What gets you in the door of prospects?
I met Caryn Kopp in unusual circumstances - for me at least! In the restroom of the Nascar Center in Charlotte, North Carolina at around 10pm at night.
Apparently, as she later explained, she saw me earlier in the evening and thought I was beautifully dressed (thanks to the great designs of Sass and Bide in Australia). Her immediate reaction was to think that perhaps she didn't wear something that was dressy enough. She noticed the long, blonde hair on the black dress and the risque spikes that turned what is otherwise a pretty dress into one that is there to be noticed. She then looked at the name badge and although, like most of us, she had trouble focusing on the small print, she noticed the spelling of my name on the badge. It's unusual.
"This is the girl I have to meet at the conference," she thought.
Prior to this, our friend Jim Weldon, had connected the two of us as he thought we would have some synergies with our businesses. The only problem was that Caryn was too busy to schedule a call in the week I was available and it was postponed to the following week.
You never know who you will meet in the bathroomA lot of good things happen in the bathroom according to Caryn. After all, her business was born out of a gym bathroom some years previously. "Who knows what happens in the men's room!" she says with the same enthusiasm that she has for life, business and creating relationships.
My immediate reaction when I met Caryn was to watch her. She has this energy around her that is electrifying. Her business Kopp Consulting opens doors - and by gosh, so does she! Here is what Caryn Kopp had to say:
Part A: How do you get more salesThere is many different answers for that one.
How do you get more sales - that is one question that everyone asks me about and if you are talking b2b, it's important to understand that you are going to need to increase your activity at the beginning of the funnel. You have to do all the pieces of the process correctly in order to maximize the time you spend on business development in order to close as many sales as possible. But what many people do incorrectly is that after they get some prospects in their funnel, they spend all of their time on nuturing those leads and trying to get them to close - which are definitely important activities. But they do that at the expense of continuing to bring new prospects into the top of the funnel and to keep the number of initial conversations going so that their funnel is always fluid. That is the piece that people tend to overlook.
There is a lot of research for that; one, if the sales people are good at bringing people into the funnel they will have a very full funnel and then they just don't have enough time to bring the other one's in.
Other times sales people that are more comfortable at being in the meeting and closing the sale, often are not exceptional at finding the right type of prospects for the initial discussion. In either case, you will see that the top of the funnel is dry. What I saw with the business is that my particular areas of talent where finding and connecitng with the difficult to reach prospects and peaking their interest in a way that has them thinking. "Even though I already have a solution in place or I know other companies, something you said makes me think that I have to clear my calendar for half an hour or an hour and have a meeting anyway".
When you have people that are experienced and enjoy that part of the sale, it happens more easily and we are able to achieve things that others struggle with and that is the basis of the business model.
When I started the business it was me, getting clients in the doors of their prospects but as I had more clients then time available and the business was starting to grow, I had to make a choice. Do I hire a low level person and train that person what I do, or do I hire a person with exceptional experience, loves the job like I do and likes to figure out this puzzle of how to get a relationship when no relationship exists - but I have to pay that person significantly more. I chose that route. I have never, never regretted it. Those people need no management at all. They know exactly what they need to do and they just get it done.
Part B: How do you overcome the objections?That has to do with sales messaging which is something that most people spend no time on at all. They spend time on their marketing message. They will spend time on what they say in the 30 second elevator pitch but they spend no time on what is their sales message; the words and phrases and whether they are making an emotional connection with prospects - then testing it when they get into the market to find the recipe that works. They don't do that. They don't spend time there.
The reason is that most sales people are not sales strategists. It is a different skillset. They don't think about if they said something different, 10 more doors would open. We do a lot of thinking about that. We are sales strategists and very analytical people. We are known for our sales messaging and for crafting answers for objections and can flip a prospects thinking from "I don't think so" to "that's something I will think about".When you combine the right people who know how to get the job done with the right language - it create success that you wouldn't otherwise have.
(This is part one of a two series interview with Caryn Kopp from Kopp Consulting).
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