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Newbie, advice on approaching existing leads

I've been interning as a sales assistant at a film rights distribution company for 3 weeks now and was finally given a list of leads that one of the managers met with a while ago and wants me to make follow up email/calls on.

This is my very first time taking on any sales operation and I was wondering how to start off. Should I view the exchange as a process of first creating a mutual and friendly relationship with the client and giving them a comfortable platform with which to deal and receive information? My rookie and instinctual view of sales takes the perspective of building both friendships and business partners in a professional light and wonder what the experts think about this perspective. My current thought is to introduce myself through email and open up a dialogue with them about what they are specifically interested in, hoping to work with these people through many dialogues to reach their solutions.

Thanks so much for any help, I am excited by this first time opportunity and will be waiting eagerly for your thoughts! - by Vollow
Vollow

I'd start by considering what you want to get out of the contact. If you want the prospect just to know that you exist, then your communication will be quite different from say - gaining an appointment.
I'd suggest that you start at the end and work back, so if you would like to gain an appointment with these prospects, work out a route to get there and similarly if it is just familiarisation work that back too.
As for the method of communication, if you're writing always plan to follow up by phone and always ask the prospect to take some action at the end of each communication.
What ever communication method you use ensure that it is prospect focused and not you focused - so its what's in for them and not WIIFY.
Lastly if you haven't had any training in this area, find a coach or trainer that can help you, it'll prove invaluable.

Good luck with this and please let me know how you get on. - by marky
Thanks for the help, I have been thinking of some possible deals and film title rights that I would like to recommend for the clients and I would definitely like to give them a follow up call after the initial email. It really is my first time and I was wondering if there were any great tips you could give me for making these calls and moving towards a deal, it seems that the people at my company are too busy and have a 'learn on the job' approach, which I like, but I would love to get some formal wisdom from our community here as well. Thanks guys! - by Vollow
I've been interning as a sales assistant at a film rights distribution company for 3 weeks now and was finally given a list of leads that one of the managers met with a while ago and wants me to make follow up email/calls on.

This is my very first time taking on any sales operation and I was wondering how to start off. Should I view the exchange as a process of first creating a mutual and friendly relationship with the client and giving them a comfortable platform with which to deal and receive information? My rookie and instinctual view of sales takes the perspective of building both friendships and business partners in a professional light and wonder what the experts think about this perspective. My current thought is to introduce myself through email and open up a dialogue with them about what they are specifically interested in, hoping to work with these people through many dialogues to reach their solutions.

Thanks so much for any help, I am excited by this first time opportunity and will be waiting eagerly for your thoughts!
I would start by calling for an appointment (if you go out to see them) ask questions and listen. Your goal is to find out what your clients need and want to accomplish. First and foremost don't talk over their head. Talk to them just as if they are you best friend, be yourself, don't be phony, don't use alot of professional lingo. Let the client talk about their business. Find out everything you can about them. Knowledge is power and the more you know the better you can help them.

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
Vollow

I echo Martha's advice.

Separate the call from the 'deal'. The call goal is to get an appointment.

You'll need to consider during the call what's in it for the prospect (WIIFP) i.e. saving / making money, saving time, providing a wider customer audience etc.
You'll need to select the right WIIFP for each call you make dependant on the answers you get to your questions.

Take a look at this thread http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-9929.html


All the best Vollow - by marky
Vollow

I'd start by considering what you want to get out of the contact.
Bingo! Start with the end in mind! - by Skip Anderson
Vollow,
stick to you rookie instincts. First thing in deed is building rapport and build a friendly platform to exchange information in a non threatening way. Then you can find out if there is a match between what the prospect wants and what you have to offer. - by camaurer
I've been interning as a sales assistant at a film rights distribution company for 3 weeks now and was finally given a list of leads that one of the managers met with a while ago and wants me to make follow up email/calls on.
My first question is 'what has been the successful strategies used by others in your company?'

Question #2 - since you are following up on meetings that this manager had, what were they about and what was said at the end to create the expectation of a followup? - by Paulette Halpern
I've been interning as a sales assistant at a film rights distribution company for 3 weeks now and was finally given a list of leads that one of the managers met with a while ago and wants me to make follow up email/calls on.

This is my very first time taking on any sales operation and I was wondering how to start off. Should I view the exchange as a process of first creating a mutual and friendly relationship with the client and giving them a comfortable platform with which to deal and receive information? My rookie and instinctual view of sales takes the perspective of building both friendships and business partners in a professional light and wonder what the experts think about this perspective. My current thought is to introduce myself through email and open up a dialogue with them about what they are specifically interested in, hoping to work with these people through many dialogues to reach their solutions.

Thanks so much for any help, I am excited by this first time opportunity and will be waiting eagerly for your thoughts!
I think you are on the right track...you also need to find out where they stopped in the sales process with the first person that contacted them. What made them a lead. You simply want to get to know them let them talk and listen and then go from there. There is nothing you can do until you find out what they want.

Warmest Regards - by MPrince
...and was finally given a list of leads that one of the managers met with a while ago and wants me to make follow up email/calls on.
When you say he wants you to make follow up calls, what exactly does he want to have happen as a result of you following up?

If the game plan is to call them back and say "Hi, we just wanted to see if you had any questions" you might as well put the phone down. If they had questions, they would have called you already.

I suggest that a decision be made as to what the purpose of the call is. What do you want to have happen as a result of the call.

Is it to set up another face to face meeting?
Is it to see if they are still interested?

I would ask your sales manager "when the last time you met with them, what was the next step supposed to be and who would be involved with that next step and by when was that next step to have happened?"

If however you have just been assigned the daunting task of being expected to resurrect cold leads that may have not been properly handled when they were "warm" you need a whole new strategy.

Without knowing more, I may suggest the basics:

1) pre-call planning: who are you calling, why are you calling them and what do you want to have happen as a result of that call? Precall planning also should include being prepared on how to handle if you get the gatekeeper as well as voice mail. Have a game plan for each scenario that may arise;

2) Have an opening prepared that creates interest and not resistance.

3) Once interest is created, close on whatever it is that you wanted to accomplish as a result of the call, whether it be to set up another face to face meeting or a conference call with your manager etc.

Let me know if I can be of any further help. - by SalesBuzz.com
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