Hi, my name is Jack Daly, and my partner here is Caryn Kopp; and we’re bringing you Sales B12™. And when I talk about B12, I’m talking about that steady dose of vitamins that will enable you to win more business, grow your company, and differentiate yourself from your competitors. The best part about the B12 program is that it’s current and reflects the market as we see it today.
What I’d like to talk about today is landing more and better prospect meetings. And nobody, in my opinion, on the planet is better than Caryn Kopp and her team of expert sellers operating as the Door Openers®. Caryn, what are the top strategies for getting more meetings?
Well, it’s a really important subject to talk about out, especially now. When the pandemic hit, everybody was in a tizzy, trying to figure out which prospects were spending and their definition of an important win for a client. They changed the definition they had before to what it is now. Fast forward two years later, and the definition is changing again. So, given what’s happening in the market, how do you land a sales meeting?
People come to me all the time, and nobody ever comes to me for anything easy. I’ve been waiting 22 years for somebody to come to me with something easy, but it’s usually a challenge; there’s a very competitive market or a new concept or product. Or, something is changing, especially during the pandemic, about the market or the way decisions are made. People are trying to figure out: how do I get these sales meetings now?
The Five Key Planks of Door Opening Success
When people feel they should be getting more sales meetings than they are, I tell them they need to look at one or more of the five key planks of door opening success. Here are the planks and a couple of the blind spots with each one.
Plank 1: The Right Target
The first plank is the right target; this is a big offender. People don’t like to spend time. It’s not sexy to spend time figuring out what your real target is, but the narrower you make the world in terms of prospects, the more efficient your sales initiatives will be. And in fact, if you’ve ever had a sales stall later in the sales process after the proposal, many times, the big offender is the fact that it wasn’t the right target to begin with. So the first plank is the right target.
One of my axioms is too many salespeople calling too many prospects that don’t deserve to be called on. And what we find is that better salespeople actually call on less prospects and write more business. The key, as you just said, is calling on the right people.
We can do an entire sales B12 (and probably should) on just that subject alone! It’s critical because if you can nail the target, the rest is easier. I won’t say it’s easy, but the rest is easier.
Plank 2: The Right Sales Message
So if you know who you’re talking to, which is the right target, then you can figure out what you are going to say. So even if you added an extra filter as to who you’re talking to, your sales message will change a little bit. A big blind spot with sales messaging is that people think that the marketing message and the sales message are the same things, and they are not.
The sales message is what’s said to one person; it’s the spoken word. It’s the email for one person. An email marketing campaign is not a sales initiative; it is a marketing initiative. Plank two is the right sales message. We have two trademarks in sales messaging (Moment of Yes® and Kopp GAP Method of Sales Messaging™). It’s a foundational part, not just of door opening, but of sales – period.
Plank 3: The Right Plan for Objections
The third plank is having the right answers for objections. Your prospects will already have a vendor. If they have a need, they have a vendor. If they have an issue, they likely have a solution in place that may or may not be the best option. They’re going to have objections. What will you say so you can smoothly get past that objection? As you said in one of our other segments, there are not 2,600 ways to answer any one sales objection. There are likely a few. Do all of your salespeople know the right answers to the objections?
Plank 4: The Right Salesperson
Plank four is having the right salesperson doing the work – the right door opener. This is where many businesses get it wrong. Is the salesperson qualified to get that door open? Does that person have the time during the week to get the door open? And do they want to do this job? Some people who have the time and the talent would rather put a stick in their eye than do the job of opening the door. Make it easy on everybody – pair an excellent door opener with a great closer and watch the magic happen.
Plank 5: The Right Execution
The last plank is the right execution. Is it a phone call or an email? Is it Linkedin? What do you say on the first call, third, or 20th? Because you can’t say the same thing more than once.
And another thing you’ve talked about before, Jack, is consistency, which is a key portion of this. Very few people spend enough time on door opening to actually get the doors open. You need a consistent amount of time – weekly – against the right group of people, saying the right things, and being prepared to answer their objections with somebody who enjoys this work. Then, the doors will open. So that’s the five planks of door opening success, which you can do internally or outsource or find out about outsourcing from a company like mine.
If we wanted to know more about the five planks, you have a book that takes us through that, right?
My book is called Biz Dev Done Right. It’s an Amazon bestseller, and there is a chapter on the five planks of door opening success, along with the other blind spots in the sales process that could stall your success.
Get More Sales Appointments Using Your Internal Team
So Jack, what can companies do inside their companies to access the opportunities to get more sales appointments?
Follow Caryn’s Advice!
Yeah, so, you know, that’s the question I like, but when I get the question, it’s like, “Well, do what she just said!” I followed a speaker last week, and after listening to him, I was speaking the next day, and he covered so much of what I was going to cover. I just got up in front of the room of 250 people and said, “Look, he said it so well. He was on the money, and I’ve got two hours to spend with you. I figure that you guys would really enjoy the resort, so mine’s going to be really short. Just do what he said!” And then I laughed and said, “But I’ve got 20 bullets that are not the same stories, but I am going to anchor what he said.” So, I’m going to do the same thing now!
Create Prospect Profile and Target List
Number one: you need to have the profile of what I call “the player” (the player is the prospect). What are you looking for? You can’t have your sellers going out and looking for meetings just for meeting’s sake. We need to make sure that they’re the right deal.
Now, once you understand what the profile is, the next step is – you need to list them. Who qualifies per the profile? I will tell you, as a CEO coach to a variety of businesses, I’ve gone into those businesses and found that the current customer load, let’s say, of 1000 customers, the top 30 customers are 70% or more of the business. And I’m like, “Wait a second! Where do the salespeople spend their time?” They’re equally spreading their time around those customers.
Regarding the last 50% of customers, I don’t want our salespeople ever calling on them. They’ll send that business to us, and if it doesn’t come, it’s not that big of a deal. What I’d like my salespeople to do is – you know that top 30 generating all of the business? – find more people who meet the profile. And when we’ve done that, we’ve seen the revenues of our clients double and triple in a single year. It all comes down to plank one – finding the right people to go after and then developing a list of them.
Do Your Homework
The second principle is a principle we covered in one of the previous Sales B12 vitamins that we talked about, and that is: do your homework! The advantage that a salesperson has today – compared to when I was selling 20, 30 years ago – it’s a changed environment. You should have access to almost anything and everything you’d love to have just by going on the web and researching LinkedIn on the personal and business side. I want you to do a lot of homework before you engage in trying to get a meeting with someone.
By the way, doing research on the personal side is overlooked by too many. That is the jewel because if your competitors are making the same mistake, you now have something that you’re dialoguing about that is far and away different. So, you could go after me as a marathon runner, having run a hundred marathons, or you can go after me because you can always see me on social media having a glass of wine. I’m a wine drinker and a marathoner, and engaging in a conversation about those topics makes it easier to move over to the business side and ask your questions based on your research.
Sales don’t happen overnight. Neither do meetings. Stay in touch with them regularly, and the touches have to be value-add; it’s not about selling but adding value to the person you’re trying to go after from a relationship standpoint.
The last item is I’m a big fan of referrals. If you as a seller are not developing referral business proactively every month, you’re dropping the ball. And that can be one of the best sources for getting sales meetings.
Communicate with Salespeople
What’s really important when it comes to even the referrals is to go back to who is the target in the first place. We talked about that in one of our other Sales B12 sessions as well. Make sure you can measure the percentage of deals that close that are important wins. And then at will give you a feel for whether or not these prospects should be on your list at all.
And for the leaders who are listening to this, if you’ve made any changes to your identification of the right target, make sure that you’ve communicated that to your salespeople and check their prospect list periodically. From an efficiency standpoint, when we come into a company and start looking at their prospect list, typically, 25% of any one salesperson’s prospect list shouldn’t even be on the list. Think about the amount of time that’s being wasted. So that’s a really big part of the problem. I spend a lot of time talking about target when it comes to the seminars I give. And this is why: because if you nail target, everything else is easier.
Reasons to Outsource Door Opening
At the risk of sounding like I’m making a plug for your company, and maybe I am, but listen: I just gave the viewer and listener a lot of advice about things they should be doing to go after sales meetings using your internal sales team. If I did that well, people might ask, why would I need you? Why would I need to outsource it? Why do people use your company, Caryn?
More Opportunities to Close
A lot of times, they use our company because the salespeople in their companies have been successful getting in the door and now are working on closing the business. When they work on closing the business, they don’t always have time to keep the top of the funnel full. And as you talked about before, once you get the people to the bottom of the funnel, and now you’re starting to close, sellers may find themselves with a completely empty top of the funnel, which creates unnecessary peaks and valleys in revenue generation.
So it’s important to always have someone mining the top of the funnel and making sure that the right new prospects and relationships are entering the top of the funnel. So that’s the first thing: it saves time.
Door Opening DNA that Drives Success
The second reason is talent. You may want to go after bigger decision-makers, you may want to go after bigger markets, bigger companies, or you may want new products or new services that your current team is not so skilled in having conversations about. And if that’s the case, you can bring us in because our people are very senior, and we open relationships using conversation to make it happen and get those meetings. Then our clients can take it from there.
Rare Sellers Who Love Door Opening!
And then the last part is the desire. We talked about that before: time, talent, desire. If you have people who have the time and they have the talent, they may not want to do this job. And I can tell you if somebody doesn’t want to do this job, it’s torture. The people on our team love this. They wake up; they can’t wait to call the prospects; this is what they want to do with their time. They really enjoy the art of figuring out how to change one part of a conversation to change the outcome and get the meeting. They love this, but not everybody does. And if that’s the case, it would really help to be able to outsource.
Thank you for joining us for this dose of sales B12. Make sure you share this with your friends and colleagues and tune in again when we have our next sales B12.