The October 2021 Issue of TAS Trader

Get More Clients

Discover the Key Characteristics to Close More Sales

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

In the August issue of TAS Trader, we talked about identifying where your clients are located and adjusting your market strategy accordingly. But marketing is only half of a successful sales and marketing initiative. The other half is closing sales.

Though much has been written, and will continue to be written, about making sales, a few basic, yet key, characteristics are the foundation for sales success. Sadly, too many organizations fail to address these essential elements and can’t figure out why the latest can’t-miss initiative isn’t producing the results they want.

What follows are common sense characteristics, yet too many organizations overlook them as they pursue other strategies.

Respond Fast: The first key is to react quickly. Gone is the time when the next business day or within 24 hours is good enough. Though some services have a one-hour response goal, even this falls short in today’s market where perspective clients seek instant results. Studies abound about response rate efficacy, but the bottom line is the faster you respond to an inquiry, the more likely you are to close a sale.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about the time from when a sales rep gets the lead to when they make the first contact, I’m talking about from when a client clicks a link or submits a request to when they are interacting with a sales professional. 

Strive to make this as fast as possible. The goal is to close the sale before your competition responds.

Follow Up: The second key is ongoing interaction. Most people pursue easy solutions and desire to achieve the best results with the least amount of effort. Salespeople are no different in this regard.

It’s true that many sales close on the first interaction, which tapers off with each subsequent follow-up effort. Yet collectively contacts two through ten (or more) produce a substantial number of sales as well. 

It’s just that most salespeople don’t know this because they don’t follow up with their leads. They seek the low hanging fruit of that initial contact and write off the prospects who don’t readily say “yes.”

Be Intentional: The next key is to ensure each contact has a purpose. Don’t call a prospect to “touch base” or see if they’re ready to begin service. Instead, be deliberate with each contact, be it by phone, email, or text. Make sure each interaction moves the sales process forward.

Learn the steps they plan to take to make their decision. Do they need someone to sign-off on their recommendation? Do they need to research something? They might need to look at their budget. Ask them how you can help them move the process forward. 

Another option is to contact them with additional information. This might not even be material that relates to your answering service or them using it. If you find something that may relate to their business or could be of interest to them, that’s a great reason to contact them. 

The point is that each follow-up contact should move them closer to deciding to use your service.

Don’t Stop Until You Get a Decision: The fourth key is persistence. Too many salespeople give up too soon. Know that some people are deliberate in making changes and need time to process it. Don’t risk writing them off just as they’re getting ready to say “yes.”

Continue following up with prospects until there’s no more reason to do so. 

The most obvious reason is that they sign up to use your answering service. Another reason is that they tell you to stop contacting them; respect that. And if they’ve gone with one of your competitors, ask their permission to follow up with them at a certain point to see how things are going. 

A timely call could turn a “no” into a “yes.”

Summary: A foundation for sales success is to respond fast, follow-up, be intentional, and don’t stop. Few salespeople do this, so implementing these four basic skills will put you ahead of most people. And along the way you’ll close more sales.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader. Check out his latest book, Sticky Customer Service.


Featured Sponsor: Startel

Startel

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Startel is a leading provider of unified communications, business process automation and performance management solutions and services for small to mid-size organizations. Since its founding in 1980, Startel has established a loyal customer base from a variety of industries, including contact centers, education, government, healthcare, insurance, telephone answering service, and utilities. 

In 2015, Startel Corporation and Professional Teledata merged. In 2017, Alston Tascom also merged with Startel. Customers depend on Startel’s solutions and services to increase business efficiencies, identify performance opportunities, and deliver quick, secure, and accurate communication 24/7 x 365.


Classified Ads:

Established TAS looking to rent seats on a hosted Amtelco System, preferably Genesis. Contact Rob at rob@americastas.com.

Looking to Sell Your TAS? I have personal connections with buyers ready to act. Completely confidential to ensure trustworthy, private transactions. Competitive fees put more money in your pocket. And professional services provide the best results. Contact Ron Violante to learn more: ronaldviolante1@gmail.com or 330-565–8364.

Put up to 45% more cash in your pocket by selling to MAP versus another party. Section 1042 of the IRS Code lets you take advantage of indefinitely deferring taxes by selling to MAP’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Receive an all cash (no note) deal while your employees become part of a large established ESOP with real career opportunities. Dozens of past sellers to MAP include Stericycle Communications Solutions, Answer Center VA Beach, and very recently A-Courteous Communications in Orlando. Please visit us at MapCommunications.Com/Calc and enter your own sale price to see the significant tax advantages gained by selling to MAP. Call Grant Sibley 800-955-9888 or email gsibley@mapcommunications.com for a confidential conversation.

Seeking Acquisitions: Nexa Receptionists is seeking acquisitions. Past deals include Answer 1, Keener Communications, Alert Communications, and MainLine Telecommunications. We have the capital to get deals done and are committed to fairness and transparency throughout the process. We pay great prices for great companies and treat sellers/owners well. Contact: Ryan.Keener@Nexa.com or 804-527-2687.

Seeking Acquisitions: Reputable TAS, in business since 1967 and still owned by the founding family, seeks a small TAS acquisition in the USA. Ideally, you’re billing under $50k per month. Smaller is better. We’ll treat you right, and your employees and customers. Let’s talk. Contact Doug at 888-693-7935 or douganswerphone@gmail.com.


Industry News

Call Center Sales Pro Climbs to #1514 on the 2021 Inc. 5000

Seymour, Tennessee-based Call Center Sales Pro (CCSP) is again recognized on the Inc. 5000 list honoring the 2021 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Climbing almost 200 spots over 2020, CCSP appears at a position of 1514, reporting a 312 percent growth over the past three years.

“Advancing to our best-ever ranking by Inc. 5000 speaks in part to the genuine spirit of excellence embodied at Call Center Sales Pro over an unprecedented year of new client services,” said Janet Livingston, president and CEO of Call Center Sales Pro. “As call center industry leaders, we know business communications have been both enhanced and complicated by digital tools, especially impacted by what we’ve witnessed during the ongoing pandemic.

“Moreover, this strong recognition demonstrates the staying power of people-based support as the centerpiece of effective business communications. Supporting our clients’ customers, patients, and contacts of all kinds, one call, text, or email at a time ensures the companies we serve can guarantee their customers are heard, and that we are listening. We are so grateful to continue to grow in this industry.”

CCSP is a full-service inbound and outbound call center and TAS provider founded in 2014 by Janet Livingston. CCSP employs a 100-member team at its suburban Knoxville campus with nationwide remotes. It holds ownership of Seagate Connections, Redding Telephone Answering Service, New Connections Communication Services, and Answering Service One.

Email us with your TAS news for consideration in the next issue.


Quotes for the Month

“Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.” -Frank Lloyd Wright

“An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.” -Charles Kettering

“I’d tell you a chemistry joke, but I know I wouldn’t get a reaction.” -unknown