Cold Calling is alive and kicking!

Let´s assume it: cold calling is alive and kicking! You may argue it is really difficult for luxury companies to get new clients through cold calling. Reality, however, proves quite the contrary.

So, what are the main reasons why this strategy is still used and will continue to be used for doing business in the future?

Cold calling has become:

A fantastic tool : Once you realize that more often than not clients love to be called and offered solutions and / or products on the phone, your possibilities to get new clients will go up very quickly.

A “voice-bridge” between your product /service and your client/ prospect: when you make cold calls, you can easily interact showing the right “voice-attitude” , so that the person who is listening on the other end may “feel” your pleasant words as you speak. This will autommatically generate a bridge between you and him /her, allowing for your speech continuity .

A “fun” resource : There is no need for you to be so serious when cold calling. I mean, you may perfectly respect your client /prospect when on line but at the same time offer him /her a “tone of your own grace” by saying something casual, or talking about a news event about the market, or whatever the phrase of your choice to lighten them up a bit.

From a professional point of view, cold calling is not only necessary but obligatory. This means you should at least have a couple of strategies on paper to start working with every week, as well as an action plan to follow up on those calls that need to be made again (either because the client was not present at the moment you called or because you left a voice mail and need to follow up if you did not get an answer)

Make your own movie: strategies for cold calling come in different versions but one I really love and recommend using is crafting your own scripts. I know there are many sales professionals that will hate me for saying this. However, I know scripts work so well because once I used to think exactly like the haters and then forced myself to go “the extra mile” and prepare my own scripts with phrases and assorted words that helped me enormously in my everyday work of enhancing my portfolio.

You can even record your voice once you have prepared your scripts and listen to yourself over and over, reading your scripts. You may even choose to change certain words for others much more suitable at the time of your rehearsal.

In order to be ready, you can always rely on your list of words and phrases I recommended you to craft in previous articles.

Their help is immense and so will be the feedback from your customers.

Once you start using cold calling, do not underestimate the power of voice mails. I know, I know…it is sooo stupid to talk to a machine! But, again, studies have shown that 60 % of the messages you leave on answering machines offering your customers / prospects to call you back because you have something really juicy to talk about is answered. Now this simply means that voice mails work, and that 6 out of 10 messages you leave will be answered. Do you know of an easiest tool to make new customers or make your existing clients part of a loyal portfolio?

As Wendy Weiss puts it: “ All sales professionals use scripts, not all sales professionals use good scripts” And I would add: “not all sales professionals use excellent scripts for cold calling.”

So, as everything else in the sales arena, you need to take action:

Craft your script, make a list of possible questions you would like to ask, write on another column a list of possible objections you might find, and finally what kind of responses you would like to say to overcome them with grace and courtesy.

Pick up the phone….differentiate from the rest, make that call, talk to your prospect using enchanting words and phrases, leave a message, send them a picture of the last exciting colorful collection piece and enjoy your brightness closing more sales every month while making your customers truly happy purchasing from You.

Mónica Arias – Excellence Consulting: Helping you discover how to reach your next level through excellence”

contacto@monicaarias.com.ar – Copyright Mónica Arias 2011

Three Keys to Selling Fine Jewelry

When it comes to offering true beauties such as fine jewelry, someone who is in the sales profession but not in this industry may think it relatively easy to succeed in closing deals. The truth is more often than not, even when the jewelry pieces are signed by renown designers or belong to famous traditional brands, deals are not that easy to close.

Whether person to person or as a group, there is a tendency to trust mainly in the brand without taking into account we are dealing with people who are literally attracted by the luxury object. Either because they are really fascinated by it, they have seen it online, they love to purchase jewelry as an investment, want to have the “last” version of a collection, or simply because they just love jewelry.

This distinction of placing desire into the customer´s momentum helps salespeople identify what pieces we believe will make the “click” in their inner volition to purchase.

In order to understand this concept more clearly, if you own a jewelry store or you are a sales person in the jewelry market and you have been having difficulties in closing more sales lately, attracting more clients, or making your customers come back to you, it is necessary for you to stay open minded. Forget for a moment all you have learned so far, and get ready to apply these three keys that will help you close more deals.

Make your client your priority

Now, this may sound obvious, but be true to yourself and think for a moment: how many times have you really considered your client’s priority when in a sales process? Frankly, from my own experience, I just wanted to sell, partially because that is what I love to do, and partially because I focused the process in my expertise of making extraordinary demonstrations and being very good at closing, You know what I am talking about: we have the beautiful product many times backed by an excellent brand, we have learned to offer it by heart, we are experts in overcoming objections and we generally arrive to lovely deals. However, there are other times in which we know things did not go very well in the process. Something was missing, and we cannot understand what it was. Things gradually change when you make your customer your priority. You achieve this by taking advantage of some of the strategies I have used, such as: letting go of your objectives and eagerness to sell; going into the depths of the communication process you’ve established with the client; and using words of appreciation to show that it is the customer that you care the most about. It is in your true interest to you make the person feel fantastic about their purchase.

Prepare a list of special words and questions

If you have a list of words and questions that could help you describe your products more confidently and connect with your customers in a more natural way, you have a treasure-like tool that you will rely upon. It takes only ten minutes a day to craft the list and by the end of the month you should have a diary of strategic beautiful phrases, words and questions in order to study and use every time you are in the sales arena. Trust me, having this list handy is priceless because it can help you start a more meaningful, trustworthy relationship with your customers.

Stay in touch

Use your customer’s personal or professional information to stay in touch. It is your duty to continue to be present once they’ve left and returned to their hectic lives or have started to forget you. This is normal for all of us. We usually do not remember the salespeople we meet in a store, unless we have experienced such a great moment by purchasing something lovely from them. In any case, this may only last a couple of days.

Resort to your special list and, whether the customer purchased from you or not, do your job and ask for their information for future reference. If you find resistance, you could explain to them (using your list of words) that you wish to stay in touch even from a distance because you want them to be informed of the latest versions of the collection, new launches, and, most importantly, you would love to learn if you could be of future assistance because you value them the most.

More sales will follow once you have internalized these three keys as part of your performance and at the same time you will have set the foundations for providing excellent service.

Mónica Arias

Excellence Consultant: Helping you discover how to reach your next level through excellence.

contacto@monicaarias.com.ar

copyright Mónica M. Arias

Backstage

Backstage es una palabra de origen sajón que signfica “entre bambalinas”. Entre bambalinas, hay una corriente de actividades que, cuanto más cercano está el momento de la función teatral, más se acelera y se convierte en una especie de frenesí que contagia y se expande como un virus. Del backstage depende en gran parte que la función teatral sea un placer para los espectadores…o una pesadilla.

En el backstage se afina y verifica el sonido, se prueban las escenografías, se chequean las cortinas y los esqueletos donde se montan las luces, se prepara el artista en su camarín, se chocan las personas apuradas en los angostísimos pasillos, se ajustan mil detalles que luego se vuelven a ajustar por las dudas, se chequean otros tantos, porque es mejor que sobre y no que falte, en síntesis: se vive intensa y frenéticamente por un tiempo infinitamente mayor que el que dura una función. Y aunque los preparativos a veces impliquen una especie de locura colectiva momentánea, cuanto mejor se hayan realizado los ajustes, mucho más se disfrutará de la función, si además, de yapa, los actores hacen un papel memorable. Esto por supuesto es su contrario si no hubo un buen trabajo en el backstage. Y lo mismo pasa con la venta.

Elegí hacer esta analogía entre el backstage y la preparación del vendedor profesional, porque me ha pasado (y me animo a suponer que a Ustedes también) encontrarme en situaciones donde la persona que está “intentado” venderme algo, realmente no tiene la menor idea de lo que me está vendiendo, dejándome con una sensación de indescriptible desgano, y con mis ganas de comprar atragantadas. Y también me ha pasado lo contrario (y aquí va de nuevo mi suposición de que a Ustedes también): estoy frente a un vendedor muy conocedor de su producto o servicio, pero que no puede “bajarlo a la tierra” y vendérmelo, porque se pierde en tecnicismos y explicaciones que tienen más que ver con descifrar jeroglíficos que con mostrarme que realmente estoy frente a un profesional que hace lo que debe hacer para que yo use mi tarjeta de crédito y salga contenta con un nuevo producto en linda bolsa o caja con moño.

La preparación (backstage) en la venta es indispensable porque dispone al vendedor a recobrar el hilo conductor de su escencia como tal. Si se tomó el tiempo para prepararse bien, su tono comunicacional será más preciso, se sentirá más cómodo y relajado ante el cliente, tendrá un mejor efecto al realizar su exposición y hablar del producto o servicio, podrá rebatir objeciones con mayor seguridad y generará la confianza necesaria para lograr el objetivo de todo proceso de venta: el sí del cliente y la alegría para ambos.

Para prepararse, el vendedor tiene que hacer un trabajo entre bambalinas: conocer bien su producto, repasar los conceptos y pasos aprendidos que están integrados en el proceso comunicacional de venta, si el caso lo requiere conocer más sobre su cliente o prospecto, escribir (sí, leyeron bien) en un cuaderno o en la computadora, preguntas que se le pueden hacer al cliente o prospecto y las posibles respuestas que este puede dar en una situación dada, por ejemplo una descripción técnica que, dicha de manera más “entendible”, haga que el comprador sienta que tiene “sintonía” con el vendedor, o una posible objeción, y la forma en que podría rebatirse, etc.

Esta preparación previa es también lo que diferencia a los vendedores comunes de los excelentes vendedores. Y volvemos al tema que Ustedes ya saben que me encanta: la actitud. Cuanto más trabaje su propio estilo, y más preparado esté para vender, cuanta más curiosidad y espíritu investigador lo guíen, y mayor sea su afán por auto-superarse, tanto más hará una tarea que redundará en un mejor desempeño y extensión de su cartera de clientes.

Porque, creánme: la venta es como una función teatral: para lograr que los espectadores la disfruten, y que nuestro personaje brille, tenemos que saber cómo prepararnos en el backstage. Tenemos que saber cómo ajustar nuestra actitud, entre bambalinas.

copyright: Mónica M. Arias

monica-m-arias@hotmail.com

Follow monicamarias on Twitter