On this episode we talk to Ben Gay III who is a contemporary of Zig Ziglar and is a master of referrals, Mark Hunter a follow up artist, Art Sobczak talks to us about important tips on prospecting over the phone, Sonny Melendrez who speaks to us on how to adapt to a conversation, and last but not least, Tom Hopkins who shows us the importance of becoming a master asker.
Referral master Ben Gay III did one cold call in his entire sales career, from there he went on and built a highly lucrative sales career thru referrals. He went to a Doug Edwards seminar and he said, "you should never leave an appointment without five referrals at least".
He made one cold call, knocked on the door, made an appointment and came back the next day and he was scared to death, it’s the only one he ever made. But he made a sale and got five referrals.
He got five referrals, went and called those people, from there he got ten referrals, from here he got three and from there he got six and so on, and then called on them and got their referrals. And referrals get easier in a circle of influence because once you’ve been referred around in the circle and you get referred to somebody they go “Oh yeah! I’ve heard of you”, versus when it might be a little colder the first time you got referred, or the first time they heard your name.
He was in the industry for 40 years, he made one cold call his entire career that first night. Every call he made for 40 years thereafter, you could trace back through the family tree to that first time, and you could trace that back to Doug Edwards telling him “get five referrals”. And that’s how powerful it can be. And now with the internet and social media it keeps getting easier.
Mark Hunter, apart from speaking about referrals, also gives us important insight on follow ups. Whatever you feel is the frequency you can follow up with somebody, you can double that. If I have a conversation with you, my objective coming out of that conversation is to have next step. My objective would be to have a time set up for the next conversation.
The speed with which I call you back is going to depend upon the product or service you sell and who you’re selling to. For example, working with companies that sell industrial supplies to contractors Mark says “you can call that person back tomorrow” because they’re buying every day. If you are selling something that the person only buys once a month, I might call them back every three or four days.
His philosophy is that he always waits either 4 to 6 days for the next communication. The reason he goes every 4 to 6 days is because it automatically flips to a different day of the week. So if there's a call every 4 days, he's going to call on Monday, then again on Friday, again the following Thursday, then the following Wednesday and then the following Tuesday.
A lot of people say "I can’t call people on Monday’s or Friday’s"… why?... that’s a perception and belief that people have. That’s your own mental block. What you’re trying to do is to find an excuse so you don’t have to cold call. Just do it.
Art Sobczak is a true master at phone calling. How do you help people feel good about the phone? We create resistance with our messages. We help by speaking about the mechanics, this being our messaging, what we’re saying and how we’re saying it, and most sales people use bad messaging, they use techniques that really insight resistance and cause resistance.
A myth of sales, prospecting and using the phone is “you should love rejection” and you have to get used to it. Let’s completely remove the word "rejection" from our vocabulary because rejection is not the experience itself, the experience being getting “no”, we’re going to get “no’s” playing the game. If we get a “no” on the phone, we shouldn’t call it rejection.
Let’s look at it differently, let’s look at it as it being something that didn’t work, let’s figure out what we can learn from that situation and then we can do something proactively to get a win on every call, maybe we can leave the door open, or maybe it can be a question we can ask every time, so at the end of the day saying “I got rejected 30 times”, we can say “I accomplished my primary 3 times and I planted a seed the rest of the time”, that's a pretty good day.
Sonny Melendrez speaks to us about how the people who are top sellers in any company are the people who have relationships, they are not selling, they’re serving. They serve whoever they want to sell to, and if they have something that they really believe in, all of a sudden there’s a whole different relationship that’s going on there and that person, or company, can be a client for life. This thought is opposed to make a dollar now and go by the numbers.
You have to think who it is you’re talking to, what it is you can do for them and how it is you can fit into their plan, and if you don’t fit, find or suggest somebody who can. It is important being present to the customer, being present to their needs, being present to the situation so that you can respond appropriately and build the right relationship to help people.
We tend to memorize our pitch and then deliver it no matter who it is you’re talking to, so consequently it comes off as just that. If I were talking to you thru points I had written down you’d know it, but instead we’re having a conversation and that conversation is driven by that give and take, not unlike a tennis match, if you hit a ball on a certain side I have to go there, but If I stay in the same spot I’m never going to hit the ball.
Tom Hopkins started in real estate, he was a sales failure and rose to become one of the best. The art of sales is to become a master asker not a talking teller. One of the biggest mistakes was that when he started the thought he had to be really talkative, then realizing that the art of sales is more questioning and listening than talking and telling.
In the beginning he was trying to fill any void of silence with talk, he didn’t really master the art of asking questions. The most successful of his mentors said "stop talking and telling and start asking and listening". That’s when he said he was going to become a master asker. We, as sales people, talk too much and end up losing sales.
If people would open their minds up to the fact that selling is not a pushy aggressive situation, it’s an artform that is very learnable if you are coachable. Find coaches that you relate to, you feel the way they come across with you and you take their ideas.
Tom would listen to Doug Edwards’ records, hour after hour, take notes, write down his phraseology, and then it started to become him. That’s when you start growing, when you internalize what you learn from others and then it’s not them anymore it becomes you, and you become more effective at not only communicating, establishing rapport, helping bring down defence barriers and people that are afraid of being sold.
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