Category: B2B Sales Video


Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video

Sales lessons from an ass who got his butt kicked

 Sales lessons from an ass who got his butt kicked

The reason most b2b cold calls fail is because the prospective customer is a stranger to the salesperson, not because it’s the other way around.

This is because, when it comes to cold calling, all the salesperson has are his or her words and there’s no hiding behind words, as this Aesop’s fable illustrates:

An ass once found a Lion’s skin which the hunters had left out in the sun to dry. He put it on and went towards his native village. All fled at his approach, both men and animals, and he was a proud Ass that day. In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed, but then everyone knew him, and his owner came up and beat him for the fright he had caused. Shortly afterwards a fox came up to him and said: “Ah, I knew you by your voice”.

The Moral of the Tale

The moral is that we can disguise our intentions all we want, but we will be exposed by our words. Don’t pretend to be interested in your customer’s welfare if you are not. Researching your prospective customer thoroughly – in part to discover if you really can help them – demonstrates that in taking the time to learn about them, you really do care.

Know your Customer

  • If you know the customer you are calling, albeit they’re a complete stranger, you’ll know what they do and don’t need. So you won’t try to sell them something they have no use for.
  • If you know the customer you are calling, you will be in a better position to talk about them, not yourself – nobody likes listening to somebody talk themselves up e.g. great customer service, great support, and we guarantee… that’s talking about yourself.
  • If you know the customer you are calling, you will engage them faster with relevant questions that speak to the heart of their needs, wants and problems. If your customer is still a stranger, you’ll be forced to ask discovery questions which are all about fulfilling your need for information, not theirs.
  • If you know the customer you are calling, you’ll find it easier to build rapport because you’ll be in a better position to make conversation that’s interesting to your customer. For example, “I liked your LinkedIn post about…” or “I like the way you…” You’ll know what you have in common.”

Finally, with knowledge and information comes confidence, and confidence is hard to resist.

If you’re looking for a way to exponentially increase your cold calling success, click here to find out how a video can open doors for you.

 

 

Posted on / by Reuben Pillsbury / in B2B Sales Video

How do you build ‘liking’ and trust with b2b prospects almost from the first cold call?

How do you build ‘liking’ and trust with b2b prospects almost from the first cold call?

When Princess Diana died, the world wept. In the same way the passing of many celebrities, even people we may only have ‘known of’ – even vaguely — is met with at least some sadness. Even though we have never met these people, even the ones with a low profile, we feel like we’d known them. So what does this have to do with sales and cold calling?

Building Trust – Quick!

As B2B sales people, we’re required to build trust with our prospective customers in a very short space of time (most of us are familiar with the expression ‘people do business with people they know, like and trust’). The task, however, is particularly difficult if you’re cold calling.

Yet some people, who we’ve never met, can stimulate an emotional response from us. So, how do they manage to do this without any contact, and is there anything us salespeople can learn from it?

As it turns out, the celebrity or ‘vaguely knew of that person’ experience does have something to teach sales people about building trust — or an emotional bond ­– with our prospects. In fact, it offers us a potential shortcut.

The Emotional Bond

A university study, ‘The Role of Interpersonal Liking in Building Trust in Long-Term Channel Relationships’* suggests that “liking’ plays an important role in influencing the sale, more so than common interests and shared outlook. In fact, over a period of time, the emotional bond can become the driving force in the relationship and the nurturer of trust…,” the study said.

In essence, if somebody you’ve just met ‘likes’ you – an emotional response that comes down to a variety of unconscious motivators — you’re already well on your way to building a trust based bond that could lead to a sale. Which is what brings us back to the ‘Princess Diana’ phenomenon.

The Mere-Exposure effect

Called the mere-exposure effect, this psychological phenomenon causes people to like or prefer something or someone because they’re familiar with them. Sometimes called the familiarity principle, it suggests that the more a person is seen by someone – even in pictures of faces and video – the ‘more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be.

The Familiarity Principle in Cold Calling

Of course, that leaves the small problem of how to utilise the ‘familiarity principle’ in a cold calling scenario. Our answer (we admit we’re biased, but that doesn’t mean what we’re saying isn’t true), is to use video to break the ice before you make that call.

Delivering a bespoke video – in which you personally address your prospect – breaks down a ton of barriers (you’re not some faceless, insistent voice on the other side of the phone), and, we believe, activates the ‘familiarity principle’.

How you do that, is explained in our free eGuide: “Never Cold Call Again: How to get that First Appointment Using Video”.

 

 

*The ‘The Role of Interpersonal Liking in Building Trust in Long-Term Channel Relationships’ – by Carolyn Y. Nicholson, Stetson University and Larry D. Compeau and Rajesh Sethi, Clarkson University.

 

 

 

Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video, Kim

How to take the trauma out of cold calling and get awesome results

How to take the trauma out of cold calling and get awesome results

Your palms are wet and warm as blood, but it’s sweat. You can actually feel your heart jerking around in your chest like its developed a mind of its own and is trying to batter its way through your ribcage. Meanwhile, your stomach’s tied itself in knots and refuses to unwind. It’s cold calling time…

On a Sunday this January, at about 4.30pm, I got a call on my mobile from a woman who introduced herself as Gemma – she sounded like she was in her early twenties – who wanted to tell me about a limited, half price special on membership. I was not irritated or put out, because I had previously considered joining. Gemma had found somebody willing to listen to her (I also envied her sheer guts for making the call).

 Finding Better Ways to Cold Call

Perhaps she made 50 calls that afternoon and only achieved a handful of sales, but sales they were. People say that cold calling is dead. That it’s rude and disruptive, but cold calling will never be dead so long as you find willing customers at the end of the line. We just have to find ways to do it better, in a way that is not so intrusive to the customer and less stressful for the salesperson.

The strenuous objections of your nervous system aside, the reality is that nothing beats ‘cold contact’ for quick results, quick wins and immediate cash flow (particularly if you marketing department is terrible at generating leads – hands up anybody?).

Quick wins, especially when cash flow suddenly tightens up and things slow down, remain critical, as does connecting with companies you want to do business with but aren’t necessarily networked with.

You can’t rely on the Marketing Department

In an ideal world, a sales manager and sales person could rely on the marketing department and good networking to create a stream of leads, but let’s face it, they rarely do. A browse through job sites like Seek makes it very clear that even January 2017, companies want to hire sales people who are ready, able and willing to cold call.

In the consumer space, picking up the phone and calling strangers may be unavoidable. In the business to business space, it doesn’t have to be that way. A common approach today is to warm up the potential customer with an email, or two. Easy, but easy to ignore, delete or miss too.

 A Novel, Honest Approach

A bit of honesty, a short video and a novel delivery method will be so hard to ignore that potential b2b customers may actually pick up the phone before you do.

Wendy Evans, the author of How to Get Business in 90 Days and Keep It, couriers a basket of fruit with a free copy of her book to the potential customer ahead of picking up the phone. Not everybody has a book, but everybody can produce a smart, authentic video – with a dash of humour – and deliver it straight to the reception of your high value prospect with some clever, but cheap and disposable technology.

One company I have heard of, will courier an iPad in a nice box to the potential customer. The iPad plays a video in which the salesperson addresses the potential customer by name. At the end of the short video, staff humorously debate how they they’re going to ask the potential customer – again referred to by name (it is easier and cheaper than you think) – for their iPad back.

But you don’t have to use an iPad. At Real-TV we offer the option of using a disposable, cheap video booklet made out of cardboard (details on exactly how to do it can be found in our free eGuide, ‘Never Cold Call Again, How to Get That First Appointment Using Video’.

The point is this. The telephone is not the only cold calling tool available. Technology driven tools like social media, camera phones, content marketing blogs and landing pages, have – some would argue – eclipsed cold calling, but those approaches take time.

Cold calling is still the shortest distance between two points. It’s time to use some of that technology to change the way you do cold calling.

Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video

What a Business Failure from 1846 can teach us about Sales Today in 2017

What a business failure from 1846 can teach us about sales today in 2017

Would it surprise you to discover that the man behind one of the greatest inventions of the modern era – the sewing machine – almost died a pauper? If anybody epitomises the truth that building a better mouse trap doesn’t necessarily mean the world will beat a path to your door, it was Elias Howe.

When Elias Howe patented the first practical sewing machine in 1846, the women of the day laughed at him. “What,” they wanted to know, “would we do with all the extra time your machine will give us?”

Great Product, Lousy Seller

As business people, we’re always striving to be innovative; to be the first to deliver a bigger, newer and better offering to the market ahead of the competition. Elias Howe’s sewing machine was all of these things, but without the ability to sell, he was nothing.

Elias Howe lived his life in borrowed suits, little knowing that one-day his machine would be instrumental in making the very suits he could not afford.

Poor Bugger. Should’a used Video!

At one stage, he left Massachusetts to travel to England because his brother in-law appeared to have found an opportunity to sell his machine there, but it was all for nothing and Elias return to the United States stone cold broke. His wife was at death’s door.

However, it turns out that a certain ‘Singer’ (recognise the brand name?) was making good money with the same lockstitch technology Howe had patented. Singer could sell, Howe couldn’t – fortunately for him, the courts agreed and after considerable litigation he went on to earn considerable royalties for his invention from the likes of Singer.

He also invented the zipper, having patented an ‘Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure’, but burned by his experience with the sewing machine he never tried to sell the technology.

The moral of the story is that nothing sells itself, but in a world where good sales practises that achieve quick results – like cold calling – are difficult, to say the least, sales people can be forgiven for thinking that cold calling is dead.

A great new tool for selling? Yep.

But it needn’t be. The very technology that some would say is supplanting the b2b salesperson can be turned to the salesperson’s advantage. For example, what if we told you that a short, authentic video delivered to your potential customer’s reception warms the way for that phone call like no other could?

A good video that gets your prospective customer’s attention and makes them receptive to your call should match these criteria:

  1. Short
  2. Authentic, with perhaps a touch of humour
  3. Personal
  4. Makes use of a cheap delivery mechanism, like cardboard video players
  5. Sets the scene for your follow-up

For more information on exactly how to do that, read our free eGuide “Never cold call again: How to get that 1st b2b appointment using video” here.

 

 

 

 

Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video

Silk ropes and velvet: How to make cold calls work better

Silk ropes and velvet: How to make cold calls work better

Strolling through the mall in Glenfield, Auckland, one day, I came across a peculiar sight. A roped off area – complete with gold pillars and velvet rope – and a growing queue of shoppers was waiting to get into a jewellery store. What the shoppers didn’t know, was that they were responding to ‘busy doctor syndrome’ – the bane of cold callers the world over (more on this in a moment).

Busy Doctor Syndrome

‘Busy doctor syndrome’  – as Bob Bly calls it -refers to the inclination of people to patronise a busy doctor rather than one who is not busy – the same applies to restaurants and others retail businesses. When many people are patronising a business, they are offering social proof that whatever is on offer is good. Nightclubs still use this tactic.

As for the jewellery store, they had papered over their windows and were allowing shoppers in one at a time, thereby creating a demand by limiting access to their products. The real clincher though was the growing queue. My neighbour Gary (yes he is real), who was in the queue, told me he hadn’t been planning to buy any jewellery, but the numbers of people waiting to get in said that they must be offering something good.

The Problem with Cold Calling

Why is this relevant to cold calling? Because, by the very act of cold calling, we are saying that what we have to offer is not that good. We are having to go to our customers instead of them coming to us – in other words, no queues say something about the product or service.

We know that this isn’t true in b2b sales, but this psychological imperative will still influence the customer’s reaction – it is a deep rooted psychological script written into our subconscious.

Change the Picture

The way to overcome this is to hide the fact that you’re making a cold call with the equivalent of a velvet rope and papered-over windows. In essence, change the picture.

In an earlier blog, we spoke about how Wendy Evans, the author of How to Get Business in 90 Days and Keep It, couriers a basket of fruit with a free copy of her book to the potential customer ahead of picking up the phone.

This is a cold call, but the fruit and the book give it the appearance of something else. Suddenly your cold call becomes ‘an introduction’. It may seem like semantics, but perception is everything.

Using Video as an Introduction

Another method is to use a short authentic video (using a low cost disposable video card) – together with a dash of humour – to introduce your business. Again, your customer will see and hear you addressing him or her directly, and personally.

For more information on how to make your cold calling more effective by presenting yourself in a different way, read our free eGuide, ‘Never Cold Call Again, How to Get That First Appointment Using Video’.

 

Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video

How to unleash the power of a smile during a b2b cold call

Smiles Boost Sales

Smiles boost sales and smiles increase the likelihood of getting the appointment. But what if you don’t like to smile because you feel it’s inauthentic, you don’t feel like it, or you’re nervous?

A few years ago there was an advertising campaign based on the infectiousness of smiles. We see a stranger walking down the street smiling, and we can’t help but smile ourselves. If you’ve ever had to cold call a prospect – even one warmed up with an email – you’ll know they’re hardly likely to be smiling when they take your call. Putting a smile on your prospect’s face, though, takes your chances of securing that appointment from about 20% to 85%.

Smiles are effective because;

1. They’re universal across all cultures. Everybody smiles, and in the diversity of New Zealand, that’s important and

2. smiles trigger a hormonal, physiological effect that breaks down barriers.

Dr Adrian Furnham writes in Psychology Today, “Thus in sales, hospitality and negotiation situations the person who first smiles increases the possibility of the other person(s) smiling which increased trust and liking and therefore “co-operation” and helpfulness. Smiling helps bond people together.

“There is also physiological evidence that smiling has specific biological consequence. This is even truer of laughter and is evidence of a feedback loop. Smiling has hormonal and physiological consequences which make us feel better and want to smile more. Smiling self-medicates and heals,” he says.

Auckland-based sales trainer Bill James says, “One of the best ways to introduce a smile into your sales contact is to be human and honest about your intentions… use lines like ‘I’m unashamedly waving my flag in your direction today’.” http://www.3piecesales.com/Blog.aspx

Finally, smile when you make contact with a prospect over the phone – even if you don’t feel like it, try it because it is surprisingly effective. Smiles, like yawns, are massively infectious – even fake ones. What response from a prospect do you prefer? A yawn or a smile?

For another smart way to introduce a smile and humour into getting that first appointment using a low-cost video technique, read our free eGuide “Never cold call again: How to get that 1st b2b appointment using video” here.

 

Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video

Three steps to unleashing the power of reciprocity to get the first b2b sales appointment.

Reciprocity can be wrong

Can reciprocity really pave the way to a first b2b sales appointment? Most sales offers that rely on reciprocity get it wrong, like offering a free carpet clean which is actually just a demo that ends in about two metres of clean carpet.

A free offer that’s really just a demo does not engage reciprocity because the sales person is putting his or her interests ahead of the client’s, that anybody with half a brain is going to smell a rat. The result is resentment and ill feeling.

A social rule

In social psychology, reciprocity is a social rule that says people should repay, in kind, what another person has provided for them; that is, people give back (reciprocate) the kind of treatment they have received from another.

When you make an offer, that is designed to achieve the first appointment on a b2b call, you must make it an exchange of genuine value. Real-TV’s free eGuide “Never cold call again: How to get that 1st b2b appointment using video” offers genuine value because it provides an inspirational and effective idea and technique for getting the first appointment – no strings attached.

To engage the power of reciprocity your offer should:

  1. Have no strings attached
  2. Offer genuine value e.g. utility, education, information or inspiration e.g. a free report or gift (like they do at Tupperware parties where everybody gets a gift)
  3. Use your give-away to qualify your prospects e.g. Anybody would want an iPad, but only a genuine customer interested in a solution would want something associated with that solution e.g. a free report on their particular problem.

Gifts can be used to surprise and delight, such as the gift accompanying the basket of fruit discussed in the Real-TV guide which is available for you to download. But in that instance, the gift should be genuine, universal and part of the packaging.

For example, one sales coach we know delivers her book in a basket of fruit to reception.

For an incredibly effective way to get that first sales appointment get our free eGuide “Never cold call again: How to get that 1st b2b appointment using video” here.

Posted on / by admin / in B2B Sales Video

How to use a Barbie doll to get that 1st B2B sales appointment.

 

“Half a Barbie?!”

There’s a b2b sales person who sends her prospects a Barbie doll in a nice wooden, wine bottle box packed with straw. The only thing is, the Barbie doll is missing an arm and a leg. The accompanying note reads: “I would give an arm and a leg for 30 minutes of your time…” Does it work?

In the same note, she offers to give her prospect the missing arm and leg when they meet. Some people may dismiss this as a gimmick, but it works. Gimmick or not, if it works – I’ll take it.

The Zeigarnik Effect

The reason it is so effective is that it is different, it’s humorous, and it triggers what they call in psychology the Zeigarnik Effect – the human tendency to want to complete things that were left incomplete.

The prospect may be a 48-year-old male who wants nothing to do with Barbie dolls, but that missing arm and leg… Her offer to ‘complete what is incomplete when they meet’ has a deep down psychological motivation to agree to the appointment so that what’s incomplete can be made whole again (no pun intended).

Be different

As sales people, our job is to get appointments with prospects. It’s a tough job, but by thinking outside the box – being different and using humour can make the process more pleasant for us and improve our effectiveness.

The simple reason is that it’s more likely to have prospects ‘welcome’ us to their door than us having to push our way through.

For another great process that helps you be different, original and humorous employing a low-cost video technique, read our free eGuide:

“Never cold call again: How to get that 1st b2b appointment using video” here.