The Filling The Funnel Blog
By John Barrows
By John Barrows
It happened again. I got lazy, didn’t pay attention to the details, and found myself in the “friend zone.” This week’s tip is about something small and easy to overlook, though it makes a big difference. It’s the “call to action.” READ MORE
I joined my first start-up, Thrive Networks, at twenty-four years old with some friends. My job was to run sales. I was young and inexperienced so I took every sales training I could: Sandler, Miller Heiman, TAS, SPIN, etc. Eventually I came across a company called Basho. I was excited about their training because it was very tactical and execution oriented. It wasn’t about a big long process to follow or about a theory that I had to apply to my daily life. I used the training to help grow Thrive to the point where it acquired by Staples. After that, I joined Basho as a Senior Trainer and from there I went off on my own. READ MORE
Think about all the products, technology and services you use. I bet you only use about 20% of whatever they’re capable of. Take Excel for instance. Excel is an insanely powerful tool yet most people just put a few numbers in the fields and click the “sum” equation to add them up. The same is true for what and how people buy. My experience is that customers only care about 20% of what our solutions offer and mainly only want the parts that align directly with their priorities. If that is the case, why not focus our selling efforts on that 20%? READ MORE
Do you know the biggest sin in sales? It’s not to lose a deal. It’s to take too long to lose a deal.
You know the ones: they sit in our pipeline or forecast as the 20 percenters and get pushed out month over month over month because we’re “saying there’s a chance.” We, like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber (video included for your viewing pleasure below), are the eternal optimists in Sales. We always think there’s a chance and so we hold on to dead deals forever, even when a client hasn’t responded to 15 e-mails and 20 calls to “touch base” and “check in.”
There are three types of contact strategies in my experience: 1) Tailored: where you do research on a specific person or company and then craft multiple, relevant, and direct messages, 2) Targeted: where you segment contacts based on similar characteristics and develop messages that focus on their broad priorities or challenges, and 3) Templated: where you create various, self-serving templates about your great solution and then blast messages out to everyone on a list.
Recently, I ended up on call list. Now I am getting calls from sales reps who work at the same type of company and who sell the same type of service. The calls don’t bother me. I completely get the game. It doesn’t even upset me that they all use the same approach and say the same thing. (Though I do wish they were a little more creative.) The main thing that gets to me is how everyone seems to start the conversation by saying, “Hi John, How are you doing today?” READ MORE