Are You Stuck in Voice Mail Jail?

We’ve all had it happen to us. We have a great meeting with a client and agree to talk next week to firm thing up and when that day arrives, no call. So, we leave a pleasant message, “I’m sure you just got tied up….call me when you’re free….looking forward to working with you…” and wait…and wait and wait. After a few messages (or a few too many), you realize you’ll never talk to them again.What happened? Why did they do that to you and, more importantly, how do you prevent it from happening in the future?

First, get an agreement (at Sandler, we call them “Up Front Contracts”) for the date and time to talk. After you both have it on the calendar, you’ve got to ask, “What if I miss you next Tuesday at 2? What should I do?” and wait for an answer! You want a firm commitment to talk on Tuesday, even if they’re going to tell you NO! That’s right, even if they decided not to use you!

Remember, No is the 2nd best answer you can get on a sales call. Yes is the best and the worst is ?”I need to think it over.” If you make it ok for people to tell you no, at least you will get one more conversation in before they go to your competitor. You get to ask a few more questions and, at the very least, you’ll know it’s over and can move on to the next prospect. You can’t take the no personally. It’s just business so don’t fret. You didn’t lose the sale. Sandler Rule: You can’t lose what you don’t have. It wasn’t yours yet. The check had not cleared the bank! That’s when the deal is indeed closed. Here’s what it should sound like, “So I’ll call you next week on Tuesday at 2, correct and we’ll figure out our next steps, fair? Do promise you’ll take my call .even if you’ve decided not to use us so I can close your file and leave you alone? What if I miss you on Tuesday, what should I do?” You want them to commit to calling you if you miss them or they’ll tell you to call again later in the day with a promise. People will do what they commit to doing 90% of the time if they speak the words. It’s called the Principle of Consistency. Get them to tell you that you’ll talk and get the real story even if it’s not in your favor.

Try this with your prospects this week, and you’ll have more calls the following week instead of working on people who’ve gone into the Witness Protection Program.

About the author:

Eric Shulman
Eric Shulman brings almost 50 years of sales and sales management experience to the table (Hint: He started when he was VERY young!). The combination of his front-line sales and marketing experience together with his exceptional communication skills enables him to provide a “hands on”, real world approach to sales, sales management and client development problems and challenges. In short, techniques that really work in today’s tough selling environments. <br><br> Eric began his sales career in a family retail business in Orlando and then stepped out on his own and founded a full service direct response marketing and mailing firm which he grew to 54 employees. His clients included Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Barnett Bank, Sun Bank, and most of the major ad agencies in Orlando. Eric was very active with the Orlando Area Ad Fed serving as Treasurer and Vice President of Membership. He was the winner of the Gold Addy Award in the Direct Mail Category and the Ellis Award in 1988. He helped establish the Orlando Chapter of the Florida Direct Marketing Association and later served as state president and was VP of the American Marketing Association. After leaving the ad biz in 1992, Eric grew his wife’s specialty baker shop into the largest in Orlando and worked for 8 years in the management consulting field for a national firm as their number 1 sales rep nationally. <br><br> A Sandler Devotee since 1983, Eric opened the Sandler Training Center in Orlando on April 1, 2003 (no joke!) and moved the office to Altamonte Springs in 2012, where he now trains and coaches over 100 professional sales people every week. <br><br> Bring your toughest sales questions and Eric will give you real-world answers that really work! <br><br> Contact Info: <br><br> Eric Shulman<br> Sandler Training<br> 650 S. Northlake Blvd, Suite 430<br> Altamonte Springs, FL 32701<br> 407-740-SELL<br> 407-262-9186 (fax)<br><br> Email:<br> Twitter: @EricShulman<br> Website:<br>