Keys to Leading Your Team to Opening New Accounts

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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. As I coach and train leaders and their sales teams to bust out of their comfort zones with the goal of opening new accounts, several key practices have bubbled up as some of the best. These key practices will help you stop the “insanity” that’s stopping your company from growing 25 to 30% faster than it could be. So buckle your seat belt (or as we say in racing – “strap in”), put your helmet on and get ready because I’m about to ‘blow the doors off’ what you’re doing. But, if you can implement my suggestions you’ll be taking your team out on your Hatteras instead of your Sea Ray.

1.) No more “think it overs,” “get back to me’s” or “we’ll let you knows” when cold calling. The only acceptable conclusion to every call is a “yes” or a “no” for an appointment. Salespeople waste all kinds of time calling on prospects that continue to say “maybe” or give them some kind of put-off. Meanwhile, there are a virtually unlimited number of prospects in most businesses that they could be cold calling.

One rule of effective cold calling is to get a “yes” or “no” at the end of every conversation. So, train your team how to deal with the stalls, objections and put-offs they hear when prospecting to make every call that they ‘get through to the decision maker count. For example, when someone says, “Call me in three months,” train your salespeople to say, “Sure, now suppose it was three months from now and we were on the phone, what do you suppose you’d be telling me then?” This technique effectively, and with finesse, eliminates the “call me in three months” put-offs. I call it the “take it to the future move.”

So to summarize, train your team to obtain a yes or no at the end of every cold call. Also, start coaching and training them to focus on mover effective techniques – weekly re-enforcement works best!

2.) Commit everyone to certain prospecting activities everyday and tie it to a goals program. Review their behavioral goals right down to “dials” weekly – compare “dials” goals to actual; contact goals to actual; appointments booked to actual; face-to-faces goals to actual; sold goals to actual. Schedule a review/coaching meeting with each of them weekly in advance. Block at least 30 to 45 minutes for each person.

3.) Start a lead generation program or expand what you have. Different things fit for different industries. Decide if a networking and/or business groups, business journal, newspaper, direct mail, inserts, trade shows, blast emails, billboard, radio, TV, internet or some other medium or a combination will work for you. Distribute the resulting leads to your team. Adjust commissions or even sell the leads to your team if you need to. Many salespeople really won’t mind that – believe it or not. They understand that it takes money to make money.

4.) Get your people focused on referrals and introductions. This is where 98% of companies are losing money. Their sales teams hardly get any of the referrals they could. Have your people set a referral goal at the end of each day as to how many they will ask for tomorrow. If you lack techniques to obtain referrals and introductions for your clients, get an excellent sales trainer. Review referral goals and results at your weekly review/coaching sessions. Be sure to recognize and reward achievement in this area too!

5.) As you launch this new chapter in the growth of your company, let everyone know your ideas. Tell them that you want to do this as a collaborative effort and you would appreciate their help. Tell them that you will be having a monthly brainstorming session for progress, suggestions and new ideas. Really commit to running this brainstorming session every month so the ‘plug doesn’t come out of the generator’.

Finally, make a commitment to yourself to growing your company more than ever. Commit to being your best, to reaching out and reaching within yourself and finding things that you knew were always there and now you’re going to use them. You are unique and you are a leader!

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