingSaleswoman. http://thetravellingsaleswoman.com
The key to success in sales is follow-up. Many prospects get lost in the dust due to lack of follow-up. How to become a boss at follow-ups? Here are 4 tips:
- Samantha, #TheSalesWoman
Being a saleswoman, I always tried to find a good sales blog. There are a ton out there … but for some reason I couldn’t find one that fit me, my goals and my struggles. Then I realized, most of the sales blogs are targeted to men. Salesman this, salesman that. Um, hello!!! What about the boss sales women out there?!
So ladies, take ’em by the horns and make them carry you like the queen of sales!
Here it is, my blog. I hope to inspire you to kick a$$ in sales!
We are pleased to introduce Mandy Clark with Optimizing You, Inc.!
Mandy founded the company, Optimizing You, Inc after close to 20 years as a corporate Human Resources professional. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno who has recently returned to the area to raise her family and enjoy the lifestyle that Reno has to offer.
After graduating from UNR, Mandy pursued her MBA at Purdue University and joined General Electric Company in their HR Leadership Program. She then went on to have a successful career, rising through HR leadership positions quickly at several large corporations. After 17 years as an HR business partner, she left her VP Human Resources role to start her own companies - a real estate investment firm that she and her husband run together and an HR/Business consulting firm that she runs on her own - Optimizing You, Inc.
She has partnered with all levels of employees and leadership to transform organizations into amazing places to work. She can truly help OPTIMIZE companies by developing the best individual performers and maximize the company's output and bottom-line. Ask her how she transformed the West Region of Pepsi Beverages Company to increase their revenue by $400MM in the three years she lead the HR team for that division of PepsiCo!
Her specialties include:
Learn more about what Optimizing You can do to help you and/or your company by visiting the website at: www.optimizingyouhr.com
Mandy is the proud mother of two beautiful and talented girls, Kira (10) and Bayley (8). She married her high-school sweetheart, Mike, and they enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities and supporting their girls' sports interests. Mandy is a Girl Scout troop co-leader and volunteers weekly in both of her daughters' classrooms. She is thrilled to be back in Reno and convinced her parents to move here as well!
You can meet Mandy and room full of other talented sales women at our next luncheon or local event: http://www.psn-nevada.com/page-115480
We are pleased to introduce Dr. Erin Oksol as our 2017 SWOTY speaker!
Dr. Erin, an expert in cognitive-behavior psychology, earned her doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has been published in ten peer-reviewed psychology journals and books. In addition to coaching Dr. Erin has a small private practice in Reno, Nevada. She is a recurring columnist in a success/lifestyle magazine for female entrepreneurs in Nevada and California. As a professional speaker she enjoys inspiring groups, businesses, and non-profits.
“I love combining the science of behavior psychology and peak performance with coaching to guide you in taking your business to the next level. You can do what you love AND love what you earn – at the same time.”
Join Dr. Erin and experience “Growing the best YOU ever!” at the upcoming Saleswoman of the Year luncheon celebration taking place at the Atlantis Casino and Spa on May 9 from 11am – 1pm. Proceeds will benefit Life Changes, Inc., a non-profit that provides safety, shelter and support for men, women and youth affected by substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness and domestic violence.
Register for SWOTY here: www.psn-nevada.com
*Blog post reprinted from www.aliceheiman.com, written by author Alice Heiman Founder and CSO at Alice Heiman, LLC.
If you want to drive enormous growth as a sales leader or business owner, then you need the right mindset, skillset, and toolset.
One of the ways to develop each of these attributes is through education and learning. In the past, I’ve recommended some great books you can read to develop yourself. However, I know that reading a book can take time—something in scarce supply when you’ve got a million other priorities! That’s when a podcast can be great! You can listen to and absorb great ideas while you’re commuting to work or getting some exercise.
I’ve rounded up the 10 podcasts I think you’ll enjoy. You might want to share some with your team. And, some of them even feature an episode with yours truly!
In her podcast, my friend Barb Giamanco talks with leaders from all around the world about sales, marketing, service, leadership, and technology. Check out her podcast about social selling for sales leaders.
This one is just plain fun. Yes, they talk about sales, but they talk about it with sass! Dianna Geairn, The Irreverent Sales Girl, and Shawn Karol Sandy, Chief Revenue Officer of The Selling Agency, recently launched their podcast “The Sell Out Show.” So far, they’ve covered sales training and Girl Scouts. I love how Shawn changed her Girl Scouts troop’s opening line from “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies,” to “What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?” It’s all about the approach!
On this podcast, social selling champ Mario M. Martinez Jr. chats with his guests about how entrepreneurs, small business owners, and sales leaders can get their sales strategies cranking to a higher level. Check out his podcast with David Bush about how a healthy lifestyle can help sales leaders and business owners improve their revenue and lives. (P.S. I’ll take a little credit here, when Mario was about to jump off the edge, leaving corporate America to start his own business, I pushed him. Luckily, it was a soft landing).
In another recently-launched podcast, Jeff Shore takes a closer look at your customers’ decision-making mechanisms to reverse-engineer the perfect sales presentation. Get in on the ground floor of this new podcast and start listening here with your sales team.
You will love this one. Jeb is a good friend, and his conversations with guests are so real. He’s the author of Fanatical Prospecting and Sales EQ, books packed with great information to help teams win. Most of his podcast episodes are 10 minutes or less. (And those that go over are well worth it!) Check out this fun conversation between Jeb and me about the philosophies and techniques required to build, develop, and lead a high-performance sales team.
My old friend Lee (well, OK, I am older than him) wrote one of the best books on hiring and onboarding salespeople called Hire Right, Higher Profits. Read it! Lee really focuses on helping sales leaders navigate the recruitment process during his podcast “The Sales Management Minute,” which is one of the reasons I highly recommend it. To get started, check out these episodes: “Making a GREAT Vice President of Sales – The 3 Ingredient Success Recipe” and “Is Your Sales Hiring Process Too Long?”
Here’s a brand new one to follow and I will be a guest in an upcoming episode. This bi-weekly business podcast tells the stories and adventures of salespeople from around the world. Host Milan Vukas is an entrepreneur and mentor for early stage startups focused on startup sales and growth. Check out this episode about what it takes to implement account based selling. It will give you some great insights into if account based selling will work for you and your sales team. And keep your eye out for my episode!
My friend Andy is the consummate podcaster. He’s got it down, and you won’t want to miss an episode. Andy delivers a daily dose of sales wisdom with his podcast “Accelerate!” With more than 430 episodes, there’s plenty of choices of where to begin. I’d suggest starting with an episode where Andy and I discuss lead generation strategies.
I’m not sure who has more fun, Dianna and Shawn or my friends Jeffrey Gitomer and Jennifer Gluckow. This podcast will make you laugh with its crazy tangents and think about some deep topics. Jeff and Jen discuss the art and science of selling with some of the most fun leaders in sales, marketing, and personal development. Catch this episode where I’m the guest and talk about how new sales leaders can grow and thrive.
Everything Anthony puts out is excellent. Listen to this podcast by Anthony Iannarino if you want to learn powerful sales techniques and mindsets from the top professionals in the business. Anthony interviews the top leaders and experts in B2B and B2C sales to give you the edge you need to move your numbers and profit to the next level. If you don’t already have it, pick up a copy of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need (Darn, why didn’t I think of that title first?!). P.S. Anthony, why have I not been on your show yet?
As you continue to grow your mindset, skillset, and toolset, it’s important to incorporate training and education into your day regularly. Podcasts are an excellent way to do that! Pick one of these from the list, start listening and then share it with your team.
Alice Heiman has been helping companies increase sales for more than 20 years. Her innovative sales programs produce results. Other sales coaches tell you how to increase sales but few show you exactly what to do and make it so easy. Alice will show your sales leaders how to get consistent and sustainable sales growth.
Alice has been a member of PSN for many years and is currently PSN's Immediate Past President. You can network with Alice & a room full of talented individuals at our next networking event!
We are pleased to introduce Dianne Wagner-Robak with NuSkin!
"After retirement from a 30+ year career as a Certified Escrow Officer and owner of a licensed Independent Escrow Company in Ramona, CA. , my husband and I moved to Reno 11 years ago, and absolutely love our home here.
7 years ago I was introduced to the business opportunity with NuSkin after using their amazing products.
I love networking with PSN on behalf of NuSkin.
We have products for the body from head to toe, and the best nutritional supplements. What separates our products from others is the science and the results. We have close to 100 full time Scientists, and have clinical trials on all our nutrition and skin care products. NuSkin was actually featured on the Discovery Channel in a show “DNA The Next Wave”, and has been featured on Dr. Oz as well.
When not working my business, I enjoy working with my dog Riley doing dog agility, and volunteering at the Nevada Humane Society and CRCS (Canine Rehabilitation Century & Sanctuary) in Washoe Valley.
I am loving what I do, and the best part is it doesn’t feel like work. It is an amazing way to make a living helping people look and feel better and giving them the opportunity to change their future income as well."
Contact Dianne at email@example.com or 775-225-3011
You can meet Dianne and room full of other talented sales women at our next luncheon or local event: http://www.psn-nevada.com
Blog post reprinted from Your Authentic Image, written by author & PSN Member Kathleen Audet, Image Consultant and Owner of Your Authentic Image.
I breathed my way through the delivery of my second daughter without medication.
I did so NOT because it was best for me, but because I thought that was what everyone “should” do. I was overdue by a week, and she was a big baby for me to carry this long.
As she lay under the lights for jaundice, I could not hold her…I screamed loudly as they wheeled her away and doctors surrounded my bed.
Why were they not listening?
I realized in an instant that they weren’t listening because they could not hear me. I was screaming inside but nothing was coming out. I was having a stroke.
I felt the warmth and protection offered me from another place. A level of protection I hadn’t felt in a long time.
In that moment, I would have been glad to slip into that place and be with light and love forever. But I didn’t.
In the days and months that followed, as I slowly emerged from physical therapy, vertigo, and trauma-induced depression, I reconsidered my will to live – more than once.
But in the end, my stroke and its aftermath forced me to face the voiceless Kathleen that had stared at me in the mirror every morning. Not listening to myself for years on end made my body shut down and say:
“If you won’t listen to me, I’ll stop you until you do.”
Maybe you have or maybe you haven’t had an experience like this. My hope for you after reading this is that you DON’T wait to listen to you — your body — your feelings — your truth.
Years of people pleasing, neglect, and difficult relationships had muted my ability to speak up and speak out.
And as I started listening to myself, I found myself hearing from the God who made me. And that voice deepened my resolve to NOT “skimp on the inner work” as Parker Palmer so eloquently talks about, and to “lift up the value of skills such as journaling, reflecting, reading, spiritual friendship, meditation and prayer”.
Through that I very slowly started to understand that what God says about me is more accurate than what I think about myself. And more truthful than the chatter in my head and the air-brushed images from the media that I had so readily taken in before the stroke.
With an infant and a 5-year-old to take care of, I knew some things had to change, and I also knew that my business had to change. The idea of dressing myself – let alone anyone else — was daunting.
Before the stroke, I could easily get dressed, had little to no weight problems, and absolutely loved clothes and makeup and accessories. After the stroke, I wanted to wear nothing but pajamas. I wanted my odd-shaped body completely covered.
I knew — instinctively, intuitively that finding my style again would help me find my voice — I had to figure that out — so I could empower others to do the same.
First, I had to feel my way into my closet — I loved nothing in there but a pair of penny loafers and one scarf. So I wore those loafers and that scarf with jeans and a t-shirt almost every day for a long while until I could find another piece I loved.
I could envision any of my clients in outfits. I could style their clothing. But I was not able to connect the mind and body. Until I could do that for myself, I could not help my clients do it.
It took more time than I wanted it to, because I refused to wear anything that I sort of liked, that sort of worked or or that I sort of loved. From a sensory perspective, everything felt different on my body.
Fabrics I once wore easily now scratched or rubbed, and I was no longer willing to settle for shoes that pinched.
The biggest shifts came when I started using my clothes as a resource to feel better. I found pink penny loafers and red pumps for business. I embraced my seamstress who tailored things for me (and cried every time she altered something and made it fit my body – because fitting my body meant the clothes were uneven).
I felt better in my clothes than ever before, and that made a big difference in my healing.
Because feeling better allowed me to face what had happened and why. To become attentive instead of anxious and clear instead of overwhelmed. I still have a long way to go.
The journey I’ve been on for the past 20 years has included many twists and turns but since the stroke, I’ve come to know that my work as an image consultant must involve that which connects both the inside wholehearted person and the correlating clothing on the outside.
The clothing is a representation of the inner work…And not just a representation but also a friend to help me recover my voice and speak my truth.
In upcoming posts I will continue to share additional details of my journey to recover my voice and my truth but suffice it to say that I treasure the ability to use clothing as a tool for healing — and I am grateful for what it has done in my own life and the lives of my clients I am privileged to work with.
As for my stroke, no medical underlying cause was found for the blood clot that formed. Probably nothing could have alerted me it was there except an ischemic stroke. I know that the stroke was my wakeup call to do the work necessary to survive, live and thrive.
I have for years now been able to empower my clients as I work alongside them to create wardrobes they love. We always start by feeling our way in.
As you think of your own relationship with your closet and your wardrobe, take a moment to consider…
Be open to what your body is saying (it’s always speaking) and be willing to listen. Take the time now to participate in the personal inner work that can, if you allow, bring you not to a place to be “fixed”, but to an awareness of your self that you allow to become YOU. Not only will you look beautiful, you will feel beautiful too.
And be open to what your body is saying (it’s always speaking), listen deeply and know you are absolutely beautiful.
Kathleen Audet is a member of PSN and president and owner of Your Authentic Image. For more than 20 years she has been studying color, design and image management. She began her business on the East Coast specializing in color analysis and makeup application for personal and corporate clients. Eventually her consulting diversified to include clothes, closets, and stores with private clients and speaking for groups. Kathleen works with women and men locally in Nevada or remotely through her unique virtual coaching programs.
We are pleased to introduce Lisa Harrison with Dickson Realty!
"My name is Lisa Harrison and I am a REALTOR with Dickson Realty. My family and I relocated to Reno back in 2015 after living in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 20 years. Needless to say, we should have done it YEARS earlier. Moving to Reno was a BIG decision for our whole family. In fact, our two daughters (Carli-a senior at the time and Lauren-a junior at the time) where amazingly supportive and even excited about the move. We originally had planned to wait until Lauren graduated from High School before we moved but her response was “Why wait? I am up for an adventure!” Our family loves the outdoors and being active and we love all the great restaurants and special activities happening in the area as well. I think that is why I love being a REALTOR so much. I love educating folks about this wonderful city while helping them find the house of their dreams."
You can meet Lisa and room full of other talented sales women at our next luncheon or local event: http://www.psn-nevada.com/page-115480
We are pleased to introduce Michele Byers with New York Life.
"My name is Michele Byers. I am an agent with New York Life. I am a native to Nevada, born and raised in Fallon. I lived in Fallon my entire life until just two years ago my husband and I moved to the Reno/Sparks area. I am a wife to a wonderful husband, mother of four children and grandmother to one awesome little grandson. I also have my "fury" baby....Ruger, he is a pointer/setter mix and very spoiled. My favorite thing to do is spend time with family. I am a strong believer in my faith and active in my church as the worship leader. I would consider my life to be quiet and reserved, and one in which I am privileged to find opportunities to be there for others.
I have been with New York Life now for a year and a half. I believe this is the profession that I have been seeking for as it gives me the opportunity to help alleviate fears and unpreparedness for others by bringing them understanding of their financial needs. Once those needs are understood, we can proceed with planning. The vast majority of folks move through life never having that peace of mind.
As your New York Life Agent, I can work with you to identify your goals, understand your needs, and offer insurance and financial products that can help you achieve peace of mind.
At New York Life every decision we make, every action we take, has one overriding purpose: To be here when you, our policy owners need us. That’s what makes us The Company You Keep®.
Focused on your goals.
I can help you ensure a sound financial future for you, your family, and your business by providing customized recommendations based on your individual situation and goals.
A customized approach.
I can make recommendations, tailored to your needs, on a wide variety of protection and financial matters, including:
• Life insurance protection
• College funding
• Retirement planning
• Business planning using life insurance
• Mortgage protection using life insurance
• Estate planning
• Leaving a legacy
Let’s get started.
If you’re ready to take the next step, I’m ready to help. Contact me to schedule an appointment."
You can meet Michele and room full of other talented sales women at our next luncheon or local event: http://www.psn-nevada.com/page-115480
Blog post reprinted from www.aliceheiman.com, written by author Alice Heiman Founder and CSO at Alice Heiman, LLC.
There is an epidemic of people out there misusing social media. Instead of using it to get to know people, build deeper relationships and help others there seems to be this random connecting that is no more effective than a great big cold call list.
I constantly get connection requests from people I don’t know. They give me no explanation of who they are, how they know me, why they want to connect, or why I should connect to them. So, I don’t.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind connecting with people I don’t know, after all, that is what networking is about. As long as these strangers are willing to get to know me and let me get to know them, I am happy to add them to my network. But I don’t want to be connected to a bunch of strangers – what purpose does that serve? Simply put, if they don’t know me, like me and trust me, they aren’t going to introduce me to their boss, best friend or colleague. So what is the point? If you are not willing to build and maintain a relationship with me, please, don’t click to connect.
Social media is a form of networking and should be done with the same care as in-person networking. When you attend an event and meet new people, you have a conversation, exchange business cards and maybe even set up a time to meet again. You spend time getting to know each other and figuring out what you have in common. It’s the same online. When you connect with someone you don’t know, you have a conversation, exchange information and maybe even set up a time to meet or talk on the phone.
People don’t understand how to network on social media to make meaningful connections and build relationships.
The social platforms don’t require good networking they suggest it, but their tools don’t make it easy.
Let’s explore these one at a time.
It’s hard to teach yourself how to use social media. People think you just start an account and click around. That may be fine for young people, students and others who aren’t concerned about using these platforms for work. If you intend to use social media for business you need to learn it, just like any other tool. Take a class, have someone teach you, read or watch videos on the subject.
Again, it’s networking. Would you go to an event with a bag over your head and no business cards? I don’t think so. And yet, so many people are on LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms with no photo and little or no information filled in.
To truly make social media networking effective you first need to have a complete profile so people you know, recognize you and want to connect to you. For people you don’t know, they can learn how to find something in common and determine whether or not they’d like to connect.
Next, make sure you are connected to people you know and then interact with them. That means click like, comment and share. You have to spend time networking online, just as you do in person. If you typically spend a few hours each week going to networking event, then spend a few hours a week networking online. What you’re trying to do is run into people online and converse.
In person you might run into someone at a tradeshow, networking event, coffee shop, or even airport. You see them, wave, say hello, and chat for a minute. You might share some news or have a lengthy conversation. This interaction brings you closer together. Gives you another thing you have in common. You can’t see all your connections in person all the time, but you can run into them online as often as you’d like and:
LinkedIn and Facebook recommend you only connect with people you know. They ‘suggest’ you send a message but it’s optional. That’s the part that is wrong in my opinion. In all cases when you click the Connect or Friend button you should have to send a message that identifies how you know or don’t know the person and why you want to connect. Good business etiquette would prompt you to do that. Unfortunately, Facebook removed the feature that allows a message be sent with a friend request and LinkedIn has many places where you can click connect and it shoots off the request without letting you have the opportunity to add a message. Do your best to make social media personal.
Note: It says optional. It should not be optional and it should not allow you to send the generic message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Of course you would, that’s why you are sending me a request. What I would like to know is who you are and what is inspiring you to connect with me.
Be sure to let the person know what you have in common, why you are connecting and what you want from that connection. If you are connecting with them simply to send them sales messages as soon as they accept, don’t do it. If you are connecting to determine if they are a prospect, then build the relationship first, add value by sharing great content and at the point where you determine that they may have a need, you can schedule an appointment but don’t spam them with sales messages on LinkedIn.
Be careful when using the LinkedIn app for tablet or smartphone. It isn’t obvious but you can send a message with your connection request . Be sure to start on the person’s profile by clicking “view profile.” Then look in the upper right-hand corner for three dots. When you click the dots you will be given 5 choices and one of the is “Personalize Invite.” Click that and it allows you to write a message.
The idea is to build relationships you can leverage not have hundreds of connections to people you don’t know. That means that once you have connected, you have to find things in common, converse, share and be helpful. These are the things that develop trust and get people to like you. Then they will help you, when asked.
It’s easy to run into people online, in fact it takes a lot less time than it would in-person. You can have quality interactions that can lead to collaborations, referrals and yes, sales. One of my favorite tools to help me network online is Nimble. It directs all of your social media to one spot and makes it very easy to meet new people, find things in common and stay in touch.
There is more to it. Take the time to send a note about who you are and why the connection will be beneficial. Then spend time building the relationship by running into them online and adding value by sharing useful information and making introductions. It’s easy and efficient and it works.
Alice has been a member of PSN for many years and is currently PSN's Immediate Past President. You can network with Alice & a room full of talented individuals at our next networking event!