A sales guide for selling general insurance b2 b


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A sales skills guide for people who sell general insurance to the commercial sector

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A sales guide for selling general insurance b2 b

  1. 1. contentsintroduction Who are Evolve Consultants? 3 c h apt e r 1 The Business of Selling 4 c h apt e r 2 Prospecting Principles 26 c h apt e r 3 Making Appointments by Phone 48 c h apt e r 4 Using Email as part of the Sales Process 66 c h apt e r 5 Preparation for Sales Meetings 74 c h apt e r 6 Meetings with Sales Prospects 86 c h apt e r 7 Tips for Sales Proposals 98
  2. 2. IntroductionWho are Evolve Consultants?W e are a very commercially focused training organisation. We work with organisations that face important strategic challenges or opportunities and we work with their teams to develop capability to deal with the challenges well or capitalise on the opportunity well. We work in three main areas; • Sales Development • Leadership Development • Personal Development We work mainly with Blue Chip multi national insurance companies and their respective broker channels, although based in Dublin, Ireland, we work all over the world. We are sufficiently experienced to have worked through both good times and previous recessionary times. We believe we can improve your sales performance. 3
  3. 3. c h apt e r 1 The Business of SellingThe Business of Selling “Everybody lives by selling something.” - R.L. Stephenson D riving demand for your Selling Defined insurance products In the world of insurance and services and companies, selling is the building a solid, process of analysing a predictable and extensive sales potential buyers need for the pipeline is at the very core of protection provided by one every successful B2B sale. of your insurance policies and recommending the policy So before we start to look which best satisfies that need at specific approaches for and by persuading the buyer prospecting, we need to that the premium price is establish some recognised fair, the source of supply is guidelines / definitions for satisfactory and that the time prospecting and selling. to buy is now. 4
  4. 4. What is a Sales Target? marketing database listingA target is a business person/ and who you believe areentity that fits your ideal ‘target’ capable of doing businessprofile, but you have not yet with you at some point, butmanaged to speak with. have not yet indicated their interest.TargetingRegardless of the method > Prospects: are thoseof prospecting potential companies or individualsprospects you intend to use, who have indicated a needand depending on your role for your products or servicesand area of sales responsibility, either by responding to someyou have an informed mental form of marketing or bypicture of what ‘an ideal contacting you directly. The Business of Sellingtarget’ might look like. This‘ideal target’ will normally be > Existing Customers: Theydetermined by things like your have bought from you ingeographical sales territory, the the past and they may betype of industry that exists in able to present you otheryour locality, the type and size of sales opportunities or salescustomer who you have ‘signed referrals.up’ in the past and specificbusinesses with the right type * A better route to gettingof profile and profitability for better qualified leads is usingyou. Based on this, you should complimentary solutionthen create a target listing of providers (CSP): These arecompanies/people you intend people who target the sametargeting. suspects as you do, but who work in non-competingTypically, targets break into business. Typically, youthree categories;- connect with a CSP to gain market information, swap> Suspects: are those people/ business leads and/or to companies who are on your provide sales introductions 5
  5. 5. for each other. For example, Associations (Local Chapters) a CSP for someone in the B2B – see appendix at back of insurance market might be book a fleet sales representative from a car dealership or a > Local Lions and Rotary Clubs rep from a farming Co-op or even a rep from a wholesales > Radio advertising company. > Local area business Typically, the type of places development internet pages: you might find “targets” are as (For example: - www.galway. follows:- net, www.cork.com) > Local and national print > Kompass Directory and theThe Business of Selling media like > Classified Ads – companies > Your existing database that advertise buy and sell services > www.google.ie local search by sector. “Hotels in County > The recruitment pages – Clare” decision makers are often listed as contacts > IDA Industrial Estate directories > Company notices - gives you names/faces/divisions to > Business Journals: Local prospect business magazines > Local Independent > Web based local business directories networks – such as those found on www.linkedin.com > Local Chamber of Commerce > Professional Trade 6
  6. 6. So what does your ideal client management perspectivelook like?Here are some factors you Therefore your ideal clientshould take into account. profile could be;- 1. Businesses with a retail orYour ideal should be;- warehousing presence> Clients who have or will have a specific requirement for 2. A business with a commercial your policies fleet on the road> Clients whose business relies 3. A business location that is on customers coming to their not in a flood plain or similar premises to do business undesirable location> Clients who distribute 4. Business with a sales team/ The Business of Selling product from a physical commercial vehicles on the location road> Clients whose business 5. A Business that uses would cease to function in expensive/unique the event of their company equipment premises being out of action 6. Companies that place a high> Clients who work in the value on risk management sectors which are most profitable to you 7. Pubs and hotels> Clients who are manageable 8. Companies that have multi from a geographic locations around the country perspective 9. Businesses that have high> Clients whose size is turnover and movement of manageable from a sales equipment, stock and people targeting, service support and relationship 7
  7. 7.  exercise What would you add to this list of pointers on the previous page? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.The Business of Selling 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 8
  8. 8. What is a Sales Process?A sales process is a structured up of a number of systematicand systematic approach to steps that reflect the customerfinding and executing sales contacts/interactions that areopportunities for you and your required to complete a sale fromcompany. The process is made start to finish. Table 1: Steps in the Sales Process Step Name Activity 1 Targeting the Ideal Defining what ideal customer Prospect looks like by a) Industry, b) Size, c) Location, d) Spend 2 Prospecting for Trying to get into a conversation with a appointments with decision maker about a potential sales The Business of Selling decision makers opportunity via some of the following options: a) Telephone prospecting, b) E-mail, c) Networking, d) Asking for Referrals 3 Qualifying the sales Typically, via a sales meeting with opportunity decision makers and (sometimes) review of previous product history (claims) etc. 4 Presenting the solution Typically, via a policy proposal & pricing quotation 5 Negotiation / objection Trading concessions etc handling 6 Closing the deal Signing the contract 7 Client account On going relationship management for management purposes of a) Cross selling, b) Up selling, c) Renewals, and d) Referrals 9
  9. 9.  A well defined and executed > Ability to track and sales process brings the measure results: When following advantages to the you use a structured sales seller;- process your outcomes can be measured and compared. > More predictable results: This also leads to greater A higher likelihood of self awareness of your more successful desired performance as a seller. and predictable outcomes because the seller is Remember, an effective sales following a set of agreed best process, if executed correctly, practice steps. should manufacture new prospects and customers for > Winning habits: A high you. Just as a car manufacturingThe Business of Selling likelihood that repeating plant combines fibre glass and the correct structured sales steel, best practice assembly activities will lead to the line processes and technology development of “winning to manufacture the car; a sales behaviours.” As Gary sales process represents the Player, the famous South raw materials required to African golfer says, “The manufacture new insurance more I practice and do the policy holders for you. right things, the luckier I get.” So whilst having a sales process doesn’t guarantee success, it > Improved Time should lead to you creating Management: It follows that more selling opportunities. And if you engage in the correct in these recessionary times a sales activities with the structure that can stand up to appropriate sales targets, you the rigours of market conditions will use your available selling is a must for every professional time more effectively and seller. efficiently. 10
  10. 10. Sales Pipeline Management  The best sales pipelinePeople often mix up the sales tools have the followingpipeline and the sales process. commonalities;-Firstly, the sales pipeline is partof the over all sales process. It’s > They mirror the steps/a sales management tool used interactions the seller hasto track the steps the customer with the buyer.takes while buying one of yourinsurance policies. > They track the next stepsTypically the steps in the sales the seller must undertake topipeline should mirror the move the sale forward.decision making steps theprospect takes along the journey > They focus the seller’s effortsto purchasing a policy from you. and create urgency in the The Business of SellingSo a monthly pipeline report areas that require attention.presents a “snapshot” of yoursales activity and the progress > They accurately forecast theyou have made (or not) at a likelihood of a sales closinggiven point in that month. and when that might happen. 11
  11. 11. The Business of Selling What are the stages in the typical sales pipeline? Table 2: Stages in the Sales Pipeline Pre 1 2 3 4 5 Sales Devising 1st Contact Contact/ Sales Contact to Contract Activity Target List made Meeting to proposal obtain signed / qualify sales verbal sale opportunity agreement closed12 Next Attempted Meeting to Agreement Time frame Time frame Policy Step 1st Contact qualify to propose for decision for contract underwritten sales sales making signed /docs opportunity solution dispatched Probability Zero Zero 25 % 50% 75 % 100 % of sales being completed (As a %)
  12. 12. The Stages in the typical Sales sales opportunity on a certainPipeline (In more detail) date.Pre – Pipeline: You have Self analysis questions for thisdevised/sourced a target list of stage:potential buyers or suspects foryour sales activities. > How much time are you dedicating to cold calling on aSelf analysis questions for this daily basis?stage: > How many companies are you> Have you created a profile for targeting per session? your ideal buyer/ customer? > How many people do you get The Business of Selling> How many targets are you to speak with per session? going to try and contact on a daily basis? > How many dials does it take you to reach an individual> Can any CSP provide you with within a sales target introductions to any of these company? targets? > How many sales targets agree> Have you identified the to meet with you after one individuals in the target telephone conversation? companies you want to speak with? > Why are they meeting with you?Stage 1- You have (typically)to make a cold call to a sales > Is there a date in the diary forcompany, hoping to get to the meeting?speak with a decision maker > What will happen if theNext Step: Your next step is a meeting goes well?formal meeting to qualify the 13
  13. 13. > Is the person you are * If it’s a complex scenario meeting a decision maker? If there may be further meetings/ not why not? contacts required. However, if it’s a more traditional > Is this meeting exploratory opportunity the next step will or have/had they something get agreement to go to sales specific in mind? proposal stage (in writing). > What will the next step be if Self analysis questions for this the meeting goes well? stage: > What will the next step be if > What was the purpose for the there is no sales opportunity meetings? on the table at the end of theThe Business of Selling meeting? > Did the sales suspect the same business agenda as > Is there a date in the diary for you? that agreed next step? If not why not? > What movement did you achieve at this meeting? > What movement has there been on this opportunity in > What information did you the last week? obtain that will help progress the sales opportunity? Stage 2 - Meeting with decision maker to qualify > What is their time frame for sales opportunity doing business? Next Step: Your next step is > What will it take to move this to move the opportunity to sales opportunity forward to presentation / proposal stage proposal stage? (assuming it still exists) with a time frame for the decision > How does the prospect making process. feel in principle about 14
  14. 14. the offering and pricing * You may have to tease out proposition? issues or objections to get to this point.> What might the value of the business be? Self analysis questions for this stage:> Are they considering any other suppliers? > What criteria are being used to evaluate the proposal(s)?> Specifically, what do they want in the proposal? > When will they decide?> What is the date for the > Have you already met / proposal? spoken with all decision The Business of Selling makers?> What will the next step be if they like the proposal? > Can the individual you are dealing with make the> Is this sales opportunity still decision? on schedule with all the calendar dates agreed with > If you presented the proposal the prospect? (verbally) what feedback did you get on the day?> What is the next step if there is no business opportunity at > How does your proposal present? compare against the other potential suppliers?Stage 3 - You put a salesproposal in writing > What will the next step be if they like your proposal?Next Step: Follow up theproposal and get verbal > When will that next step takeagreement (often in principle) to place?do business. 15
  15. 15. > How long since the last Stage 5 - Contracts signed – contact? 1st premium paid - sale closed > Is this sales opportunity still Next Step: Policy documents on schedule with all the dispatched to new customer calendar dates agreed with the prospect? Self analysis questions for this stage: Stage 4 - Contacts prospect to obtain commitment in > Are their other sales principle (verbal) to purchase opportunities still from this service (Often verbal). business entity? The seller may also have to tease out issues or objections to get to > How accurately did I forecastThe Business of Selling this point. this sales opportunity through all stages of the Next Step: Contracts to be sent pipeline? out for signing > What other companies do I know that might have similar Self analysis questions for this circumstances to this one? stage: > Who can I introduce this > When will this case close? new customer to – that they should know? > Are there any issues for the underwriters? > How many contacts did it take me to close this case? > When will this prospect close – or sign? (Need definite > Could I have done anything date.) differently to move it along faster? > What will the value of this case be? 16
  16. 16. Key to successful pipeline to stages 1 and 2 of themanagement: Is to ensure pipeline.there is always movementthrough the different stages 3. The seller needs to be awareof the pipeline. A lack of on the “attrition rate” thatmovement at any one stage of takes place to move a salesthe pipeline will have a knock opportunity from stage 1 toon effect on your sales results at stage 5 of the sales pipeline.some future point. This attrition rate is also known as a “Ratio”.Furthermore: - 4. It doesn’t matter whether1. The seller should report on you use an electronic sales the movement / progress pipeline tool or a paper The Business of Selling that they have made within based pipeline tool, what the stages of their sales matters is that you use it to pipeline on a weekly basis. drive movement through the sales process not record the2. The seller must constantly be sales activity that you have adding new opportunities just completed. 17
  17. 17.  exercise What are the stages in your sales pipeline? A B C D E F Number of Stages Sales Activity The Business of Selling Next Step Probability of sales being completed (As a %) 18
  18. 18. Sales Ratios –Your KeyPerformance Indicators The Business of Selling“If you want to light a big fire – you need toknow how many logs it’s going to take to getthe blaze going.” – John AdamsAll successful sellers use key of an appointment to salessales performance indicators closed ratio. Here at Evolve, we(also known as the sales ratios) find that the majority of underto manage the movement of performing sellers we meettheir sales prospects through on training workshops havethe various stages of the sales no idea of any of their salespipeline. So, if you have a ratios. Simply put, they are notweekly sales target, it’s useful putting enough logs on theto know how many sales fire to keep it burning and theyappointments you need to have no idea how many logsbe creating on a weekly basis they will need in the first place.to make your sales target Know your sales conversionhappen. This is an example ratios: 19
  19. 19. Table 3: Sales activity conversion ratio No: Ratio What it indicates Key points 1 Telephone dial This ratio represents the This figure takes into to Conversation number of telephone dials account all the you have to make to get to telephone dials speak with a sales suspect. where any of the following happens: o Gatekeeper block o Straight to voicemail o Not available o Engaged tone 2 Conversation This ratio represents the Remember, when to appointment number of completed we say meeting, weThe Business of Selling conversations you need mean a calendar to make to suspects on date in the diary your target list to win a agreed and meeting confirmed by both parties. 3 Appointment to This ratio represents the Depending on the sales proposal number of sales meetings complexity of the you have to attend to policy you are move the sales opportunity selling it is possible to formal sales proposal the qualification stage stage and the proposal stage might be one and the same meeting. 4 Sales proposal to This ratio represents the This figure assumes sales close number of sales proposals that an amended you need to submit to a or discounted sales prospect to make a sale. proposal and an original sales proposal count as one proposal. 20
  20. 20. Sales Ratios (a worked example)Your Monthly Sales Target: 10 Policies underwritten Table 4: Sales Ratios: A worked example No: Ratio Your activity Your ratio (The Maths) 1 Telephone dial It takes you 5 dials to get to Your ratio to conversation speak with 1 business owner here is 1:3 2 Conversation Here you need to have a Your ratio to appointment conversation with 3 decision makers to get 1 sales meeting 1:2 The Business of Selling (with a sales opportunity). 3 Appointment to Your hit rate is now improving. Your ratio sales proposal For every two sales meetings you attend you then make 1:2 1 formal sales proposal. 4 Sales proposal to Here you notice that for every Your ratio sales close three proposals you put here is forward you win 1 piece of 1:2 business.Conclusions we can draw: Number 4 suggests you need* Start at ratio number 4 and to put forward 20 proposals towork backwards. make the 10 sales. (1:2)1. If your monthly sales target is 2. To be able to put forward 20 to sell 10 policies, then Ratio proposals, based on the above 21
  21. 21. ratios you need 40 partially Here are some ideas improve qualified appointments. (1:2) your sales ratios 3. To get 40 partially qualified Better qualified leads appointments with decision makers you need to speak > Stategic networking with 80 decision makers. (1:2) > Better qualification on 4. Therefore, at the start of the telephone calls month you need to target 240 (1:3) ideal sales suspects to > Better qualification at sales have any chance of hitting the meetings above numbers > Getting strongerThe Business of Selling Notes on this example: commitments at meetings * The above exercise does > Asking for the business not take into account a scenario earlier (if appropriate) where the seller may have an “average policy value” target as opposed to just numbers of policies underwritten. * The above exercise assumes you are only getting sales leads via cold calling, it is not taking into account networking, referrals and the like where ratios should be much more favourable to the seller. 22
  22. 22.  exercise Please conduct the following self analysis exercise based on your current sales targets and activity levels. Metric € VolumeRatio 1 My Telephone dial to conversation ratio Ratio 2 My conversation to appointment ratio Ratio 3 My appointment to sales proposal ratio Ratio 4 Sales proposal ratio to sales close ratio Metric 1 My annual sales target The Business of SellingMetric 2 My monthly sales target Metric 3 My weekly sales target Metric 4 My average sale value Metric 5 My average sale volume (if applicable) Metric 6 The number of proposals I need to write to hit my monthly sales target (based on my average sale value) Be aware most of the above ratios and metrics will improveratios are assuming that you drastically if you are securinghave to find business leads by some of these appointments by“cold calling”. While you may referral or via introductions athave do a large degree of cold networking events.calling, it’s fair to say that your 23
  23. 23. The Business of Selling Notes/Actions:24
  24. 24. Notes/Actions:25 The Business of Selling
  25. 25. c h apt e r 2 Prospecting PrinciplesProspecting Principles “Opportunity’s favourite disguise is a troubled economy” - Evolve Consultants P rospecting for new have no relationship with this business is the life blood type of target. Furthermore, of all professional sellers. you have no means of being After identifying your introduced to this buyer. This sales targets, the next step type of target sits at the top of is to get your sales pipeline your “cold calling list.“ populated. When it comes to prospecting there are two types A warm target is a person or of sales targets business that fits the profile of your ideal buyer. However, the > Cold targets difference between this type of target and a cold one is that > Warm targets you have found someone within A cold target is a person or your circle of influence that is company that fits the profile of prepared to introduce you to your ideal buyer. However, you this target. This type of target 26
  26. 26. Prospecting Principlesis called a warm one because by process, habit and a “hardthe target will already have a neck”. Attaining warm leads isrelationship with the person more strategic, requires time,giving you the introduction, and networking, skill and againas such are more likely to agree process. In this chapter we willto speak with you out of respect look at the key prospectingfor the introducer. protocols that will give you that combination of cold and warm> Cold calling provides you targets, namely: with the volume for your sales pipeline > Networking> Warm leads provide you with > Virtual Networking via Linked quality leads InEvery professional seller needs > Complimentary Solutionto be prospecting for both types Providersof lead. Cold calling should bean almost daily activity, driven > Asking for Referrals 27
  27. 27. Section 1 Networking Skills Its not who you know, it’s who knows and trusts you that counts” – J. Gitomer In 2010 business development is 2010 it’s not who you know tougher that ever before. Buyers that counts, it’s who knows and are more cautious preferring trusts you that does. to spend their budgets with trusted suppliers. For this The Sales Success Equation: reason cold callers are finding Your ability to have a successful doors slamming in their faces sales year in 2010 will beProspecting Principles faster than ever before. On top determined by the following of this decision making process sales success equation. in many organisations’ has moved up a level to more senior Everyone has a circle of levels, and this may mean your influence. It may be your old contacts may not have the family, your friends, people power or autonomy to make you worked with, people from purchasing decisions any more. past jobs, people you studied with at school and college, your  To be successful in sales in neighbours, fellow members The Sales Success Equation The business contacts that know and trust me and buy from me now + / - The new / additional business contact that know and trust me and buy from me by year end. = My sales results for 2010 28
  28. 28. of sports or social clubs or person you want to networkeven fellow members of trade with.associations. In 2010, your abilityto meet new people to sell your (A) - Whoproducts and services to will be > Who do you want to networkdetermined by the number of with?leads, referrals and introductionsyou get from your circle of > What industry might they beinfluence. Trust and avoiding in?unnecessary risks are two ofthe main purchasing criteria all > What sized organization?buyers are using at the moment.Potential customers may agree > What parts of the country areto meet you because someone they located? Prospecting Principlesin your circle of influence is atrusted colleague of theirs. They > What level will they bewon’t buy from you if they don’t working at within theirknow and trust you. It’s time to company?network. (B) WhereWhat do you want from > Where are they most likely tonetworking? network?There is a multitude ofnetworking opportunities > What type of events do theyavailable for you to choose from. attend or network at?So before you head off to attendall and sundry, it’s important to > Where do these events takemake sure the people you want place?to connect with will be at theevents you are going to attend. > What is the regularity ofThis means you need to be clear these events?on what is the right type ofnetworking event for you. Let’s > How do I attend one of thesestart by looking at the type of events? 29
  29. 29. Table 5: Networking Opportunities Type Example Typical Attendee Chamber of Local Chapters Everything from sole trader right up to Commerce nationwide large companies Networking BNI Sole trader / SME / Local sales Clubs First Tuesday Clubs representatives of larger organizations Local Business Street trader Depends of mix of businesses in locality associations Professional Sales Institute of Executive Managers, business developers, Bodies Ireland departmental managers in specific CIPD professions (Tends to be corporate as opposed to sole trader)Prospecting Principles Trade Vintners Association Owner / managers, Executive managers Associations RGDATA with commercial functions (C) What meet attend my networking > What am I trying to get events? by investing my time in networking and making > Apart from sales, how do connections? I measure success in my networking efforts? (D) My Networking to date – self analysis > How much planning do I > Who am I connected with put into my networking already and what have these activities? connections meant for me? > Do I need to have a more > Where do I network? structured networking plan for this year? > Do the people I need to 30
  30. 30.  exercise Please complete the following based on your answers to the previous questions?1. Describe the type of person(s) you want to meet at anetworking event?2. Which types of networking events are most appropriate foryou? Prospecting Principles3. Are you currently attending the correct type of networkingevents?4. Explain, how you could improve the quality and quantity ofyour networking activity?5. What will you do differently? 31
  31. 31. Networking Strategy Once you have identified chapter, targets for the event what you want to get from can be potential customers, networking, the next step is to complimentary solution target the appropriate type of providers and existing clients events to meet these people. who can provide you with If the networking is to be at a introductions. regular event run by a group such as a local chapter or Consider bringing some of yourProspecting Principles networking club, you should existing clients to networking consider obtaining a position of events. This gives you an power by joining the organising opportunity to spend time with committee. This will afford you them and, at the same time give more visibility within the group. them an opportunity to network with others. Also, they may be Alternatively, if you can’t join able to introduce you to others the committee, you might need at the event. to become a more structured event attendee. Start by asking Tactics for the Networking the event organiser, to give you Event a list of attendees in advance of Many people find going to the event. This will enable you networking events a daunting to target the specific people you proposition. It’s often really want to meet. Consider asking awkward to walk into an the event organiser (in advance association meeting, trade of the event) to provide you show or after-hours event when with the necessary introductions you don’t know anybody who at the event. And, remember is there. Everyone else seems as mentioned in the previous to be engaged in discussions 32
  32. 32. with friends and business chance to make a firstacquaintances, while there impression’. Whenyou stand “Johnny-No-Mates” approaching someone bedrinking free beverages, whilst aware of the following;desperately looking around for a Body language: Smile, lookfriendly face to take pity on you them in the eye, and shakeand pull you into a conversation. hands with them. Introduce yourself and state that youHere are some tips for are with [the name of yourovercoming the awkwardness company].and getting into that openingconversation. 4. The best location for networking is by a high-1. Firstly, get a list of attendees traffic area such as a main Prospecting Principles in the days prior to the event. door, the coffee dock, or near Check the list for the food. * People you want to meet, * Existing customers who 5. If you don’t know anyone at could introduce you to others the event, stick close to the or act as endorsees, and event organiser’s/association people you know already officers – a lot of attendees who could introduce to new will want to talk with them. people. 6. When giving or receiving a2. Get there early. People tend business card, be especially to be open to entering careful when dealing with into conversations before people from outside the networking events – they Ireland as many cultures treat tend to be in a rush to get them with very high regard. back to work or home after the event is over. 7. When receiving a business card from someone, take a3. Think first impression. moment to write yourself ‘You never get a second a note on it such as where 33
  33. 33. you met. If you do this while effecting business?” you’re still talking to the Ask questions about person, it will help convey them, and their business. your sense of personal Remember, the purpose of connection. your questioning strategy should be to differentiate 8. During the course of a yourself from the “crowd” conversation, use the other by asking questions that person’s first name two or show a genuine interest in three times. People always their business. Make sure like to hear their own you listen to their responses. name and it will help you Remember, networking with to remember it when the new contacts is like reading discussion is over. a daily newspaper. Let yourProspecting Principles new contacts speak so as 9. Ask questions: Prepare some you can discover which news general questions before headlines are most relevant you start networking. Before to your agenda. Remember, you give information it is open questions work better important to break the ice than closed ones as they with a question that is non- get people talking. Here are threatening. For example, it some additional questions might be “How are the road you should consider asking: works in front of your shop 34
  34. 34. Table 6: Sample questions to ask somebody you meet at a networking event > “What brings you here today?” > “Where else do you network?” > “How did you get your start in the “ABC” business?” > “What changes are happening within your industry?” > “What does your ideal customer look like?” > “What separates you and your company from the competition?” Prospecting Principles > “Who else do you know here today?” > “What is the best way to refer someone to you?”People will usually reciprocate seminar or business-cluband ask you a few questions meeting, your work has justabout your business, but begun. It’s the follow up afterremember you are there to make the event that moves thethem feel important. Since you relationship on and eventuallywant to meet all the people you will enable business happen.identified before the event, keepconversations to a maximum of Follow up includes tradingten minutes and then move on information that is valuable to each other via e-mail andHow to Follow Up gaining other introductionsWhen you attend a networking from your new connectionevent, whether a conference, and vice versa. However, too 35
  35. 35. many people walk away from Where, these two people networking events feeling good take the relationship is up about the event and the number to them, but you will be of business cards collected but remembered as the doing nothing to move names person who made the on business cards into potential introduction. You should business associates. try to this after every networking event. Here are some ideas to make the most of your post > Within twenty four hours, networking event follow ups: send an e-mail / hand written note. > After the event, use the Don’t wait until you have back of their business something meaningful to say card to jot a note aboutProspecting Principles or don’t wait until next week something you learned for fear of looking to keen! from the conversation and Chances are you won’t get the date and place you around to sending a note if met them. Recording the you wait around, and even if information will give you you do, the recipient may not something to talk to them recall who you are. Send an about the next time you see e-mail to everyone you took them. a card from. Better again; send them a hand written > Consider introducing note. Remember, even if someone to your new you don’t see them as an contact. immediate connection, just This is a straight forward say thanks. process. All you have to do is introduce a new contact > Make notes on your from a networking event to experiences. someone else you in your Whenever you return from sphere of influence who events, take about ten you feel they should know. minutes to write down some 36
  36. 36. notes from the networking something to get something’. event. Bullet-point ideas, Networking takes planning or write them across your and regular practice and whiteboard. Just get them execution. down! Sample List of Networking> Thank the host, if Opportunities (* Excluding applicable. Insurance related trade This especially applies to associations) events that are put together by one individual. Web Based Networking A quick note thanking that person for their efforts will > Linked In the worlds go a long way and they will largest online networking Prospecting Principles be more prone to respond community - http://www. favourable to your request linkedin.com for introductions in the future. Local Business Community> Phone them and meet up. > Chambers of Commerce - Pick up the phone after http://www.chambers.ie/ a couple of weeks and index.php?id=1 continue the conversation you started to explore at the Professional Associations networking event. > Sales Institute of Ireland -Don’t pitch for business http://www.salesinstitute.iewithout creating obligation byfollowing up in one of the ways > Irish Small & Mediummentioned above. Remember, Enterprises Association -networking is the skill of http://www.isme.ie/building relationships that aremutually beneficial. > Irish Internet Association -So be prepared to ‘give http://www.iia.ie/ 37
  37. 37. Charity Related Business > Southside B2B Referral Networking Groups Network (Dun Laoghaire) - http://www.southsideb2b. > Rotary Club of Ireland - org/ http://www.rotary.ie/ > Irish Business Women’s > Lions Clubs of Ireland - Networking Group - http:// http://www.lionsclubs.ie/ www.irishbusinesswomen. com/forum/ Private Networking Groups for Business > Galway Business Club - http:// www.galwaybusinessclub. > Cork Business Association - com/ http://www.corkbusiness.ie/Prospecting Principles > Open Coffee Club - http:// > BNI Networking Groups - www.opencoffeedublin.com/ http://www.bni-europe.com/ / http://corkopencoffee.org/ ireland/- http://mayo-open- > 121 Dublin Business coffee-club.org/ http:// Networking Group - opencoffeesligo.org/ http://121biznet.com/blog/ 38
  38. 38. Networking Checklist 1-10 1 Try and get a list of the attendees for the networking event in the days prior to the event taking place. This will enable you identify who you want to meet. 2 Try and arrange some introductions via the event host / organiser in advance of the event. More than likely they will already know the people you want to meet. 3 Arrive early and stay late. If the networking is taking place around a speech or formal event all the networking takes place before and after the event. Don’t miss the action. 4 If you don’t know anyone at the event, stick close to the event organiser’s / association officers – a lot of attendees will want to talk with them and you can meet new people in their company. Prospecting Principles 5 Avoid colleagues from work. Ascertain who you know already and see if they can provide some introductions for you and visa versa. You should initially acknowledge people you know already and then immediately find someone new to introduce yourself to. This will help keep you in the right frame of mind as to why you went to the event. 6 Always have business cards and keep in a place where they are easy to access 7 Stop selling and start connecting. When you meet someone for the first time, use it as an opportunity to get to know them. Don’t try to sell them anything. 8 Prepare four or five questions that you can ask people that you meet. Make sure the questions are not overly intrusive 9 When giving or receiving a business card, be especially careful when dealing with people from outside the Ireland as many cultures treat business cards with very high regard. 10 When receiving a business card from someone, take a moment to write yourself a note on it such as where you met. If you do this while you’re still talking to the person, it will help convey your sense of personal connection. 39
  39. 39. Networking Checklist 11-20 11 When in groups act as the host, introduce each new person who joins the group to the others in your company. 12 During the course of a conversation, use the other person’s first name two or three times. People always like to hear their own name and it will help you to remember it when the discussion is over. 13 Know how you can help them. People don’t care what you do, unless what you can do can help them. Get to know which of their problems and challenges you can help with. 14 Tell people you will be following up with them while you are still talking with them. Tell them what you will be sending and how you will send it to them. Then they will be watching out for it.Prospecting Principles 15 When you meet someone for the first time, you have 24 hours to follow up with them before they will completely forget about meeting you. 16 Back at the office, use the back of their business card to jot a note about something you learned from the conversation and the date and place 17 Send a handwritten note to your new contacts acknowledging the fact that you met. 18 Connect with your new contact via Linked in within a week of meeting with them. 19 Keep in touch, especially when you no longer have a specific requirement to fulfil. 20 Review the usefulness of the networking events you attend on a regular basis. 40
  40. 40. Section 2Networking on theInternetIt’s almost impossible to talk in life you only get out of it whatabout best practice networking you put into it. So here are some Prospecting Principlesskills without bringing “virtual ideas to get more from yournetworking” or networking “Linked In” account.via the Internet into theconversation. Because of the Using “Linked In” on the Webrole email plays in business Is it just me or do you wonderand with the ever increasing whether its worth your whilepopularity of online business linking up with someone you’venetworking communities like found on “Linked In” that only“Linked In,” the professional has five contacts and no profileseller would be remiss not information? What might otherto leverage this media. We people say when they see yourfind many people place Linked In account and profile?their personal profiles on Could they think the same thingthese websites and wait for about you? Are you worthbusiness contacts to contact connecting with? Do you getthem by the score. This rarely any useful business leads fromhappens. Virtual networking Linked In? Its possible to getis no different to face to face more from Linked In that merelynetworking – as with everything looking up contacts? 41
  41. 41. Here are some ideas; > Research your prospects before meetings. For > Fill out your profile example, you could try and completely to earn trust. find out have you common business acquaintances. > Avoid hard-sell tactics. > Share useful articles and > Write honest and valuable resources that will be of recommendations for your interest to customers and contacts. prospects. > Request a LinkedIn > Post your presentations recommendation from happy on your profile using customers willing to provide PowerPoint.Prospecting Principles testimonials. > Ask your first level contacts > Grow your network by for specific introductions to joining industry and alumni their first level contacts. groups related to your business. > Set up to receive LinkedIn messages in your inbox so > Share survey and poll results you can respond right away. with your contacts. > Update everything regularly. > Publish your LinkedIn URL on your marketing material. > Use the advanced search feature to find people (targets) by company, industry and city. > Start and manage a group for your industry. 42
  42. 42. Section 3Working withComplimentary Solution Prospecting PrinciplesProviders“Many hands make light work”- AnonymousWorking with a Complimentary to meet. So for example, atSolution Providers (CSP) is a Evolve we deal in sales trainingform of networking. A CSP is and the decision makers wea person who sells into / (or often need to meet are Saleshas a circle of influence that Directors or Training Managers.includes) the target companies A possible CSP for us could beand people that you want to a recruitment agency, or theprospect for new insurance sellers of sales related software.business. Typically, the CSP does Therefore, if we were trying tonot work in competition with get an appointment to see theyou, but may sometimes offer a Head of Training at ABC Limitedcomplimentary service to yours. a CSP might be able to provideThe main point is that they have us with that introduction.access to the people you need 43
  43. 43. The advantages of networking > Committee members of local with a CSP trade associations > May know your sales targets > Hotels and pubs already Tips for Networking with a > Can provide introductions CSP because the target already trusts them > Identify three ideal CSPs and go connect with them > Can provide valuable information about the > Meet/talk at least once a market place which may lead month with each to a business opportunityProspecting Principles > Describe your ideal target for The type of professionals that them might be an appropriate CSP for you > Give introductions to get introductions > Professional Services: Accountants, Solicitors, > Give them feedback on any Estate Agents sales opportunities you make and take > Heavy Machinery Distributors > Fleet motor vehicle sellers 44
  44. 44. Section 4Asking for Referrals“A referral is the key to the door of resistance.” –Evolve ConsultantsEvery business to business seller During the introduction theyknows that getting referrals will tell the referral who you are,from existing customers or where you work, and why youa complimentary solution will be phoning. Typically, theyprovider is by far the best will endorse your services.prospecting lead to get. Yet, Prospecting Principleswe often find very few sales So here are some ideas to helppeople have a referral process you get more referrals fromin place and therefore don’t get your circle of influence:many of them. A sales referralis not an existing client tipping > Ask for referrals: If you don’tyou off about the opening of a ask, how do you expect tonew factory down the road. It’s get them?not a complimentary solutionprovider giving you a name and > Ask at the right time: Thea phone number. time to ask somebody for a referral is when they trustA referral is where somebody you, when they rate youprovides you with an highly and when they areintroduction to a potential obligated to you.sales prospect. When we sayintroduction, we mean that > At the end of your accountthey have lifted the phone to review meetings considersomebody in their circle of asking for referrals (ifinfluence and asked them to appropriate)take a phone call from you. 45
  45. 45. > Let the client know who’s > Give them time to think: a good referral: There is Don’t ask for referrals and no point asking a client for stand there waiting for them. a referral at the end of a When you put your client on meeting. Typically, sellers the spot like that they aren’t with one foot already out going to come up with a ton of the door state “If you can of great referrals. Ask and think of anybody who could then let them know exactly use my service please let when you’ll get back to them me know.” So firstly it’s a to get the referrals. statement not a question. Secondly, the client won’t be > Don’t get names and phone inspired into miraculously numbers. Get introduced pulling your ideal looking to the prospect through anProspecting Principles referral out of thin air. Early in introduction letter or phone your conversation describe to call. the client what a good referral looks like. Tell them the type of business you want to be introduced to etc. > Help them: Make some suggestions as to people who they might know. If you’re a builder’s providers, who do you think they might know? Builders, Estate Agents, Publicans, Hoteliers and Trades people. Suggest some of those companies you’d like to get referred to – they just might know them. 46
  46. 46. Notes/Actions:47 Prospecting Principles
  47. 47. c h apt e r 3 Making Appointments by PhoneMaking Appointments By Phone “We control fifty percent of a conversation. We can influence one hundred percent of it.” – F. Tyger T he vast majority of sales effective way of getting new sales professionals do not prospects into your sales pipeline like cold-calling. Yet at – then you need to try and make the same time, it is an appointments by phone. activity that most of us need The three main ingredients to to do on a regular basis. Unless making more appointments by you can come up with a more phone are;- T.E.D. – The key to Successful cold calling Table 7: Key skills and Traits for successful telephone selling T Technique: The ability to design and deliver a sales message in a way that appeals to the sales suspect. E Endeavour: The ability to persevere and continue to cold call even when things aren’t going well. D Discipline: The discipline to do the target number of dials without cutting corners or distracting yourself. 48
  48. 48. Don’t ad-lib, have a call plan > Ensures you gather allIf you want to sound confident, necessary informationcompetent and in control,I strongly suggest that you > Guarantees that your callwrite out/design a call plan for ending has a conclusion oryourself. You may notice that next stepI am not using the phrase call“script” because to use a call > Allows you listen to prospectscript, requires both parties on responses because your callthe call to have the exact same structure is clearscript. Designing and thenusing a call plan for the opening, > Allows you control the callquestioning and closing remarks Making Appointments By Phonestage of your call will give you Call Structure Designthe structure that is requiredto hook and connect with a Have clear call objective/potential sales prospect. It will result in mind.give you the opportunity to It is important to keep in mindask some questions about their that the primary purpose ofcircumstances and will ascertain any B2B prospecting phonewhether it’s worth both of your call is to make an appointment,whiles taking the conversation not a sale. Many sellers maketo the next stage. the mistake of trying to A to Z their product portfolio andA good call plan is essential talking too much on the phonefor the following reasons call in an attempt to showcase their expertise. Whilst the> More people will accept your seller will have to present some call high level policy benefits and respond to some questions,> It keeps your message on issues that require a detailed/ track and allows you be informed response become an respectful of the prospect’s excellent reason to secure an time appointment. 49
  49. 49. It’s a good idea to use phone In the B2B Insurance Market, the time to gather information objective of the call could be to: through the use of open-ended questions. Your objective is to 1. Get a qualified meeting with a build your prospect’s interest decision maker and arouse their curiosity through a series of well designed, 2. Get the name and direct probing questions about them contact details of a decision and their company. So before maker you make that call be clear on what the objective of your call is. 3. Collect information about a target person / company and the type of insurance policies Making Appointments By Phone exercise they currently have Finish the following 4. Find out details of their next statement to get your call tendering process and get objective; permission to take part in same The purpose of this call is to qualify the sales suspect to 2. Understanding best practice a point, where if everything call structure goes well, the next step will Most stories and movies have be to a start, middle and an end. The purpose of the start of the movie or story is to get you interested in reading or watching more of the content. The middle of the book or movie unravels the plot and provides the detail. The last few scenes or chapters bring things to an exciting finale or conclusion. A best practice call structure is 50
  50. 50. very similar in that the purpose The conclusion of the call is toof the call opening is to get your bring things to a finale with you,attention and keep you on the the seller, presenting the reasonsphone. why the sales prospect should consider meeting with you.The middle of the call provides Asking for that date in the diaryyou the seller with the prospects is the next step.detail/circumstances, issuesvia qualification questions andconversation. Table 8: High Level – Call Structure Making Appointments By PhoneStage Structure ObjectiveCall * Exchange greetings * CourtesyOpening * Results based opening statement * Create interest * Permission to proceed plus agenda * Get control Middle * Qualify the suspects requirements * Gain understanding * Summarize your understanding of * Get commitment issues and priorities Conclusion * Suggest options * Create buy in * Obtain feedback on options * Get commitment * Ask for the next step * Get date in diary 51
  51. 51. 3. Call Opening before you called. Your ability to qualify the sales opportunity, Nothing is more important ask for permission to tender, ask to an outbound telephone for a meeting, or even introduce prospecting call than the them to your new offering quality of your opening lines. doesn’t count if they decline When a sales target picks up your invitation to have a brief that phone and says hello, you conversation. have between ten and fifteen seconds to get them to accept Your opening statement is your call! comprised of four elements The opening lines of a call are > Who you are – “Dave Malone”Making Appointments By Phone actually the only lines of the call you can script 100% – every > Who you are with other line you use is determined by the impact your opening > What you sell (in very simple statement makes. This means terms) that to maximise the impact of your opening statement, you > How your prospect will have to plan and practice it. benefit from your product or service Below are some guidelines for creating your opening > A question to gauge interest statement(s) as well as some of the prospect samples for you to rework. a) Your greeting: The purpose of the opening State your full name and your statement is to get the attention role within your company. Use of the sales prospect to accept the target’s name in the opening your phone call. You must lines if you can. It will ensure “hook” the sales prospect onto that you have the correct person your telephone line and away on the line. When people they from what they were doing hear their name they tend to 52