Ryan Stewman is a five-time bestselling author, sales trainer, and entrepreneur. He's also a regular contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other major publications.
Ryan is known throughout the sales marketing industry as the "hardcore closer."
He didn't pick this name himself, but he accepts it with pride.
Today, Ryan talks about how you can get everything you need to know about your initial sales call and close more sales without getting pushy.
Spend More Time Preparing and Less Time Calling
Most companies recommend calling leads within the first five minutes, but not Ryan.
In fact, his team doesn't schedule calls for about four or five days out.
Why not? This gives them ample time to prepare for the call. The goal is to find out as much as they can about the person.
Another mistake companies make? They call every. single. lead.
Ryan recommends opting for quality over quantity. Why waste your time chasing down bad leads and facing ultimate rejection? Sales is emotional and stressful: you're constantly berated, rejected, and turned down so morale can deteriorate pretty quickly.
No one likes hearing the word "no." You can avoid lots of rejection simply by getting to know your leads before making the call.
When Ryan's team receives a lead, the first thing they do is determine how they can get more information.
Ryan suggests utilizing an automated email system that sends out surveys and forms to your leads. He uses a roughly ten-question survey to find out where they live, where they work, what kind of problems they're having, and what kind of business they're in.
This helps to get an overall sense of who they are and build your familiarity.
Ryan recommends checking out your lead's social media profiles.
Most people share posts with a public audience because they want others to see these things. No one pays attention to anyone anymore, so Ryan says people really appreciate this effort.
The goal is to get a sense for their personality.
This can also help avoid unnecessary rejection. Notice a lead chronically complaining or making up excuses in their Facebook posts? Then don't pursue that lead. Why waste your time with ultimate rejection?
Ryan's strategy for phone calls is pretty simple: he barely says anything.
If you can get folks to open their mouths, they're more likely to open their wallets.
This means that you don't need to be a good sales person if you're already a good listener.
First 30 Seconds
At the very beginning of the call, Ryan says you'll want to accomplish two things: let the person know you already have successful results with someone just like them and get them to admit they've already made a decision with you involved.
It sounds hard but it's actually pretty simple.
Ryan starts out by asking for the person's geographical location. Then he lets them know that he has current clients in that same area with great results.
He doesn't lie: if Ryan doesn't have clients in the same city, he'll list the state or region.
After that, Ryan asks why the lead reached out to him. By answering this question, Ryan gets them to admit they've already made a decision that involves him.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
Ryan says the process of sales is very similar to what a doctor does: someone tells you their problems and you give them a solution.
When you enter a doctor's office, you usually go through the same protocol, right?
Ryan uses the same strategy for sales calls. He calls it the "prescription method."
Come up with six or seven open-ended questions to use on every sales call. This helps keep the conversation flowing and avoids dead-ends.
Once the lead feels like you thoroughly understand their situation and problems, they're more likely to trust you for a solution.
Ryan says a lot of companies make big mistakes when it comes to answering questions on the initial phone call.
They forget what the lead wants to get out of the phone call. When someone calls a mortgage loan officer, it's because they want a house. They don't want to hear all the details about bond markets and interest rates.
Answering questions with too many details gets confusing quickly. We're conditioned to write and speak for experts, but fancy words and industry detail is just confusing to customers.
Tell them what they want to know in a way they can understand.
What about revealing prices?
Ryan prefers to list his price up-front on the website. He also likes to compare his price and product to another product with a similar price. He'll then explain that not only is his product superior, but it also costs less.
Closing the Sale without Getting Pushy
Ryan says the atmosphere has changed since the days of cold calls and newspaper ads.
You don't need to go through the hassle of changing someone's mind because you can find leads that prequalify for your product or service. Social media has made this strategy easier than ever.
Once you thoroughly understand someone's problems, you can prescribe them a beneficial solution. This is only possible by conducting efficient research through surveys and social reconnaissance.
Don't push for a one-call close!
Why risk jeopardizing the relationship? If a lead isn't quite ready to commit, ask when you can follow-up for an answer. Ryan also likes to send automated "thank you" emails.
The goal is to push for future contact. Clients feel comfortable when you give them this control.
How to Learn More from Ryan
You can find Ryan at Hardcore Closer where he's written over 700 blogs and published over 500 additional pages of content covering everything to do with sales marketing.
Ryan's bestselling book, Elevator to The Top, walks you through the sales funnel, upsells, and extra programs. You can score a free paperback copy here.
About Ryan Stewman
I’m a 4x best selling author
I contribute to Forbes, Entrepreneur, Addicted2Success, Good men Project, Lighter Side of Real Estate and Huffington Post.
I’ve got more Salesman of The Month plaques than I can count. It’s crazy to think of what all I’ve done from just taking action and working hard.
Hardcore Closer is an online learning resource for salespeople. We sell e-learning products in the advertising, marketing, funnel, sales and social media arenas, as well as do personal coaching and live events. My Break Free Academy program is our flagship program. It has everything you need in order to start marketing your business online and crushing your competitors.
I’m Ryan Stewman CEO of Hardcore Closer and it’s nice to meet you.