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Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth," entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques.

He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection."

For more information he can be reached at: Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens Street Omaha, NE, 68137 Phone: 800-326-7721 Fax: 402-896-3353 Email: arts@businessbyphone.com Website: www.businessbyphone.com

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Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.
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Travis Dhein, Waytek Inc.



Don't Sound Like a Salesperson

by Art Sobczak


She made several potentially fatal call-ending mistakes on her sales call to me. But, I stayed on the line with her. More about why in a minute.

First the mistakes:

"Hello Art, I'm ______ with ________. I sent you a letter the other day. I was wondering if you received that?"

I responded: "Don't believe so. Did I ask you to send it?"

Mistake One: The old, "Didja get it," opening statement. It's horrible. It invites resistance. It screams out, "Salesperson!"

Her: "No, no. It was an introductory letter I sent out."

"I get tons of mail every day, so I probably threw it away if I didn't ask for it."

Her: "Well, we're a video service and I'm calling about helping you produce a video of a program that you could send out to your clients and prospects and put on your website if you have one."

Mistake Two: She gave a presentation before questioning, or knowing anything about me. And like most premature presentations, it created resistance since I didn't have a need for what she pitched. More about the objection in a minute.

"I'm assuming then that you haven't been to my website and don't know what I do."

Her: "Well I know you're a speaker and trainer."

"So you're working from the speaker's association membership list and just going down the line, right?"

Her: "Uh, yes."

Mistake Three (which, if taken in order, was the first mistake, since she shouldn't have even THOUGHT about calling before doing this): She didn't do any research on me. She very easily could have gone to my website to get information on my speaking and training programs, my training products, and if and how I use video.

Now, many callers would have melted down at this point... becoming tongue-tied and muttering something like "Uhh, keep us in mind then." If not, then most prospects would have ended the call at this point.

But I stayed on the phone with her. and gave my very real objection: "I've never used a video demo. Haven't needed one and I stay pretty fully booked with the business I choose to take. I've been around a long time, I get lots of repeat and referral business, and do a good job of selling with people who haven't seen me so it's really not an issue."

And at THIS point, the call would usually end. However I stayed on the phone with her. But we actually had a nice conversation. I even agreed that if I did change my mind or needed her services I would call.

So, why did I stay on the phone?

Logically and rationally, there wasn't a good reason. Like I illustrated, tactically this was a bad call.

But she sounded good.

Genuine. Smooth. Warm. Natural. She didn't sound like a salesperson pounding the phone to get in her 40 contacts or 150 dials.

She didn't sound like a salesperson smilin' & dialin' because someone told her it's a numbers game and if you speak with enough people you're bound to bump into some success.

She sounded like a real person calling someone she cared for, discussing something she was passionate about.

So how's that for a ground-breaking, deep, high-level psychologically-advanced sales tip this week? That's right, try to make every call sound like you're calling a good friend.

Approach every call like it's the only one you'll make that day. As if that person is the most important person in the world.

Visualize the person at the other end of the phone. Pretend like you're looking him or her in the eye.

Keep in mind you're calling people, not numbers or names on a list.

Speak conversationally. Granted, you should be prepared with what you'll say (and your opening and voice mail message should be totally scripted, word-for-word), but it must be so well-prepared and practiced that it sounds spontaneous. (Are you prepared right now to conversationally and confidently answer the toughest questions you're likely to face and rather not hear?)

Don't get me wrong, sounding good will not consistently cover up for bad technique. But the "likeability factor" is proven to put a positive spin on a situation that otherwise might be perceived differently if the person didn't sound or look pleasant. (The fact that John Edwards is good looking and has charisma won't hurt the Democratic ticket, and I'm sure it didn't hurt when juries awarded millions upon millions of dollars in cases that he won while a plaintiff's attorney.)

There's no arguing, my friend, that the image and aura you project can help you or hurt you. Combine a great sound, with solid strategy and techniques and you have a recipe for astounding success.

Don't sound like a salesperson, and you'll be a better salesperson.

(Want more ideas on dealing with this issue, or better yet, preventing it? Click here.)

Other Resources on this Topic Special Report: "How to Sell on the Follow-Up Call" You'll learn: specifically how to end a call to ensure that they'll actually look forward to your follow-up; how to set a specific time for the follow-up; how to open up the follow-up so you're sure to maintain interest - and what not to say, and much more. Six pages. Only $6.

"How to Sell More, In Less Time, With No Rejection, Using Common Sense Telephone Techniques, Volumes 1 & 2" You'll get great how-to info not only on the follow-up, but on all parts of the call. In these two books you'll get over 540 pages of rock-solid info, just like you read in my Telephone Selling Report sales tips newsletter ever other month, and in my e-mail newsletter each week. Click Here to see just a sampling of the sections in the book, and what you'll get:

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
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Distribution companies, by their nature, should be sales-oriented companies. But, most distributors don't do sales very well. That's the premise behind this new book.

The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.

The book begins with an analysis of current conditions that pressure the distributor to revise the way he/she thinks about his sales force. Kahle then paints a picture of the distributor sales force of the future. The sales force will be:
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His advice begins with "See it as a system," a concept that is based on one of the key principles for the book, "When you change the structure, you change the behavior of the people who work within that structure."
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