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The Prospecting Playbook - Supercharge Your Sales Calls

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Do you wish that cold calling was easier? What if it was actually enjoyable? This 70 page field guide is packed with dozens of prospecting and lead generation tactics that are proven to work. You'll learn new ideas for leaving effective voice mails, email strategies, handling difficult objections, and creating the ultimate value proposition.

DOWNLOAD THIS COMPLETE GUIDE HERE:
http://www.buzzbuilderpro.com/free-sales-tools/prospecting-playbook

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The Prospecting Playbook - Supercharge Your Sales Calls

  1. 1. THE PROSPECTING PLAYBOOK Jake Atwood
  2. 2. © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com About The Author Jake Atwood is a speaker, author and entrepreneur with a singular focus: to show salespeople new ways to attract more clients--and have fun doing it. He delivers thought- provoking strategies with a humorous twist that energize the audience and motivates people to take action. His concepts have been adopted by dozens of Fortune 500 companies and translated into multiple languages. Jake's program is popular among sales professionals because it goes beyond the traditional idea of prospecting and cold calling. During his workshops, participants learn how sell via the phone, email, social media, networking, referrals and more. Best of all, they’re able to automate many of these tasks and generate leads even when they're busy closing deals.
  3. 3. © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com Engage Jake at Your Next Event Jake offers several high-energy keynotes and workshops that will ensure your next sales event or new-hire training is a huge success. Pick a popular topic or ask Jake to customize one for your team: Power Prospecting™: A systematic, proven approach for gaining access to key accounts and developing new business. >>Learn More Social Selling™: Discover how to use the right social media tools to generate leads and revenue with minimal time and effort. >>Learn More The 1% Rule™: Why are some salespeople so incredibly successful regardless of the economy, and how can every Rep perform the same way? This keynote details the habits, skills and behaviors of the sales elite. >>Learn More
  4. 4. © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com Others Resources Looking for ways to prospect without cold calling? Use these proven email templates to reach busy executives, generate interest, follow up and close more deals. Includes proven email templates you can tailor to your situation. >>DOWNLOAD BuzzBuilder Email Marketing & Social Media Tools BuzzBuilder’s software helps you connect with potential buyers, generate interest with cold prospects and drive new sales leads to your inbox. >>LEARN MORE
  5. 5. © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com Contents Gaining Access: How To Reach Key Executives 1. The Power Of Influence 2 2. Turning Gatekeepers Into Allies 7 3. Voice Mail: The Digital Gatekeeper 11 4. Using E-Mail As A Prospecting Tool 15 5. Creative Ways To Gain Access 19 The Prospecting Call: How To Convince Executives To Meet With You 6. The Blueprint For The Call 26 7. The Introduction: Their First Impression 28 8, The New Value Proposition 34 9. Redirect Any Objection 47 10. The Closing Statement 56
  6. 6. Section 1: Gaining Access How To Reach Key Executives The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 1 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  7. 7. The Power Of Influence Understanding how to influence people is an important foundation for understanding how to gain access to them. No matter what you sell, people are better at ignoring you than ever before. The “Information Age” has become the “Over-Information Age” and we have become experts at filtering data or dismissing it instantly. To add to the complexity, we have also become the “Misinformation Age” and we’ll often hear conflicting “facts” and marketing messages from competing The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 2 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  8. 8. companies. Ford Motors might claim that they have the safest car, but yesterday we heard Toyota claim that they have the safest. So who do we believe? As comedian Lewis Black pointed out, “When this happens, we just stop listening.” It’s no surprise that it’s become so difficult to gain access to key executives--it’s easier for them just to ignore us. Here is what prospects are telling us: “I’ll only give you my attention if you can give me a compelling incentive to listen.” I call these incentives “Influence Mechanisms” and they’re designed to motivate people to meet with you, accept your calls, read your e-mail messages, or respond to your voice mails. Many of these ideas come from strategies used in sales, marketing, advertising, copywriting, and modern psychology (particularly from Robert Cialdini’s study on “automatic influence”). One last thing--these Mechanisms were created to be used in a positive, constructive way. Never use them to manipulate or trick people. After all, you can’t force anyone to do something--you’ll only end up making them angry. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 3 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  9. 9. While I have identified 22 individual Influence Mechanisms, there are three that are most useful in helping you gain access to key people: Influence Mechanism #1: Social Proof As they say in Hollywood, people care more about who you know than what you know. The same can be true for gatekeepers and executives. There are two primary ways to leverage (name drop) other people: 1.Leverage people you have already spoken to. Did you receive a referral that you could mention? Have you spoken with anyone else in the account (regardless of their position) that would give you more credibility? Do you work with similar executives at other companies? If so, you can leverage these existing contacts. 2.Leverage people you plan to speak to. If you know that there are going to be multiple people involved in the decision, then find out who they are and mention that you plan to reach out to each of them. For example, if you’re calling a VP of Sales, let him know that you also plan to call the VP of The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 4 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  10. 10. Marketing and the CEO to make sure they aren’t left out. We’ll explore this tactic later and discuss how this works with both executives and gatekeepers. Influence Mechanism #2: Acknowledgment When attempting to reach key executives, I’ve found that they’re more interested in what you know about them than what they’re supposed to know about you or your company. If you’ve done any research on your prospect’s company (and you should), make sure to mention this in the call. Executives want to hear that you’re prepared, and that your call has a specific purpose. An easy way to conduct your research: make a quick call to a front-line employee (like a salesperson or customer service person) and ask them a few questions. Influence Mechanism #3: Commonality Executives prefer to build relationships with people they can relate to on several different levels. If you want to get their attention, you need to show them you’re on the same level as they are. This is done by demonstrating that you understand their situation and the “executive mindset.“ The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 5 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  11. 11. Show the executive that you understand the kind of challenges she deals with. Find out where your philosophies overlap. Most importantly, keep your conversations at a visionary level and don’t dwell on the details of your product or solution. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 6 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  12. 12. Turning Gatekeepers Into Allies Never underestimate the knowledge and influence a gatekeeper can have within a company. With a little creativity, you’ll find that it’s not difficult to earn her respect and gain access to key executives. However, if you use the same, cliched sales-y tactics that gatekeepers hear from most salespeople, they will instantly want to block you. First, forget about using any tricks or disguises in an attempt to fool the gatekeeper. Some sales trainers suggest that, when a gatekeeper asks you what the call is regarding, you respond by saying, “It’s a personal matter.” Besides The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 7 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  13. 13. being sleazy, this simply doesn’t work. Manipulative tactics like this that have made gatekeepers cautious and unwilling to put our call through. How do you respond when a gatekeeper asks you the question, “What is the call regarding?” Most of us launch into an overview about our company and our services, only to hear responses like, “We don’t have a need for that” or “We already have a vendor for that.” To turn gatekeepers into allies, it’s important that you don’t sound like a typical salesperson. I’ll offer two simple strategies--both use the Influence Mechanisms I mentioned earlier: Strategy #1: The Law of Social Proof (Name Dropping) Similar to a Hollywood producer, gatekeepers are influenced by who you know. If you’ve spoken with other key people inside the company, then mention it. If you haven’t spoken to anyone in the company yet, you can still name-drop by mentioning other executives that you plan to call. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 8 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  14. 14. Examples: EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: Can I tell Jane what the call is regarding? SALESPERSON: The reason I’m calling is because I’m planning to contact (another executive) to discuss ways to (improve recruiting, reduce costs, grow sales, etc.), and since this could affect Jane’s department I thought that she may also want to be included. In your opinion, what would be the best way to reach her? In this example, you’ll notice that I leveraged another executive I plan to call. I also referenced a potential topic of conversation, based on what I know about their company. However, I didn’t talk about my services or my company (because they don’t care). As a reminder, be careful of the language you use in this example--you’ll notice that I said, “I’m planning to call her” and didn’t say something like, “I have a call scheduled with her.” This would be a lie and you never want to mislead a gatekeeper. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 9 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  15. 15. Strategy #2: The Law of Reciprocity If the gatekeeper still won’t put your call through, then do her a favor first. You might send a simple thank-you card with a $5 gift certificate inside for Blockbuster or Starbucks. You could send her an e-mail with a tasteful cartoon attached, or an article or tasteful joke that might be amusing. I’ve found that if you can make a person laugh, it’s hard for them not to like you. After all, that’s what we’re really trying to achieve--to win people over so they’ll become a coach for us. Think of an approach that is unique and then be politely persistent in your request to speak with the executive. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 10 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  16. 16. Voice Mail: The Digital Gatekeeper Voice Mail is one of my favorite sales tools because it’s one of the few times you can communicate a message to the prospect without the threat of hearing an objection or being interrupted. It’s also one of the most misused tools in sales. Executives return less than 3% of the messages they receive. There are several reasons why they ignore the majority of voice mails: • The message isn’t compelling • The salesperson focuses too much on himself and his services • The message is too looooong The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 11 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  17. 17. • The tone of the message is boring • The message doesn’t stand out, and sounds like every other message the executive receives Here is a simple, 3-step formula for an effective voice mail message: 1.State your name, company and phone number in the beginning of the message. Make sure to slow down when you leave your number. 2.Leverage at least one Influence Mechanism which I discussed earlier 3.Ask for a call to action and repeat your phone number. Note: I rarely leave voice mails for only one person. Usually, I’ll target multiple people and attempt to contact all of them simultaneously. In my voice mails to each person, I’ll mention the other executives I’m attempting to reach. Here’s a voice mail to John Tucker, the VP of Sales for XYZ Company. I’ll leverage a call I plan to make to Beth Anderson, their VP of Marketing. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 12 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  18. 18. Voice Mail Message: Version 1 1. Hi John, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation Sales Group. My number is 952-486-7134. 2. I’m planning to make an initial call to Beth Anderson to discuss a few sales and marketing ideas for the company, and thought it also made sense to reach out to you on this. 3. Please call me at your earliest convenience and we can talk more about it. Again, this is Jake Atwood and my number is 952-486-7134. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 13 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  19. 19. Voice Mail Message: Version 2 1. Hi John, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation Sales Group. My number is 952-486-7134. 2. I left a message for Beth Anderson to discuss the company’s sales and marketing strategy, and wanted to make sure you were involved in any potential discussions. 3. Please call me at your earliest convenience and I can give you more details. Again, this is Jake Atwood and my number is 952-486-7134. With either of these options, it’s important to convey the right tone. You never want to make people feel threatened by your intention to call others in their company. The intent is to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to be involved, to feel included. As I said earlier, never mislead people or give them false information. If you haven’t spoken to an executive yet, it’s o.k. to say, “I’m planning to call him.” However, it’s not o.k. to say, “I have a meeting scheduled with him” or “he is expecting my call.” The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 14 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  20. 20. Using E-Mail As A Prospecting Tool Over the past several years, email has been one of the best prospecting tools I’ve used. However, the problem with most sales e-mails is that they all tend to resemble an advertisement. If you want people to respond to your emails, you’ll need to personalize each message. Do away with generic form letters and never email a brochure or marketing piece to a cold prospect. While there are numerous times you can use e-mail, there are four key points in the sales process where I use it most: The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 15 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  21. 21. E-Mail Template #1 The first type of e-mail is an introductory message. Before contacting an executive, identify one or two other key executives who would influence him. Then, create a message that leverages these people and any high-level information you have about their initiatives. Example: Hi John, I’m preparing to make an introductory call to Eric and Sue to discuss a few potential changes to your (recruiting process; sales process; payroll system, etc.). I’d like to ask for a few minutes to discuss this over the phone with you. What is your availability on (date and time) for a 3-5 minute call? E-Mail Template #2 There’s another way to use e-mail to gain access to the right people. For example, after leaving two voice mail messages with an executive, I find that I need to humanize the approach with a more personalized e-mail. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 16 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  22. 22. Example: Hi Betty, I realize that (you’re very busy; you get a lot of calls; you have an existing relationship with another company). At this point, all I’m asking for is 2 minutes on the phone with you and I’ll earn the rest. If this sounds fair enough, please let me know the best way for us to connect. Thank you for your time. E-Mail Template #3 After I’ve spoken to an executive or even had an initial meeting, it’s not uncommon for them to get distracted and fail to respond to my follow-up attempts. This happens to all of us, and the key is to drive the sale by leveraging other contacts (refer back to Template #1). Example: Hi Joe, as a next step in the process, I thought I’d call Mary to brief her on our discussion and talk about some of the potential changes that would take place. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 17 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  23. 23. However, I also want to respect your role in this project and invite you to call me if you think my call to Mary would be premature. Thanks again for your time. E-Mail Template #4 Hopefully, you’ve moved the sale along and have closed it. However, if the prospect fails to respond after several attempts, I’ll send a “last attempt” email. Example: Hi Sarah, I know we haven’t been able to connect, which usually means that either you’re too busy for us to talk, or it’s not the right timing. I want to respect your time, so I’m going to close your file. Otherwise, if you’d still like to talk, please call me asap. Thanks again. One last thing: For the subject line in any e-mail, always use something that will spark their curiosity. You could use a co-worker’s name, such as “planning a call to Jane Doe” or something as simple as “Quick Question.” The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 18 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com Click Here For More Prospecting Email Templates.
  24. 24. Creative Ways To Gain Access What happens when voice mail and email don’t get the executive’s attention? Depending on how critical it is to reach the person, it might be time to get creative. Over the years, I’ve developed several creative ways to get through to people who seem impossible to reach. Before I give you a few examples, here are some guidelines for designing your own creative campaigns: The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 19 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  25. 25. 1. It’s best to create campaigns that require participation from the executive. Sending them information is o.k. but sending them a survey that they can respond to is even better. 2. Whenever possible, tailor your campaigns to executives based on what you know about them or their company. 3. Don’t expect the campaign to automatically generate a call to you. Make sure you follow up with the executive within a week. Creative Campaign #1: The Survey I like using surveys because they’re interactive and can also be a great way to gather information about your prospect. The only challenge: how do we motivate them to participate? I’ve found that $5 or $10 gift cards work well. You can also let them know about other executives who have already participated (this uses the Influence Mechanism called Social Proof that I discussed in the beginning of the book). The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 20 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  26. 26. Example: Create a document with 3-5 questions that you would like to ask the prospect. The questions should help you learn more about the account and prepare you for your call to the executive. Here are a few examples: • What is your current method/process for _____________? • What are the top 3 challenges you face in regard to ______________? • What is your #1 initiative this year? Next, send the message to your prospect. While email is an option, I suggest faxing it since it’s more likely to get noticed. On the cover page of the fax, write a note to the prospect. Here’s an example: “Bob, I realize you’re busy. If you’d be willing to take 2 minutes of your time to answer a quick industry survey, I’d like to send you a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks. Please look at the attached page and fax back to me at 952-486-7134. Thanks in advance for your help!” The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 21 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  27. 27. When I receive a survey from a prospect, I send them a gift card and then follow up with a phone call 1-2 days after they’ve received it. Here’s an example of the call: “Bob, I want to thank you for taking the time to fax back the survey and I’m calling to let you know that I sent your gift card. Also, you mentioned in the survey that you (talk about their challenges or initiatives). I’d like to ask for an opportunity to meet with you and see how we could help. What is your availability on (date and time)?” Creative Campaign #2: The Personal Touch Every week, salespeople bombard executives with promotional merchandise (usually embossed with their company logo) in an effort to get noticed. These items range from hats and pens to calculators and paper weights. But how many prospects receive one of these generic gifts and think, “Wow, I should buy something from this company”? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 22 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  28. 28. Instead of sending out this kind of merchandise, why not take a more creative approach by tailoring the gift to each individual executive. Here are a few examples: Creative Gift #1: The Ol’ College Try If you can find out which college or university your prospect attended, you can usually purchase merchandise from their online bookstore. I like to send executives a coffee cup or t-shirt with a note attached asking them for a phone call or meeting. You could also put one of these gifts inside the Vor’s Box mentioned in Creative Campaign #2. Here are three free websites that often list the college or university for many executives: LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com ZoomInfo: www.zoominfo.com Classmates: www.classmates.com The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 23 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  29. 29. Creative Gift #2: Get A Hobby Find out a hobby or interest the prospect has (you can usually ask one of the Executive Assistants about this). Then, look for a gift that you know they would enjoy. In the note you attach, let them know that you saw the gift and thought of them. Creative Gift #3: The Usual (With A Twist) Take a closer look at everyday things you normally do to reach someone, and see if you can give them a twist of creativity. Instead of sending out your business card, you could have your card printed on to a rectangular cookie (easy and inexpensive). Instead of sending a small card requesting their time, send a huge card that will get their attention. When you e-mail them, attach a humorous cartoon or article they will find interesting. No matter what you do, ensure that every interaction makes you memorable. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 24 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  30. 30. Section 2: The Prospecting Call How To Persuade Executives To Meet With You The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 25 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  31. 31. The Blueprint For The Call Before building a house, contractors require a blueprint that will guide the project and ensure the house gets built correctly. You need a similar type of blueprint for your prospecting calls. Before making your calls, it’s important to create a blueprint that will keep you on track and help you reach your objective. There are dozens of dynamics in a prospecting call, and it would take several hundred pages to discuss them all. I’ll cover four aspects of the call that tend to be a challenge for most salespeople: 1.The Introduction: How will you greet the prospect and introduce yourself? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 26 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  32. 32. 2.The Value Proposition: What is the purpose of your call and why should the prospect care? 3.The Objection Redirect: What objections do you anticipate hearing and how can you turn objections into opportunities? 4.The Closing Statement: How and when should you ask for the appointment? I’ll explain each of the parts in more detail over the next several pages. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 27 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  33. 33. The Introduction: Their First Impression A strong introduction in the first 5 seconds of the call is critical. This can be as simple as stating your name and company. However, it’s also important for you to grab the prospect’s attention and differentiate yourself in some way. To accomplish all of this, you’ll need to avoid the typical, everyday introductions used by salespeople everywhere. So what is the “typical” introduction? You’re probably using a version of it right now. Here’s an example: “Hi Beth, this is Jake Atwood with XYZ Company. How are you today?” or “Hi The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 28 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  34. 34. Beth, Jake Atwood with XYZ. How ‘ya doin’?” In my experience, the majority of salespeople begin their calls by asking the prospect “how are you?” There are two problems I have with this question (and reasons I avoid it): 1. It commodities us. A commodity is a generic product or service that looks and feels the same as its competing products. When you make an initial prospect call to someone, you are the product. When you ask a prospect “how are you?”, it makes you sound like everyone else. If you fail to sound different in your approach, you’ll become a commodity and no one will remember you. 2. It makes us sound phony. Most salespeople ask “how are you?” as if they’re on autopilot. They lack sincerity. In fact, I’ve heard calls in which the prospect answers “I’m not doing very well” and the salesperson completely ignores the The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 29 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  35. 35. response and continues with the call as if nothing happened. Because of this, prospects believe that any salesperson who asks this kind of question is probably insincere (even if you’re one of the few people that really care). I’m going to share a different kind of introduction for your call. It’s one that instantly engages your prospect. It’s one that will differentiate you from other salespeople. And it’s one that you’ll probably be afraid to use until you understand it better. So what is the new introduction? It’s simple: ask people for a moment to talk. It may seem strange, even counter-intuitive, that this approach works so well. Common sense would lead us to believe that a busy executive would never give us a minute to talk. If we ask people for a minute, won’t they always say “no”? You may be wondering why this different approach works so well. The answer is a principle called “The Law of Reciprocation,” a term coined by psychologist The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 30 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  36. 36. Robert Cialdini. When we do a favor for people, they feel obligated to do something for us in return. In this case, we are doing them a favor by respecting their time. In return, they show appreciation by granting us a few minutes on the phone. 95% of the time, prospects will grant us time to talk--and we’ll have their complete attention. On the next page are a few examples of different introductions I use in my calls: Introduction #1: The Standard Approach Hi Beth, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation. I know you weren’t expecting my call--do you have a minute to talk? Hi John, this is Jake Atwood calling from Ovation. Do you have a quick minute? (A quick minute is a way to emphasize that you will get to the point) The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 31 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  37. 37. Introduction #2: The Referred Approach Hi Beth, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation. I was referred to you by Tom Baker-- do you have a quick minute to talk? Introduction #3: The Leveraged Approach Hi John, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation. I’m planning to reach out to Beth Anderson and also thought it made sense for us to talk. Do you have a minute? Hi Beth, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation. I’m planning to make a call to John, your CFO, and I had a few questions for you. Do you have a moment? (Mix and match language from both of these examples to develop your own introduction) Introduction #4: The Follow-Up Approach I use this introduction when I’m following up from a previous conversation. Hi John, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation. We spoke a couple weeks ago and you had asked me to get in touch with you today. Do you have a minute? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 32 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  38. 38. Hi Beth, this is Jake Atwood with Ovation. If you recall, we discussed ___________ last time we spoke. Do you have a minute to talk? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 33 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  39. 39. The New Value Proposition Most of you are probably familiar with a “value proposition.” Typically, it’s a short benefit statement that tells prospects in 30 seconds or less why they should be interested in your services. There’s only one problem with traditional value propositions: they don’t work anymore. Traditional value propositions assume that prospects are waiting to hear a reason to be interested in your services. Therefore, salespeople are trained to list their features and benefits, hoping that at least one of them will be enticing. While it’s true that The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 34 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  40. 40. prospects eventually want to know about the benefits you can offer, this is not what they are initially listening for in the call. Rather, they are listening for a reason not to be interested in your services. I’ll repeat this, since it’s critical to the structure of your new value proposition: Prospects aren’t listening for a reason to be interested in your services. Rather, they are listening for a reason not to be interested in your services. Prospects have changed their minds about how they buy and what they want from a salesperson. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1.Because of the internet, they are more educated than ever before. They don’t need you to tell them about the features and benefits of your services--they can find this information on the internet (if they want it). 2.Increased competition means they receive an overwhelming number of calls from salespeople. They are bombarded with sales messages everyday. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 35 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  41. 41. Nobody can absorb this amount of information. Instead, we try hard to prevent information overload--we screen calls, we ask for the summarized version, and we look for a chance to delete anything unnecessary. If this is the case, then how do we create a new type of value proposition that grabs their attention (even when they want to ignore us) and doesn’t allow them to “delete” us in the first few seconds of the call? In other words, how do we create a “Sticky Statement” that will cling to people and which they will remember? There are dozens of books that spend 300 pages on the topic of “value propositions.” I’ll attempt to cover this in the next 6-7. I believe that the next generation of value propositions will need to focus less on our services and more on a prospect’s “motives.” Here’s the definition of motive: mo·tive (mō'tĭv) The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 36 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  42. 42. noun: An emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action. Let me provide a simplified definition: When a prospect’s reason to take action is greater than his reason to do nothing. We need to connect with the emotional reasons that prompt people to listen and take action. At the same time, we need to defuse any objections that could create a reason for them to do nothing. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 37 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  43. 43. I’ve come up with a formula that will help you develop your new value proposition, which I call your Sticky Statement. I’ll give you several examples of Sticky Statements in a moment. First, here’s the formula, which I call MOTIVE: The MOTIVE Formula: m = (o) - [t + i + v] - (e) motivation = (objections) - [timing + influence + value] - (enthusiasm) Don’t let the look of this formula scare you. It’s actually quite simple. Here’s another way to look at it: The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 38 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  44. 44. When you initially call a prospect, her biggest motivation (m) is to end the call by listening for something that will create an objection (o). Your goal is to remove her focus from the objection by making sure the call is timely (t), leveraging other people who will influence (i) her, and explaining the value (v) your services will bring to her organization. Lastly, you need to deliver all of this with confidence and enthusiasm (e) in less than 20 seconds. Summary: Your timing, influence and value need to outweigh the objections they have. Here is a more detailed outline of the core components of the MOTIVE Formula: Objections: Address any objections or fears that could cause them to end the call, such as fear of change, fear of making a mistake, or desire to maintain the status quo. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 39 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  45. 45. Timing: Create urgency and avoid phrases that could cause the prospect to feel like the timing isn’t right. For example, never say, “I’m calling to see if you might be The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 40 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  46. 46. evaluating your system/vendor.” Ideally, try to align your call with one of their current initiative. Influence: Leverage the Influence Mechanisms I addressed earlier: Social Proof, Acknowledgment, and Commonality. Another Influence Mechanism you can use in your Sticky Statement is curiosity. Make sure you don’t give too much information--otherwise, there’s no need for people to talk to you again. Value: Demonstrate how you can impact the prospect’s business. What problems can you solve for them? What results can you produce? Enthusiasm: Deliver your Sticky Statement with confidence and passion. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 41 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  47. 47. Examples: Here are a few examples of Sticky Statements. In each example, pay attention to every part of the MOTIVE Formula. You’ll notice that I consistently address their objections and then use timing, influence, and value to create a reason to meet with me. I’ll denote each example with (o) objection, (t) timing, (i) influence and (v) value to point out which components of the MOTIVE Formula I’m using. Sticky Statement #1: Template: We have a unique process (i) being used by several (industry type) companies (i) that has helped them (mention benefits) (v) without requiring them to (mention objections)(o). The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 42 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  48. 48. Example: We have a unique process (i) being used by several telecom companies (i) that has helped them attract new customers (v) without having to discount their price to get the business (o). Sticky Statement #2: Template: I understand that you may be looking for ways to (mention a need) (t) without having to (mention objection) (o) and there’s an interesting way (i) we’ve been able to accomplish this already (v) with another (industry) company (i). The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 43 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  49. 49. Example: I understand that you may be looking for ways to increase employee productivity (t) without having to pay higher salaries (o) and there’s an interesting way (i) we were able to improve productivity by over 30% (v) with a similar software company (i). Sticky Statement #3: Template: I spoke with (name) (i) and I’ve learned that you (describe their situation or problem) (t). I’m calling because we addressed this with (company) (i) and I believe you could leverage/integrate (o) this into what you’re already doing and potentially (mention results) (v) within (timeframe) (t). The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 44 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  50. 50. Example: I spoke with John Doe (i) and learned that you have a goal to increase sales by selling more to your client base (i). (Is that correct?) I’m calling because we developed a cross-selling program for a similar manufacturing company (i) and I believe if you integrated this into your sales process (o) it could potentially increase sales by 20-25% (v). Sticky Statement #4: Template: I’m planning to call (name) (i) at (timeframe) (t) to talk about your current (t) initiative/challenge with __________ (i) because I believe there is a way you could (mention benefits/results) (v) without having to make any major changes to _______ (o). The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 45 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  51. 51. Example: I’m planning to call John (i) later today (t) to talk about the current (t) challenges with your recruiting efforts (i) because I believe there is a way (i) you could lower your recruiting costs (v) without having to make any major changes to your recruiting process (o). The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 46 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  52. 52. Redirect Any Objection You may be curious why the title of this section is called “Redirect Any Objection” instead of “Overcome Any Objection” or “Rebuttals For Any Objection.” What do I mean by Redirect? Redirecting an objection is the opposite of overcoming one. Instead of trying to take the objection head-on and changing the prospect’s mind, it’s easier to take the call in a new direction. I’ll give several examples of how I redirect an objection, and I’ll demonstrate how any objection can be redirected into an opportunity. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 47 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  53. 53. When most salespeople hear an objection, they reach for a scripted rebuttal-- something they can tell the prospect that will magically change her mind and convince her to meet. However, is a prospect really willing to change her mind within a 3-minute phone call? If a prospect is “happy with her current vendor” and you try to convince her you’re better, she could get defensive. When this happens, she’ll defend her objection by defending her current vendor. Ultimately, your attempt to overcome the objection will only make it more powerful. Remember: when you give something attention in the call, you give it strength. There’s another reason why traditional rebuttals don’t help salespeople overcome an objection: You could be trying to overcome an objection that doesn’t really exist--one that the prospect gave you just to end the call. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 48 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  54. 54. Stop trying to “solve” objections on a prospecting call. Instead, redirect the call away from the objection and toward an opportunity. The way to redirect the call is quite easy: Ask questions. Find out what the real objection is. Learn something about the prospect’s situation. Ask about the executive’s biggest challenges and how he’s currently resolving them. If you ask the right questions, the prospect will abandon his objection and you can redirect the call toward something else (like an appointment). You’ll discover that you can redirect any objection using a master list of six questions or less. Throw away the book of “101 Objection Rebuttals.” You simply don’t need more than six questions. Before giving you examples of the specific questions I ask for different objections, here is a short list of the types of questions you’ll use: The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 49 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  55. 55. Question #1: The Current Situation Ask about current processes, systems, challenges, and initiatives. Find out what’s happening in their company so you know how you can help. Question #2: What Have You Tried? Before telling them how you can solve their problem, ask them about any solutions they have already tried. For example, “What options have you looked at that would solve, improve, fix…?” Question #3: Other People’s Problems If the prospect seems complacent and he won’t admit to any challenges, tell him about a challenge that similar clients were experiencing, and then ask him how this relates to his situation. You can also follow up with Question #2 and ask what he has done to solve this kind of issue in his company. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 50 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  56. 56. Examples: Here’s a list of the most common objections you probably hear, along with examples of potential questions you could ask. Use these questions as a guide and tailor them to your business. Objection: I’m not interested • May I ask why you feel we wouldn't be a fit for your company? • Redirect: When we’ve worked with other companies in your industry, they had a challenge with __________. How does that relate to your situation? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 51 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  57. 57. Objection: I’m too busy Note: I don’t consider this an objection. They haven’t said they don’t want your services--it’s only a matter of timing. Assume you have the appointment and now you simply need to find out when the prospect’s schedule is open. • Let's look further out in our calendars if we need to. What is your availability on (date and time)? • Redirect (if necessary): What types of projects are getting your attention right now? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 52 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  58. 58. Objection: We already have a vendor/system (and we’re happy) Note: When this objection comes up, it's usually because you focused too much on your products and solutions in the call, instead of focusing on the prospect’s problems and initiatives. Refer to your Sticky Statement and make sure you’re defusing this objection. • What do you have in place? How long have you had it for? • Redirect: A lot of companies I work with in your industry are challenged with (mention a common problem or situation). What have you tried doing to resolve this in your company? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 53 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  59. 59. Objection: We don’t have the budget • Is this something you typically budget for? When does the new budget year start? • Redirect: What types of projects/initiatives have you dedicated the budget to this year? • Redirect: What type of projects would you launch if you had the budget? • Redirect: What if there was an ROI that would pay for this project? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 54 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  60. 60. Objection: Send me information • What aspects of our company/solution would you like more information about? • Redirect: To see if we’d be a fit for you before I send any information, could you tell me about (challenges, initiatives, etc)? After asking 2-3 questions, the prospect will be engaged in the call again and you’ll be in a position to ask for the appointment. Jot down the objections you hear in your calls, and then identify the questions that will redirect the call. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 55 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  61. 61. The Closing Statement There are literally hundreds of books and courses to teach you how to close. The fact is most of them are too complicated and you simply don’t need them. So what is the best way to ask for an appointment? The answer is easy: show them that you believe in your solution and speak with conviction. Think of your favorite restaurant. Now think about how strong your recommendation was when you told your friends about it. Why is it that most salespeople lack the same passion when asking for an appointment with a prospect? Perhaps it’s our fear of rejection or that we forget how great our The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 56 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  62. 62. solution is. In any case, it’s absolutely critical that prospects hear the conviction in your words and your voice whenever you ask them for an appointment. First, get rid of all the wishy-washy language that plagues us: words like “kinda, maybe, wondering and possibly.” What kind of message does it convey when you ask for the appointment and say, “I was wondering if you might want to meet?” Words like “wondering” create doubt and uncertainty. Examples: Here are a few examples of simple closing statements that will help you convey the confidence and belief that prospects want to hear: Close #1: The Simple Approach Let’s set up a time to talk more about this. What is your availability on _______? The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 57 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  63. 63. Close #2: The Expanded Approach Based on your situation, I’d like to ask for an opportunity to meet with you and explore what kind of impact we could have on your company. What does your schedule look like on __________? Close #3: After An Objection John, I realize that (mention the objections). At this point, I certainly don’t expect you to make any immediate changes. All I’m asking for is an opportunity for a brief meeting to compare our approach to what you’re currently doing and see what makes the most sense for your business. Does that sound fair enough? Tailor these closing statements to your personality and then memorize them. The next time you ask a prospect for an appointment, ask them with confidence! Remember: if you don’t ask, your competition will. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 58 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  64. 64. Final Thoughts What will be the outcome of utilizing the strategies I’ve outlined in this Playbook? You will find that they are powerful tools to influence prospects in an authentic and positive manner. You will be able to cut through the buzz of information that overloads both gatekeepers and executives to make them remember you as a unique, indispensable resource. They will turn to you instinctively when they have a problem, disregarding others who continue to use tired, worn-out methods. E-mail and voice mail will become invaluable assets for you rather than stumbling blocks to success. Using the MOTIVE Formula and new value propositions, your creativity will increase to overcome stale marketing techniques or prospects’ objections. Finally, you’ll have a fresh, self-assured outlook that will be key to your future success. The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 59 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  65. 65. “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” --Cecil Beaton Photographer & Writer The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 60 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  66. 66. Prospecting Notes The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 61 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  67. 67. Prospecting Notes The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 62 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  68. 68. Prospecting Notes The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 63 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  69. 69. Prospecting Notes The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 64 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com
  70. 70. Prospecting Notes The Prospecting Playbook Jake Atwood Page 65 © 2 0 1 3 O v a t i o n S a l e s G r o u p , L L C | www.ovationsales.com

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