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Effective Voice Mail Messaging

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Technology is grand! When I graduated from high school in 1965, answering machines didn’t exist. If you needed to talk with someone and they weren’t in or weren’t answering their phone, you just had to call back until you reached them. And when your phone rang, you had no caller ID. You had to answer the phone to find out who was calling. So now we have smart phones and caller ID and voice mail and texting and email right on our phones. It makes life much easier in some ways…and more difficult in others.

Businesspeople now-a-days use caller ID and voice mail to screen and make decisions about who they’ll talk with and who they’ll ignore. It’s actually become unusual for someone to answer a call the first time you try to contact them…they don’t know you yet. So you have to leave a voicemail. Here are some ways you can increase the chances that you’ll get a call back:

Make your message brief. There’s almost nothing worse than getting a long, rambling voice mail that tries to give you “the kitchen sink” about everything the caller wants to talk about. If you leave too much information, the person you’re calling, even if they’re not irritated by your message, may feel that they have enough information to decide they don’t want to talk to you…and you don’t get a call back!

Give your name and call back number at the beginning of the call and again at the end of the call. That way, if the person you’re calling doesn’t catch your number the first time through, they won’t have to replay the entire message to get your number. It’ll be right on the beginning of the message.

Keep your message YOU centered. Give them a reason to call you back, something that’s in it for them!

Use curiosity to raise the probability that you’ll get a return call. If you whet your prospect’s appetite, they’ll call more often than not.

So here’s a little sample of the type of calling script you could use. Of course, you’ll need to edit it to fit your situation!

“Hi! This is Hugh Liddle. (863) 402-0661. John, if you want to sell a lot more widgets, you can implement a couple of strategies that will absolutely accomplish that! Please give me a call back to find out what they are! Again, I’m Hugh Liddle, THE Sales Wizard at (863) 402-0661. Let’s chat!”

Here’s another example:

“Hi! This is Hugh Liddle. (863) 402-0661. Cindy, there are a couple of business questions that only you can answer. And the answers might just be the key to dramatically increasing your sales and income. Please give me a call back, and let’s have a brief chat! I’m Hugh Liddle, THE Sales Wizard at (863) 402-0661.”

Give it a try, folks! It works!!

Good selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable!

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Get in the “YOU” Habit!

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Most salespeople, more than likely you included, and even THE Sales Wizard now and then, have gotten into a very bad habit! When we’re sharing our value statements with our prospective clients, we say I, us, we, our and my instead of YOU. We’ve developed the habit over a lifetime of being exposed to sales and marketing that’s focused on “What I (or we) have available, or can do for you, or have achieved.” Just listen to all the elevator speeches at your networking group or go back and read some of the email marketing pieces you’ve received or listen to a bit of radio and TV advertising or read a few Linked In pages. Almost without fail, it’s all based on what the advertiser or marketer or salesperson or business owner has available. The problem with that is that our prospects just don’t care! They don’t want to know about us, they want to know what’s in it for them!

So instead of saying, “We (or I) can help you increase your sales and revenues!” instead say something like, “You can enjoy a massive increase in your sales and income by making some adjustments in your sales conversation.” What’s the difference? The first statement is about you, the second about them. So make it your habit to begin each of your value statements with something like, “You can have…you can enjoy…you can get…you can learn…you can be…you can do, etc.”

It takes some time and effort to form a good habit. It means a willingness to change. It means a new, better script. It means practicing and rehearsing. It means paying attention when you slip, accidentally, back into the old pattern, and correcting it in your very next sales conversation!

So if you’ll accept the challenge to become a YOU-focused salesperson, you’ll differentiate yourself from your competitors, more people will be inspired to buy from you, and YOUR sales and income will massively increase. See, THE Sales Wizard is learning to be YOU-focused too!!

Good selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable!

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That Dreaded Gatekeeper

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Many salespeople see “The Gatekeeper”, the receptionist or executive assistant that answers the phone or sits at the reception desk in many businesses, as being a dreaded adversary. I see an abundance of webinars and articles about defeating, getting past, getting around or overcoming the gatekeeper. Surely it’s only a matter of time and we’ll see a new course titled Crushing the Gatekeeper 101″.

Let me suggest that you make the gatekeeper your very best friend. He or she can be your greatest ally, the person who gets you to the person you need to talk with. She can even influence a decision-maker, at times, to talk with you. And she can keep your competitors at bay. Or she can be the greatest obstacle to your success. Actually it’s entirely up to you. It depends on how you treat the gatekeeper! Here are some suggestions for developing a friendship with your neighborhood gatekeeper:
Be truthful with the gatekeeper! He’s heard it all before…all the lies, and he knows all the tricks, and he doesn’t appreciate it!

Respect the gatekeeper! She has a job to do and is doing it to the best of her ability. She’s a person who is deserving of being well treated. Ask for her name and say her name as you’re talking with her.

Be polite to the gatekeeper! Someone mentioned on a webinar recently that he had seen a salesperson walk up to the receptionist and say, “Let me talk to Larry! (the decision maker). No how are you, please or thank you. I believe that, unfortunately, many gatekeepers receive that kind of treatment from salespeople all day long. No wonder the receptionist often isn’t very receptive. When calling on the phone or in person, say something like, “Hi! How’s your Thursday going? My name is Hugh and I sure hope you can help me please! I need to talk with the person who handles your training programs. Who would be the best person for me to talk with?” The receptionist’s job IS to protect the time of the decision makers she works for…and it’s also her job to help callers connect with the proper person in the company when they call. The gatekeeper will send you to the right people IF you ask and are polite.

Express your appreciation to the gatekeeper! Thank her for helping you before she transfers your call. Even if she’s not able to put you through to the person you’re trying to reach, thank her for her courtesy. You send thank you notes to the decision makers you talk with. What if you sent a thank you note to the gatekeeper? Would you get a different kind of reception next time you called?

Your “cold calls” on businesses don’t need to be cold. You can make them as warm as you want to . It really is all up to you!

Good selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable!

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Essential Leadership Skills for Sales Success

Guest Post by Marian Rothschild, AICI FLCMarianCircleImage

You know your product or service inside and out. You believe in its benefits and you’re willing to dedicate valuable time, energy and skills to increase your company’s bottom line. You want to get ahead!

But how do you project trustworthiness, respect, confidence, and leadership qualities to keep the customer’s interest from first impressions to the deal-closing handshake?

Here are my twelve powerful points to manifest leadership qualities for sales success.

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1) Present yourself confidently, as if you have just made the sale of the century. If you are strong, intuitive and smart, don’t project weak, clueless and uneducated, or that’s how you will be perceived. Express a positive attitude and poise under pressure.
2) Embody your value and your potential for success in posture, voice and all online communication. Communicate clearly with everyone in person, on the phone and online. Ask for confirmation of receipt and understanding. Use positive language and clear vocal tone. If you sound immature, soft-spoken and low energy, you will be perceived as such.
3) Always have a clear, positive answer when you are asked “How ya’ doin’?” and “What’s new?” Influential leaders do not respond with “Not much” or “Nothing.”
4) Be aware of your body language: foot jiggling, leg shaking, hand wringing, gum chewing, playing with hair and other self-grooming are all signs of insecurity and will be perceived as weak.
5) Use elements of wardrobe to your advantage. Know what are your most flattering colors, shapes, wardrobe pieces, and how to use them to project an image with intention. Quality and fit must be impeccable for all business formal and business casual apparel. Do not wear anything distracting like ill-fitting or provocative clothing, loud colors and patterns, or noisy accessories. These will detract from others seeing a polished presence and understanding your message.
6) Ask questions and listen intently to your customers’ answers. Never presume you know their pain. Let them speak at length and explain their predicament thoroughly and in depth. If you are on the phone, take notes. Present a vision of understanding and help your client see that your product or service is the solution to their problem.

shutterstock_944649347) Read your client’s facial expression, tone of voice and body language to know what they are feeling. Be sensitive to their emotional state and adjust your plan accordingly. When in doubt, listen and acknowledge their concerns.
8) Do not belittle anyone, including your competition. Your disparaging remarks can kill a sale and ruin your reputation.
9) Pay particular attention to your posture at all times. Whether sitting, standing or walking, your spine should be straight, not caved in, shoulders down and rolled toward your back, not drooped forward. If you stand, sit, or walk with slouching shoulders, you could be perceived as low energy, negative, or apathetic. Good posture and a closed mouth (when not speaking) gives the impression of attention, intelligence and interest.
10) Confident leaders have a firm handshake – both men and women. Use your entire hand to shake, not just the fingers. Make it firm, but not bone-crushing. If you tend to have sweaty palms, keep a handkerchief in your pocket. Just prior to an introduction, inconspicuously wipe your right hand on the handkerchief inside your pocket. Look the person in the eye as introductions are made.
11) Ask for feedback on your image from others whose opinion you trust. Observe people who have amazing leadership qualities and great sales skills. What is it about them that stands out? Watch, learn and practice those skills. Video record yourself speaking or making a presentation as part of the preparation process. Play it back, take notes and adjust accordingly.
12) Bring your leadership skills with you into every situation, event and interaction. Be sensitive. Be genuine. And be confident that you are exactly the right person doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.

Marian Rothschild is a certified personal image consultant in Denver, Colorado, speaker and bestselling author. Her book, Look Good Now and Always: a do-it-yourself style makeover for busy women is available on Amazon.com. Marian helps men and women transform their personal brand into a confidant, authentic expression of polished presence for stellar success. CLICK HERE to find out about a Virtual Consultation via Skype and sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

Note from THE Sales Wizard: Marian is an absolute genius at helping clients present the image that exudes success, confidence and self esteem, which draws people to you and helps them feel comfortable making the decision to do business with you. Check out Marian’s website, subscribe to her blog, arrange a consult with her and put her advice into practice. Take massive action NOW and succeed!!

Good selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable!

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A True Wizard’s Tale

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This is a video version of a Facebook post I did last week. There are a few differences…and Toby gets his 2 cents worth in too!!

If you’d like to learn the secret to THE Sales Wizard’s weight loss CLICK HERE to make an appointment to chat with him!

Good Selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable!

Social Media Is Killing Your Business!

Liz Wendling
Guest Blog by Liz Wendling

Social media and marketing gets them interested in you.
Sales skills get them to buy from you.

Smart and savvy business owners use social media to attract new customers and increase traffic to their business. It can be one of the best tools to connect with customers in innovative ways and they’re doing it ever increasing precision.

Unfortunately, they’re having difficulty converting interested customers into paying customers. Customers are showing up, but they can close the sale.
Social media does not close sales. It’s not a magic bullet for increasing sales. Having leads is wonderful, but if you can’t convert these leads into sales, you’re wasting your time, money and energy.

The problem begins when business owners are missing the skill that will effectively convert those customers from a lead to a closed business transaction. The missing piece is sales skills. When the critical skill of sales is left out of the social media equation businesses fail miserably.

All the social media in the world won’t work if you can’t get people to say yes to your offer through a closed sale. Sales are what keep a business in business.

The business owners who call me finally see the gaping hole in their marketing and social media efforts. Website traffic is up, phone is ringing and people are raising their hand to buy. But sales are not increasing. Unfortunately their new ways of reaching customers is working but their old ways of selling to those customers are yielding dreadful results.

They believe that increasing their presence and casting a wide net will be the magic bullet to close sales. They quickly realize that without the skills to effectively get someone to say yes, they will keep hearing “I need to think about it” or “I have no money.”

It’s not uncommon for business owners to waste a lot of money on social media and not one penny on what the bottom line needs. Sales! They put the cart before the horse. They fool themselves into believing their employees or they don’t need to know how to sell.

Remember: Social media and marketing gets them interested in you. Sales skills get them to buy from you.

Note from THE Sales Wizard: My good buddy, Liz, is a fabulous business and sales coach from the Denver area. You can learn some awesome sales skills from her that will help you make the most of the time and effort you’re putting into making connections on social media. You can CLICK HERE to get more information about Liz’s services. Liz will also be our very special guest on the Sales Chalk Talk radio program on Tuesday night, September 8th at 8:00 PM EDT. Be sure to tune in at http://bit.ly/SalesChalkTalk, listen to Liz and learn how YOU can be a better sales professional!

Good Selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable!

When You’re Afraid of the Answer…
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Hugh and Toby explore the odd phenomenon of business people who don’t read, watch DVD’s, listen to webinars or radio shows or consult with coaches because they’re afraid of the information they’ll get or the answers they’ll receive.

Good Selling,
Hugh
THE Sales Wizard at
Red Cap Sales Coaching
You can learn to make selling easy, fun and profitable
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