Prospecting has become one of the most difficult steps in the sales cycle. But, what can modern sellers do to turn the tide and get disinterested prospects to lean in and want to explore new solutions to their problems?
That’s the question we set out to answer in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast with my special guest and prospecting guru, Tom Stanfill, as we explore the invaluable sales strategies he outlines in his new book, unReceptive: A Better Way to Sell, Lead, and Influence.
Tom Stanfill is the CEO and Co-Founder of ASLAN Training, a global sales enablement company that provides sales training to a wide range of Fortune 500 clients including household names such as HP, Aflac, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and FedEx. ASLAN has served more than 100,000 sales professionals in over 35 countries.
For eight years in a row, Selling Power magazine, the premier industry publication for sales professionals, has named ASLAN as one of the nation’s top sales training companies. Mastering the art of sales conversations in an age when prospects are constantly experiencing information overload is why many tout Tom’s book, unReceptive: A Better Way to Sell, Lead, and Influence, as being the must-read in this post-pandemic marketplace.
Be sure to listen in to the full conversation as we dive deeper into Tom’s sales methodologies that work to help modern sellers book more sales meetings, close more deals, and better engage modern buyers.
Whether you’re a sales leader, a sales enablement manager, or an individual seller, there are lots of sales gems in this episode. Download it now to start listening.#Sales people, learn how to get unreceptive #prospects to say YES, today❗ @GoModernselling with Tom Stanfill @ASLANTraining Click To Tweet
Why Is Traditional Selling Not Working?
How we sell to modern buyers has drastically changed over the past two years. From in-person meetings having to quickly pivot to online Zoom calls, getting your prospect to open your sales emails or respond to your cold outreach attempts has become even more difficult.
That’s why nearly 70% of sales reps acknowledge that prospecting is the most time-consuming part of the sales cycle. With buyers having so many options to choose from and the growing presence of what I call, digital pollution, bombarding B2B prospects with an endless drip of sales messages simply won’t work to more book sales meetings.
So, to get to the heart of why traditional sales techniques are obsolete, I asked Tom to share some of his insights on the topic.
“The research is really eye-opening because a customer’s willingness to work with a seller to evaluate their solution has declined 120% in the last three years. When a customer is emotionally closed, the traditional approach to selling and influencing doesn’t work – it actually backfires. Because of the explosion of information, people are more isolated and they’re less receptive to any type of sales message,” Tom explains.
Also, according to Tom, just 8% of sales reps have consistently met their quota over the last 24 months. So, the question then becomes: what should modern sellers be doing to move the sales needle to get the attention of the unreceptive prospect?
His detailed answer is quite telling, so be sure to tune for the full conversation to hear his response and the strategy he says works to 2x the number of booked sales meetings.Do you know how to win over unreceptive #prospects, in your cold #outreach campaign? Learn more on this ep of @GoModernSelling Click To Tweet
How Do You Win Over Unreceptive Prospects?
I wanted to get to the heart of what’s working to get the disengaged prospect to at least be open to an initial conversation.
At Vengreso, with our Modern Sales Mastery program, we teach sales leaders and reps to lead with personalization and value – not hardcore selling, if they want to authentically engage and build relationships with their prospects and customers.
However, what’s equally important is to leverage the art of social selling to reach prospects where they are with messages that speak to what they are trying to achieve or what problem they are looking to solve.
Tom adds to this methodology, with an insightful piece of sales advice, “There’s a natural amount of tension in a sales conversation, just by the nature that you are trying to sell them something. But, when you ‘drop the rope’ as I call it and acknowledge that maybe your solution isn’t the best fit for them, now you’ll start to see them open up because they don’t feel like you’re selling them anymore.”
We take a similar approach in our PVC sales methodology, where we teach sellers that the goal isn’t to pitch your product and to convince the prospect to buy. Rather, the real goal of a sales conversation is to listen, gather information about their pain points, and equip the prospect with the key information they need to see that your offering can address their needs.
Download and listen to the entire episode to hear how Tom applies his ‘drop the rope’ method to a real-world selling scenario. Even this part of the conversation alone can help sales teams get better results.#modernsellers, read here how you should be approaching your #sales conversations, to get more #prospects to say: YES. @GoModernSelling with w. Tom Astanfill of @ASLANTraining Click To Tweet
How Should Modern Sellers Approach the Sales Conversation?
I wanted to get Tom’s point of view on what sales reps really should be saying and doing to book more sales meetings, if prospects are more unreceptive now than ever before.
“Here’s a simple thing that makes it super easy to get a meeting. If you want to get a meeting, you get somebody’s attention, you lead with what’s on their whiteboard… It’s either something they want or a problem they have in getting what they want that will always get their attention. But here’s the hard part, you may not know what’s on their whiteboard. So, that’s where the real work starts.”
Tom’s insights were music to my sales ears!
With our digital sales methodology, we teach that effective prospecting is all about doing good research. Modern sellers must know what keeps their prospects up at night and what pressing problems are they looking to solve right now. The more tuned in you are to your prospect’s needs, the more equipped you’ll be to craft sales messages that get replies and have sales conversations that turn into closed deals.
Tom also shares his unique “Because You” strategy that works to reposition the sales conversation away from selling and more toward solution providing. According to Tom, implementing this one technique has resulted in sales reps doubling their number of closed deals.
Want to get in on the sales action? Be sure to pay close attention around the 35-minute mark to hear how Tom’s “Because You” sales strategy works. Click here to download the full episode and join the conversation now.
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