Growing up, I am sure I was like many of my age that was fascinated by Superman. “Truth, Justice and the American way”, the TV show would bellow during the opening credits, as the almost mythical character flew from impending disaster to swoop in and save the day. Nothing was too big or a situation too difficult for Superman, except for when he would encounter the dreaded Kryptonite from his planet of Krypton. At the very presence of the crystalline material, the “Man of Steel” would weaken to a mere mortal. Often as I talk to Sales professionals, I hear that gaining access to prospects is a lot like Kryptonite to them. Does it have to be that way? And what can you do to be better at it?
Like everything in Sales, there is no easy answer to this issue. Gaining access can be difficult. It is far from a science and much more of an art. There is no one way for all or a proven method that will always work to get you that appointment or call with your prospect. During my career, gaining access was the go-to subject whenever we were talking about training, probably because every salesperson at some point in the sales process has to do it. There are many opinions on how to do it well, that also involve various techniques. What works for some, will not work for others. What resonates with one prospect may turn off another. But in the end, that’s kind of what makes gaining access such an interesting topic and process.
There are for sure many things as salespeople we can do to up our batting averages to ensure a prospect will warm to our advances. The three must-have qualities are being sharp, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. The tonality of your voice and the language you use, both spoken and written is key. Layering in for the face-to-face interactions that of appearance and body language will help you remove any negatives from the equation. Finally, measured enthusiasm is a must. Not the kind that has you jumping out of your shoes, but genuine enthusiasm sells well.
I firmly believe that prospects are willing to learn something they may not know from someone who may know it. The issue in gaining access is how you deliver that message. Remember too that prospects of all types are way better informed today than those of 30 years ago as information is just a click away for many. With so many tools available for the salesperson to gain access, the choice is critical. The phone may work for some, e-mail for others but what is certain is that your message must be clear, concise, and relevant for the prospect you are interacting with. What reason are you giving this person to talk to you or call you back?
“Mr. Prospect this is Roger from Guide2Interchange Sales Training. We are an award-winning company that trains salesforces with a proven methodology that has increased close rates by up to 82% in the month after our training is delivered. I would like to see if you and I might connect next Tuesday or Wednesday at 10 AM, to discuss how results like these might impact your salesforce and your bottom line. My number is (561) 379-3151, again, (561) 379-3151. I look forward to speaking with you.
Now I am not 100% sure if a message like this will yield results, but it is clear concise, and states a benefit that you have that this prospect can relate to. When delivered in a confident, clear manner, devoid of idiosyncrasies and upspeak, you may get the results you want. In any event, you will have removed a lot of the mistakes salespeople make, resulting in more meetings than rejections.
Now as we enter the new year, what a better time to resolve to improve your Gaining Access strategy. Ask yourself, before every interaction. “What will make this prospect call me back, or meet me in person?” What will I say, that will make this happen?” “If I fail on my first attempt to gain access, what could I have done better, so as not to repeat the same mistake a second time.” If you aren’t impressing yourself, you will hardly be impressing the prospect. Superman’s antidote for Kryptonite was his willpower which he used to overcome its debilitating effects. If Gaining access is your Kryptonite rise to the challenge to be better with your sales skills, will, and determination. If you do then you will be just like Superman……. able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Roger McNamara Bio:
Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple industries and across the globe that include: Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR's, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales, B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchants pay to accept Credit, and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces, in general, to be able to better position their products and gain share, particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at Guide2Interchange@gmail.com