Prospecting for new Clients!

February 25th, 2013

As you know, in Staffing and other industries, prospecting must come to occupy a primary place on your sales reps’ to-do lists if they’re to be successful. Here are nine techniques to pass along that’ll bring in a steady stream of qualified prospects.

  1. Make a commitment to being prospect-driven. Chances are some of your salespeople only take prospecting seriously during periods when sales are down. It’s then soon forgotten once the orders begin coming in. The goal must be to focus on uncovering prospective customers year round.
  2. Focus on finding the right prospects. Prospects must come before prospecting. It’s easy for salespeople to spend a lot of time chasing would-be prospects who have no interest in what they’re selling. The key is spending time determining exactly who fits the profile of your best customers and building a prospect list around that profile.
  3. Cultivate continuously. A major mistake is making prospecting an event, rather than a process. Prospecting is not an impulsive quick fix. It involves more than making a call and, if there’s a negative response, crossing the name off the list. The purpose of continuous cultivation is to build a relationship with a prospect, something some salespeople find difficult when the initial contact is negative.
  4. Look at former customers. Many former customers may be ready to buy again or try a new product or service. Try to mix in former customers when you’re planning your prospecting calls. Former customers may also be an invaluable source of new leads.
  5. Recognize resistance to change. Prospects have a natural resistance to change. They follow the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it philosophy,” which makes it difficult to open new accounts. When prospects raise objections, listen carefully. Ask for clarification. By asking the prospect to go into more detail about the objection, you’ll be in a better position to overcome it.
  6. Give prospecting the same priority as meetings with important customers. Salespeople who don’t call on qualified prospects in their territories are leaving the door open for competitors to do so. Once competitors get an opening with prospects in your territory and start making inroads, they may start converting your long-term customers, too.
  7. Take a close look at the competition. Are your competitors failing in areas that may be your strengths? Have there been any changes in your competitors’ staff or product line that may give you an opportunity? Companies in transition provide a great opportunity for salespeople who act quickly and creatively.
  8. Resist hitting a comfort level. Some salespeople become content with their lifestyle. They hit their own glass ceiling, calling on favorite customers and looking for an acceptable amount of new business — but not too hard. The entrepreneurial salesperson is never satisfied, always thinking and trying to grow and improve business.
  9. Try to learn what the prospect does and his or her objectives. Who are the customers and competitors? Get information with web searches, annual reports, people who work at the prospect’s company and press releases.

Source: John R. Graham, President, Graham & Associates, Quincy, MA.

 For more information or a complimentary confidential discussion on any Staffing M & A subject, contact: Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

 We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com.

Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions. Visit our website for more articles and information at:    www.racohenconsulting.com

15 Barriers to Sales Success

October 22nd, 2012

Don’t let these barriers hinder your Growth!

Sales managers, consultants and trainers were asked to list the worst mistakes new salespeople make. Here are the top 15 responses:

  1. Talking too much and not listening enough.
  2. Failure to ask good questions or phrasing them improperly.
  3. Trying to sell products or services while customers look for solutions.
  4. Confusing prospects and customers with too much information.
  5. Poor after-sales service.
  6. Failure to try to regain lost business.
  7. Reluctance to sell against established relationships.
  8. Failure to respond properly to customer complaints.
  9. Failure to convert first-time buyers into long-term customers.
  10. Failure to get more business from existing customers.
  11. Setting goals too high or too low, or improperly trying to attain them.
  12. Selling features and price rather than value and benefits.
  13. Exhibiting a poor attitude when calling on prospects and customers.
  14. Failure to build trust in prospects and customers.
  15. Not taking full advantage of selling time.

Source: Ted Barrows, a sales consultant based in Bristol, RI.

For more information on Staffing M & A or a complimentary confidential discussion, contact:

Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com.

Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions. Visit our website for more articles and information at: www.racohenconsulting.com

Time Management

August 20th, 2012

When you draw up to-do lists, set schedules, make appointments, and so forth, chances are you may be wasting your time. So why even try?

Can any of us really manage time or can we at least keep time from managing us?

Turns out there is a mathematical law called the Pareto Principle* which says that (in most situations) 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

The most famous example of this is the oft-repeated factoid that in sales groups 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the team.  (There are dozens of other examples, ranging from wealth distribution to damage from natural disasters.)

The Pareto Principle holds sway for most work efforts that aren’t purely rote.  Most people obtain 80% of their actual results from 20% of their actual effort.  If you really think about it, isn’t this true for you? It’s certainly true for me.

Rethink Your ‘To Do’ List

Unfortunately, most time management involves “to do” lists, which tend to treat the 20% of your work that really matters as equal to the 80% of things that don’t.  Having a simple list of things to do almost forces you to waste time doing stuff that doesn’t really count.

That’s true even if you prioritize according to importance. Plenty of important things take so much effort that, in the end, they’re not worth actually doing.

Here’s how to use the Pareto Principle to manage your time more effectively.

When you make a “to do” list, prioritize each item by the amount of effort required (1 to 10, with 1 being the least amount of effort) and the potential positive results (1 to 10, with 10 being the highest impact.)

Create a New Ranking

Now divide the potential results by the amount of effort to get a “priority” ranking.  Do the items with the lowest resulting priority number first.  Here’s a simple example:

  • Task 1: Write report on trip meeting.
    Effort=10, Result=2, Priority=5
  • Task 2: Prepare presentation for marketing.
    Effort=4, Result=4, Priority=1
  • Task 3: Call current customer about referral.
    Effort=1, Result=10, Priority=0.1

See your new priority-based order? You do Task 3 first; Task 2 second, and Task 1 last–if at all.

This simple method ensures that the 20% of your effort that really makes a difference always gets done first.  As for the 80% that doesn’t really matter, it’s automatically postponed, and possibly tabled forever.

I know this all sounds pretty simple; even simplistic, however it has helped lots of us focus on our highest earning activities instead of just being busy. 

  • Not to be confused with the Peter Principle that says many employees will be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

For more information on Staffing M & A or a complimentary confidential discussion, contact:

 Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

 We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com.

 Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions.

Visit our website for more articles and information at: www.racohenconsulting.com

Avoiding Sales Failures-The most common causes of Sales failure and how to avoid them!

June 11th, 2012

The four the leading causes of failure in sales organizations are:

  1. Planning fall-off. Goals are so large and long-range that salespeople become frustrated in reaching them. It’s better to set realistic goals, with starting points, ending points and fixed durations.
  2. Attitude drop-off. Some salespeople go through periods when their level of caring falls off and complacency sets in. They forget that the prospects are the ones doing the buying. The solution is to know what customers expect and collaborate with them to meet or exceed those expectations.
  3. No longer listening. They fail to learn about the customer’s changing needs because they do most of the talking. Acknowledging what the customer has said and asking related questions is the best way to overcome this barrier.
  4. Burnout. This comes from repetition, boredom, a lack of challenges or not being excited about their work or a combination of all four. Energetic salespeople understand that they are much more likely to be rejected than accepted by a prospect. They accept rejection as part of the life of a salesperson and refuse to become tired or depressed. If the challenge to succeed is no longer there, maybe they need a career change.

Have the courage to fail

Salespeople who refuse to fall victim to rejection have the courage to fail. They recognize that rejection can transform failure into a powerful tool for success and help them develop the skills to find new prospects and turn them into customers.

 An old Sales Manager used to say “ every time you get a no, it brings you closer to a yes; he was a very wise man who would not be defeated.

Top salespeople understand that by avoiding failure, they’re missing new challenges and opportunities.

Credit for the article belongs to Ken Dooley of Sales/ Marketing Business Brief.

For more information or a complimentary confidential discussion, contact:

Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com.

Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 130 staffing industry transactions. Visit our website for more articles and information at:    www.racohenconsulting.com