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Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
10 Techniques To Instantly
Make You A Better Closer!
Qualifying Techniques
#1 - How to Avoid the 3 Biggest Cold
Calling Mistakes
I hear it over and over again – 80% of your competition insist on making their jobs harder
because they keep making three major mistakes every time they cold
The good news is that there are easy ways to avoid them, and I'm going to share them
with you right now:
Mistake No. 1: Not Using Instructional Statements.
When the secretary or receptionist asks your name or why you are calling or who you're
calling with, you must not only give them the information, but you must end with
an instructional statement.
“Yes, please tell them Mike Brooks is holding please
Use this instructional statement, and you will begin breezing past screeners and
gatekeepers, and you’ll avoid 80% of the screening you're getting now.
Mistake No. 2: Repeating an objection.
“Oh, you're not interested?"
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
"You don't have the money?”
“He's not available?"
Sounds basic, but 80% of your competition unconsciously repeat the objections they get.
How to avoid this? Be prepared for the common brush-offs you get by writing and using
effective Initial Resistance Scripts.
The Top 20% are prepared for these and easily overcome them earning the right to
present their product or service. For Word for Word scripts invest in my
“Comprehensive Top 20% Instruction Manual," found on my website:
Mistake No. 3: Not Questioning the Red Flags.
Oftentimes your prospects will reveal objections that will show up later on and kill the
deal. These “Red Flags" often get by 80% of your competition, and they let them slide
hoping they don't come up again.
The Top 20%, however, know they always do come up again so they qualify them as they
come up. Use the scripts listed in Tip #2 to deal with Red Flags
If you use the techniques listed above, you'll avoid the 3 biggest mistakes 80% of your
competition is making. You’ll also save time and energy and get out better leads which
will result in more deals.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#2 - Question the Red Flags
One of the best ways to determine who actually does make it into your sales cylinder is to
make sure you avoid one of the biggest mistakes 80% of salespeople make when
qualifying. And that is to overlook or not react to obvious Red Flags prospects give
during the initial qualifying call.
In their haste or desperation to “generate a lead" or to “fill their pipeline," most sales reps
will hope that any possible objection they hear on the front end will miraculously go
away once the prospect sees their information or product or service, etc.
But you all know from experience --
it never does.
In fact, the rule for calling back leads is that:
Leads Never Get Better!
What appears to be an objection or deal killer on the front end,
always is.
A sales rep told me about a prospect who wasn't calling him back, and who (once he did
reach him) told him that he was leaving the company. He wrote to me and said, “I guess
intuitively I knew he wasn't the right guy to make the decision anyway."
And I'll bet he intuitively knew this because he heard (but didn't question) the Red Flags
the prospect raised during the qualification call.
You can’t ignore these Red Flags! Do what the Top 20% do: As soon as you hear
something that triggers your intuition or that gives you that sick feeling in your gut,
stop and ask the tough qualifying questions!
Here are some examples you can begin using today:
If someone says that they usually buy from ________, but would like to see your
information, ask:
“Why would you switch vendors?" Or
“How many other companies have you looked at in the last six months?"
And then: "And how many did you go with?"
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
If someone says that they will pass your information on to ________, say:
“Thanks. So that I make sure I'm not wasting her time it's best that I speak with her for
just a few minutes. Can you please tell her that (your name) is holding please?" (If
you're then told they are not available, make sure and get their direct line or that person's
extension and keep calling until she picks up.
If someone says that they'd be glad to look it over, ask:
“Great, after you do, and if you think that it can help you (or your business, etc.), when
would you move on it?"
And so on.
Trust me, if you want to close like the Top 20% then you have to start
questioning the Red Flags.
Remember: It's better to disqualify the non buyers early rather than to spend your time
and energy chasing and pitching people who are never going to buy.
Plus it means that you have more time to find real buyers.
So this week, write up questions to the Red Flags you currently get and begin using them!
You'll feel so much stronger as a closer, and you’ll begin making more money. Believe
me, it’s a win/win.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#3 Use Layering Questions
First, for those of you who have seen me live, you know that
I am big on
questioning your prospects during the qualification stage.
I’ve said -- they have all the answers as to why they'll buy or not buy, and it is your job to
get them to tell you.
While asking questions is certainly a good start, you'll get the most thorough and
complete information if you use layering questions.
Layering questions are simply questions that go a little deeper into an area or concern so
that you get to the root of what really drives your prospect.
An example of a layering question goes like this:
“Who are you going to be speaking with about this decision?"
(Assumptive question)
And when they say their spouse, you then layer the question by asking
“And what do they think you should do about this?"
Knowing this kind of information gives you the edge when it’s time to close. And
layering questions are exactly what you use to get it.
Layering questions are effective, powerful and easy to ask. Yet 80% of sales reps never
use them. The Top 20%, on the other hand, know their value and ask them all the time.
It's part of what makes them the Top 20%.
Examples of other layering questions you can use:
“If you decide to move on this investment, how much would you
put into it?"
Layering question: “And is that money liquid now or would you have
to move something around?"
“I'll get this quote off to you today, and I'll follow up with you
tomorrow at 10 o’clock – would that work?"
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
Layering question: "Assuming you like it, what is the next step?"
I'm sure you see how this goes, so take a few minutes now and write some of your own.
And then use them!
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#4 The 5 Elements of a Qualified Lead
People ask me all the time what I think makes up a qualified lead. It's simple, I tell them.
There are five things that every Top 20% producer knows when he or she hangs up
the phone with a prospect.
Know these five things and chances are real good you're going to close this prospect.
Leave one out -- or two out -- and chances are even better that you're never going to close
this prospect.
It's a simple as that.
Here are the five things you need to know about every prospect you speak with:
#1) Decision maker and decision process. When speaking with your prospect,
you need to be real clear on whether or not they are the sole decision maker, or who else
is involved. Are there more than two involved in the final decision?
Also, what is the decision process like? What's involved? Who's in charge? If you're not
absolutely clear on this when you get off the phone, you don't have a qualified lead.
#2) Time frame. Part of knowing who and how the decision is made also involves
knowing the time frame for making the decision. You must be clear on when they need
your product or service, what type of urgency there is (if any), and when they are making
the final decision.
Moreover, after getting this information, you need to be clear about what needs to happen
#3) Other quotes. You also need to know what other quotes, products, solutions, or
options your prospect is considering. If they have a regular vendor and are getting other
bids, you especially need to know:
How many other bids are they getting?
Why they are looking for other bids? (Do they just need to get to other bids
before going with last year's vendor?)
What are they looking for in another bid/product/solution?
What will make yours the one they choose?
#4) Buying motives (needs and wants). It is crucial for you to have a clear
understanding of what is truly motivating your prospect to buy. Only when you know
this will you be able to pitch to their listening. You must be able to answer these
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
What exactly is the prospect looking for?
What are their unique buying motives?
What do you need to say to sell them?
#5) Why they won't buy. Just as important as knowing why they'll buy is knowing
why they won't buy from you. When you hang up the phone you need to know:
Why are they really getting another quote?
What are some of their sore spots?
What are they trying to avoid?
Why won't they buy?
These five elements are the bare minimum of what you need to know about every
prospect you qualify. These points form the basis of your qualifying checklist, and you
need to have scripted questions that you ask on each and every call to find these thing
out. You do have a qualifying checklist don’t you?
If not, use the above questions to form your initial checklist and start finding and
qualifying buyers today!
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#5 How to Avoid the Brush Off
So many times our prospects aren't really interested, but they either don't know how
or won't come out and tell us. Instead they will say things like, “Go ahead and send me
the (information, brochure, demo) and I’ll take a look." Or, “Put that quote in writing
and send it to me."
When a Top 20% closer hears this, his/her first thought is, “I don't have the time to do
that, and I especially don't have the time to follow up with an unqualified lead." Here's
how they handle it and how you should, too:
Put off #1: “Go ahead and send me your information."
Your response: " I be happy to, and if you like what you see would you be ready to
place an order?"
“Before I do, I want to make sure you'd be ready to act on it if you like it. Let me ask
you...(qualifying questions on budget, decision-making process, etc."
“Sure, and after you review it, how soon are you going to make a decision on it?"
“And what would you need to see to say yes to it?"
Put off No. 2: “Put that quote in writing and send it to me."
Your response: “I’d be happy to, and from what we've just discussed, does it sound like
you'd go with it?"
“Absolutely. How does this compare with the other quotes you’ve received so far?"
“Great. Based on the quote/price I just gave you does this sound like it fits within your
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#6 Voicemail: The 5 Golden Rules
I remember a time -- and it doesn't seem like that long ago -- when voicemail was all the
rage. There was no e-mail, so people tended to honor and even return voicemail
messages. It was a good time...
But that's history now. E-mail has changed everything, and people now hit the
delete button on their voicemail messages the instant they hear something they don't like
-- which is usually when it's a message from an unknown inside sales rep. What to do?
The good news is that there are some rules you can follow that will give you the best
chance at getting your prospect to maybe call you back.
And I say maybe because people are simply too busy to call people back -- especially a
sales call
To give yourself the best chance of being one of the lucky few who do get called
back, follow the 5 Golden Rules of voicemail messages, and cross your fingers -- a little
luck never hurts.
Golden Rule #1 -- Be specific.
It is imperative to do some research and leave a message that specifically addresses a
problem or event that your prospect is dealing with. For example, if you find out on their
website that they are opening a new branch or division in another city, mention this and
tie it in with your value proposal. And always use their first name. Something like:
"Hi Barbara, Mike Brooks here with HMS software. I'm calling about your new office
that's opening in Houston next month, and I wanted to provide you with some ideas that
may help with your networking issues. We work with a lot of companies in the area, and
I think you'll find it useful if we talk.
You can reach me by calling area code (800) 222-0568. That number again is area code
(800) 222-0568, and ask for Mike Brooks. I look forward speaking with you and thanks
for returning my call.”
Golden Rule #2 -- Use a script.
You absolutely must script out exactly what you're going to say. Nothing gets your
message deleted quicker than a series of ums and ahs. People are way too busy to sit
through -- let alone call back -- a message that rambles on and on by someone who
doesn't appear to know why they are calling.
Also, by scripting your message you can create great content ahead of time and deliver it
like a professional -- unlike the other 80% of the messages they get.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
Golden Rule #3 -- State their problem and offer a solution.
Did you notice that in the voicemail sample in rule #1, I mentioned a specific event (their
move) and a possible problem (networking issues) as well as potential solutions to their
problems (some ideas that may help you)?
This is the winning voicemail formula -- mention specific problems your prospect is
having and offer your solutions to them. Prospects are only thinking about themselves
and will only be interested in you if you can help them solve their problems.
By addressing this in your voicemail, you stand the best possible chance of getting your
call returned.
Golden Rule #4 -- Mention how your solution has worked for
others in their industry.
Did you notice in the sample voicemail message the part about “we work with a lot of
other companies in your area"? People want to work with, and in fact feel comfortable
working with, people who understand their business. If you have experience at solving
other company’s problems, then your prospect will want the same solution as well.
Everyone wants to work with successful companies and if other companies are using you,
they figure you've got to be doing something right.
Golden Rule #5 – Never, ever leave more than two messages.
After you leave your first message, wait at least a week before you leave a second. And
if that doesn't get returned, move on.
The last thing you want to be is a pest, and a desperate one at that. After two messages,
your prospect has your name and number, and if they are interested they will call you
back. And if they don't then you get to spend time looking for someone who will.
In conclusion: to give your voicemail messages the best chance of being returned, follow
these 5 Golden Rules. And make sure to have a solid script ready for when they do call
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
Closing Techniques
#7 Double Your Sales With This One
I talk a lot about the techniques that separate the Top 20% of the money earners from the
other 80%. As you know, my Ezine is dedicated to providing you, often word for word,
with the exact tools, tips and strategies that you can use to become a Top 20% producer.
And today I'm going to share with you one of the most effective
and easiest ways to double your sales.
And it has to do with what you say
when you call a prospect back to close the sale.
Here's what 80% of the inside sales reps currently say:
“Oh hi, this is _______ with the XYZ Company. I'm calling to follow up on the
(proposal, information, etc.). Did you have a chance to review that?"
Or, another equally weak opening most sales reps use is:
“Hi, this is ________ with the XYZ Company, how are you? Good, I was just calling to
see what you thought of the (proposal, information, etc.)?"
Wrong, wrong, wrong! I cringe when I hear sales reps open the close this way! First,
you're giving all control over to your prospect -- why would you want to do that?
Second, you're just opening yourself up for a stall or put off – “No, I haven't had time yet,
why don’t you call me back next week?"
If you want to be a Top 20% closer, strike the phrases “just
calling to follow up" and “just wanted to see if you..." out of
your pitch – FOREVER!
Here is how the Top 20% start their closing callbacks, and how you can double your sales
starting with your very next call:
“Hi _______ this is ______ ______ with the ABC Company. You know, I've been
looking forward to getting back with you and getting you started with our (award-
winning newsletter, number one industry ranked product, world-class service -- fill in
your product/service/investment here). I know you'll be as happy and satisfied as my
other clients are.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
Now, I'm sure you (read/received the information), and I'm sure you see how it will
benefit you. My question is: do you want to start with our professional position of
_______, or does the _______ position work better for you?”
Now shut up and listen. Earth shattering to you? Perhaps it is. But so will be your
results. This works on so many levels:
1) You're asking for the deal right away (and you’ll be surprised because some will buy
on the spot!)
2) It immediately starts the close on an assumptive and positive note.
3) You eliminate any put-offs and stalls.
4) You immediately get the prospect to tell you where they stand and what they're
thinking (and what you'll need to do to close the sale).
This is a powerful technique. I guarantee that if you begin using this approach on every
sales call,
you will be well on your way to doubling your closing
percentage and income.
But don't take my word for it -- try it and let me know your results.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#8 Another Way to Double Your Sales in 90
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Stan Billue, a top telemarketing sales trainer in
the late 80’s, claimed that he had
a sure fire technique that could double
your sales in 90 days if you just followed it.
So I did. And it worked!
The technique? Record your calls. Everything that you are doing right, and every area
you need to improve in will be revealed to you in just a few hours. And by being able to
calmly listen to your qualifying/closing calls all the way through, here are just a few of
things you’ll hear that you’re probably missing:
What your prospect’s true buying motives are.
What your prospect’s objections are.
Whether or not you listened to these and answered them.
Whether you were listening at all.
How often you talked past the close.
How many objections you created.
Whether you heard their objections and answered them and then confirmed your
answer and asked for the order—or just kept pitching!
Everything will be there on tape and you and your manager can then go about correcting
your technique and immediately improving your success on the phone. The bottom line
for all sales teams and sales reps is that if your fundamentals and techniques are
wrong, then you will keep getting the same results -- you won't make quotas, you will
be frustrated at the end of each day, and you won't improve. Period.
You must correct the fundamental problems. And to do this you must first
know what they are! Recording your calls is the fastest, easiest, and best way to do this.
All highly successful companies do this all the time. Start listening to the next on hold
message you get and I'll bet you hear, “Please note that this call is being recorded for
training and quality assurance." Guess what they are doing with these recordings? They
are using them to train and improve their inside sales teams!
Without a doubt, this one technique was the most important thing
I did that catapulted me into the Top 20%.
I relentlessly recorded myself
and began improving in all areas and on each and every call. I listened to them at lunch,
on the drive home, with my manager, etc. Because of recording myself, I literally
doubled my income in 90 days. And I never looked back.
For managers and business owners, recording your sales reps is the single most important
thing you can do to increase revenues. Among other things, if you:
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
Want to know why someone is in making sales? Record them and you'll have
your answer in a day.
Want to see if your training is working? Record them before and after see how
many reps are implementing your training.
Want great sales training material for your next meeting? Record your top reps
and play the good parts in your next meeting.
Bottom line -- if you want to double your sales and income selling
over the phone,
and want the fastest most effective way to do this, then go to Radio
Shack today (or search online) and have a recorder in place tomorrow. Start recording
and listening to your tapes, correcting your fundamentals, and watch your closing rate
and income soar.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#9 Five Ways to Stop Talking Past the
Have you ever caught yourself doing it? You deliver a great presentation, think that your
prospect is with you, but you just keep pitching.
Or, you get an objection, you answer it, but then you just keep pitching -- or worse -- you
go to the next rebuttal and start reading that pitch.
Talking past the close is much more common than repeatedly asking for the sale
(which is what you should be doing). And why not? It's scary to ask for the deal and be
told no. It's much easier to keep pitching, “Maybe they'll just cave and finally hear
something they want and buy."
Sound familiar? It should. That's how 80% of your competition is pitching. They are
ad-libbing, talking past the close, and even introducing new objections. What a
Here are five ways to stop talking past the close, so you can spend more time closing, and
earning the income the Top 20% do:
1) Record yourself. You've heard me say it before; well here it comes again. Before
you can stop talking past the close, you first must begin hearing and catching yourself
doing it. One day of recording yourself and you'll become immediately aware of when
and how you do it.
2) Use a script. One of the best parts of a well-crafted script is that it ends with you
asking for the deal! Listen to your tapes and then craft a good response to the common
objections you are getting. Then, stick to your script.
3) Ask for the deal five times. If you give yourself a close quota of asking for the
deal at least five times, then you are going to be much quicker in asking for it.
Keep track of this on a piece of paper using stick figures. If 20 minutes has gone by and
you don't have any marks on the paper, then you know you're in trouble!
4) Welcome getting a no. So many sales reps are afraid of no’s, but you don't have
to be. With most sales you’ve made, you've probably heard some no’s along the way, so
reframe the way you think about them and realize the truth -- each no gets you closer to a
yes. So welcome getting a no. It usually means you're that much closer to getting the
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
5) Shut up and listen. Force yourself to be quiet after you ask for the sale. Use your
mute button or cover the mouthpiece and count to 5 – 1, 1000, 2, 2000, etc. By forcing
yourself to remain silent for five seconds after asking for the sale, you'll actually have
something to concentrate on rather than fear.
Keep repeating this to yourself – “I'm listening now, not pitching." That may sound silly,
but it works – try it.
The bottom line is that the Top 20% know the value of asking for the sale and remaining
quiet. You can learn this, too. Make a commitment to use one or all five of the above
techniques and soon you’ll also be closing like the Top 20%!
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
#10 Get Your Prospect Involved
Many of you have benefited from the article “The Power of Trial Closes," and you’ve
told me how using these have already helped you
take your prospect’s pulse to find
out how your presentation is going.
Another way to do this is to
get your prospect involved -- especially at the
beginning. Besides allowing you to gauge their level of interest, this also tells you how
much control over the sales process you have -- a crucial component to your close.
Use the following techniques to help involve your prospect:
1) During the qualifying call ask your prospect to “Grab a pen and a piece of
and have them write down things like a benefit, the price, your name, your
company name and phone number, your next appointment time, etc.
2) At the start of the close, have them physically get the information, the quote,
material, demo, etc., and never begin your presentation until they do.
3) During your presentation, have them get their calculator out and crunch the numbers
with you or have them write out specific details about your product or service.
Any way you can get your prospect involved helps you gain control and also commits
them more to you and your product. It's also in excellent way to gauge their level of
Obviously the less the prospect cooperates the less chance of the sale there is. This is
what’s so great about this technique - it tells you who’s real and who’s not!
Like all the techniques I write about, begin using this one as well and you will grow
stronger as a closer and gain more control over the sales process.
Mike Brooks Copyright @ 2007
Congratulations! You now have 10 Proven Techniques you can
begin using TODAY to overcome objections, close more sales and
make more money!
If you found these techniques valuable, I urge you to invest in my
other products and begin using the proven techniques available in
them as well.
For starters, my all new 5 – CD series, “Secrets of the Top 20%,
How to Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone” is now
available, and by listening to it in your car before or after work,
you can transform yourself into a Top 20% producer!
Just $249 for a limited time!
Years ago I invested a couple of hundred dollars into a cassette
series on telemarketing and made HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
OF DOLLARS as a direct result of learning and using proven
Order Your Copy Today!
For this and all other products, visit:
All the best,
Mike Brooks
Mr. Inside Sales (818) 999-0869