How do I maximize potential leads without being that "pushy sales guy"?
I am a professional drone operator and have just started my own business that provides aerial survey and inspection services. We have approached a lot of organizations about the potential benefits we can bring to their company (cost, speed, efficiency etc...). I don't want to be that 'pushy sales guy'. I think our services should speak for themselves. Although with this being a new industry, it's hard to get people to 'take the plunge'.
How can I best follow up initial introductions in order to build relationships?
I believe it is all about the image you are trying to portray. Generally consumer doesn’t appreciate salespeople, let alone pushy ones. However, everyone likes free consultation, which is a less bumpy road to making a sale. I have been training and managing salespeople in real estate for over a decade and one thing I have always believe in is: “Once you start selling, you’ve lost the sale.”
As you mentioned, your industry is new and businesses are not yet familiar with your industry and how to utilize your services. Having said that, I think it would be a good idea to approach real estate companies. You could also approach companies that do virtual tour or floor plan for real estate companies and their agents for the properties they have listed and offer them demonstration and consultation. You also could start by contacting sales managers at real estate offices to have a training seminar for their agents and so forth. I used this particular industry but I am sure there are many other industries beside surveyors and real estate that can use your services as the Consultant and Operator of Drones.
I hope this helps and good luck with the new venture. I wish you the best, Mitra
Get the next expsoure whether its in person or over the phone. Getting a date of follow up is crucial. They will rarely set an appointment or follow up on their own.
I've taken it a step further and have every appointment whether personal or professional set thru the gmail calender. When you add an event to your calender, add their email to "participants" and they will recieve an email of the appointment. I also add reminders of atleast an hour before and a day before depending on how far out the appointment is. This gives them multiple opportunities to let you know if something came up. If those appointments get canceled, I repeat the process.
Hi Stuart, I believe the question is not if you should be pushing for a sale, but when. Asking for a meeting to introduce your company and products/ services is not pushing for a sale. This is simply the beginning of the sales process and is in no way intrusive.
As a start-up it is your responsibility to grow your business, like anybody else it's their responsibility to grow theirs. So, in no way are you pushing for a sale if you follow up on leads that you developed.
A follow up can be done by phone or email although I would never follow up on an email or letter that you've sent by sending another email. Asking if the prospect received your email is normal business procedure and should be done on a regular basis.
The best follow up structure is the following:
Take as a base line that you've sent a promotional email directly to your target audience (meaning for example to the CEO of a company or their HR Director or whoever your target within a company would be).
1. Find out who your target audience is (by name, position, contact details, direct email and telephone number)
2. Send your promotional email or letter (I personally prefer sending out letters as with the growing side of social media and email marketing you'd want to stand out)
3. Give the prospect a few days to read through your email and maybe even respond to it.
4. If after 2 days (email marketing), 4 days letter marketing, you haven't received a reply or phone call back, simply give them a call and ask if they received your email and if they have any questions.
5. Depending on the answer they might have received it and you can take it from there. If they haven't received it, ask if it's ok to send it again, confirm email address and follow up again within a day. (the email may have landed in their spam folder)
6. If they received the email but haven't reviewed it yet, you could simply do 2 things:
A) You could quickly go through the content and ask for a meeting
B) You could simply just give him another day or 2 and follow up again. Always ask if you chose option B if that would be ok and when he/ she would be able to go through the email.
7. Always, at this stage ask for a 1 to 1 meeting with the client.
8. After the meeting send a thank you note by email.
9. Follow up depending on what you agreed during the meeting with another phone call or email (depending on your own preference).
10. If you send an email, make sure (you guessed it right) to follow up with a phone call. (if you followed up on stage 9 with a phone call, send an email simply asking if he/ she has any further questions).
11. Arrange a second meeting (this could happen at any stage after the first meeting, so please don't take everything I say here 100% as accurate. This may never happen or it may happen in different ways/ stages).
12. If you haven't asked for the sale during the second meeting (depending on your own sales process) make sure you ask at this stage if they would like to go ahead. You should be already in the offer/ proposal stage by now.
As I mentioned before, this 12 steps might not happen exactly this way or might not happen at all. This is only a suggestion and even the order might be different depending on your own sales and marketing strategy.
Having said all that, I think one of the most important aspects for you to consider is that there is no such thing as pushing for a sale. Sales it's not about pushing a customer, it's all about providing the right information at the right time and understanding and listening to your customer. In sales, timing is everything and it is a skill that needs to be learned.
The same counts for asking for the sale. If you believe that your product and service should sell by itself because it's amazingly awesome, think again. Any product or service unless it's been in the market for years or you have a multi-million GBP budget that you can spend on brand awareness and advertisement, needs to be sold. People need to be aware of what you offer, the benefits of the same and why they should deal with you. In the end it's not necessarily about the product you offer, it's about you.
What do YOU bring to the table and why your prospect should talk/ listen and buy from YOU. What's in it for them.
There is another issue here that I would like to point out:
When you believe that asking for a sale is pushy, the same as asking for referrals or asking for a meeting then you might suffer from something that we would call Inhibited Social Contact Initiation Syndrome (or the fear of self-promotion).
It's easy to diagnose especially when you have sales meetings and you feel you shouldn't ask for a sale (and if you did, you would start stuttering, get sweaty palms, trying to avoid pricing questions etc.).
Also when it comes to use the telephone for prospecting activities such as asking potential customers if they received your email/ letter/ brochure etc. If you feel that you are trying to avoid those tasks, always find something else to do which you believe is more important or requires your immediate attention, then you definitely suffer from this fear. It's a sales related fear and if you research it, you will find it is as real as it gets. Look for Sales Call Reluctance or the fear of self-promotion. My initial thought on this topic would be that you have something that is called Yielder syndrome combined with Telephobia. Yielders are people who don't like pushing for a sale, don't ask closing questions and have the believe that their product and services should sell itself. They also take it personally if somebody would point out that they are a bit pushy and would take it really to heart. Symptoms (as already mentioned) include, higher raised heartbeat, sweaty palms, stomach cramps, migraines or instant headaches, some people even would call in sick if they have to prospect on a specific day.
Telephobia is similar and usually found with Yielder syndrome. This is when you have a problem picking up the phone for prospecting purposes (not only related to cold calling but to any type of prospecting and selling that will be done over the phone such as appointment setting, meeting confirmations, arranging a meeting, cold calling and direct telephone sales).
Both are easy enough to treat and you could use different ways depending on what would work for you.
Treatments include thought zapping, sensory injection (visual or smell/ taste).
Zapping is quite easy: Take a rubber band, put it around your left wrist and when you get ready to prospect, every time you have a negative thought or something that would keep you away from the prospecting activity, zap yourself from the top (never from the bottom due to arteries and nerves going through the lower wrist). Once you zapped yourself, replace the negative thought immediately with a positive one something that makes you happy (could be your family, children, a pet anything really that gives you a warm feeling.
If you notice after a week that the number of zaps don't decrease, stop immediately and use sensory injection. Again, very simple, take a scent that reminds you of something great/ wonderful and gives you happy feelings. Some people love cinnamon as it reminds them of Christmas. Other people love stronger scents or smells. This is a personal preference. Every time you have a negative thought, again, use the scent and go to your "happy" place.
One of those should definitely work and help you overcome this fear.
I know a very long read, but I hope you found it useful. If you have any questions especially on the last bit, please do not hesitate to contact me directly and I can go through this in more detail with you.
All the best with your new venture.
Greetings from Ireland
Having a natural extrovert creative go getter person in sales team.consult graphologist for ensuring these personality traits in person.
I do not know your industry or product but I do understand new gimmicks or services is always hard to sell.
Look at your pricing structure you have and design in away that acts like a hook. For example provide a free summary survey or part of the survey. This allows them to take the first step (or as you say take the plunge) to then look further into your services.
I can say it is a common mistake for new businesses to rely on "services speaking for themselves" . You need to promote, promote & promote in away that is meaningful to your customers and not just a sales pitch
You want a potential client to know your company’s name before you call them. It’s more productive when they are familiar with your company and services before calling. You should send them information on your product in their industry and how it benefits them.
You can send them an email or letter in the mail of an “article” in their industry and how your product benefits their business in cost, speed, efficiency etc...(Highlight one-to-three sentences only showing the benefits of drone aerial survey and inspection services) Put a post-it on it and say I thought you would like this article. With your company name and number only.
Send a second email or better postal mail of information about your company and your expertise. Provide services offered, why choose your company and testimonials.
After you have provided four different kinds of communications to the potential client, you then contact them over the phone.
When someone recognizes your company name and remembers receiving quality material on how drones can benefit their business, it makes it much harder to say NO. The first no is always the hardest especially if they are familiar with you and your expertise.
Do you clearly understand the value proposition from the customer perspective?
Customers will not buy what you think they need but will buy what is actually of compelling benefit to them.
You can't be pushy enough to sell someone, something they don't need but you can loose them that way.
Suggest you search for the compelling reason. Have you aaked your clients to confirm what you perceive is of benefit to them? Have you asked them why they aren't purchasing your product?
Remember they define the value not you. All you can do is determine the price which is not the same thing.
When you truly care about the success of a potential customer, success will follow. Identify their problem and provide an accurate and obtainable solution. One of the most difficult sales to make is that done out of your area of expertise. That doesn't mean you shouldn't grow your professional knowledge, but do not try and be an expert in an area you are not. Hope this helps!
So, when would you be ready to reduce overall cost for a more efficient aerial survey and inspection, to [most wanted benefit - catch a thieve] the quickest way possible?
What your potential client would say to that, might give you some insight into why they they keep pushing.
Yes, it is always good to implement pulling strategy rather than pushing.
I think getting some real cases with the achieved benefits out of your value addede services and circulating them to good targeted potential leads will help to get their attentions.
It depends on your scope of work and what really matters to the second party as Jessica wrightly mentioned WIl-FM.
All the best.