The top rep at a client of mine has been on his patch for several years. I’m not sure exactly how long, but he talks of knowing customers for 17 years. As a reward for successful service, he’s just been given a new role. It’s what the Yanks might call ‘Sales Ops’. This is where a top performing seller takes a year or so’s sabbatical, can earn the same money (incentivised in different ways) and is charged with doing all those tasks and initiatives that neither the reps, sales management nor sales support get time to do, yet which all agree are vital for sustained results.
His responsibilities for the next Quarter are threefold; providing dedicated sales input into the product development process, genuine coaching call accompaniment with the reps and fostering a telesales process that works.
It is in this latter area he’s most fired up. It seems he’s spent a lot of time with the ‘team’ and found their life expectancy shockingly short. Even when they are superstars.
He’s now trying to change their calling mindset. And it’s this I found really interesting. His perspective is that you only get 3 pops at achieving what you want, whether it be earning an appointment or selling a low-value product straight off.
- After the first ‘pop’ it’s a given that’ll you get a ‘no’ straight away. This is where you pitch, give a benefit and ask for the action you want. “We’re alright for that”, “We’re covered by so-and-so already thanks”.
- The “I tell you what…” second ‘pop’ tries to deliver another benefit, hopefully bouncing off their initial pats fob off.
- Another ‘no’ and it’s your last chance. You’ve got to say something stunning to get the prospect to move their eyes away from the spreadsheet or whatever is in front of them when you called. My guy likes the ‘this is why you’d love it’ approach.
The key he reckons, is that if you draw a blank after these 3 pops, then simply state that you’ll email some further info, say goodbye, and make sure you phone again for your next 3 pops. And persistence pays.
The last time he put this into practice himself, he ran his own calling day. He began with a list of 120 names to sell a product for £211. He sold to 24 of them, gaining him commissionable revenue of over Five Grand. his argument was that none of the other reps did this. They thought it beneath them as they were road warriors. Yet if he did only one such campaign a quarter, the extra 20k sold make could make a huge difference to his year-end figures.