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Best approach

I have a low-cost ($199) internet advertising product that I want to market to local small businesses. Because I have priced this product so affordably, I cannot afford a long drawn-out sales process that involves extensive hand holding and "cultivating," I am looking more for a one-two punch. Is it unrealistic to try to get a sale (even such a small one) on an impromptu, initial visit? Any suggestions for stategy? - by RainMaker
IMO, with the right product and presentation a $199 isn't unreasonable at all. For instance, if I visited a software sight that offered a product I was looking for as long as the sight seemed reputable and my purchase was safe I wouldn't hesitate to buy online. - by Gilbert
Yes, I would too. But let's suppose you weren't on the market for my product (specifically), but I walked through your door (as a local rep) with a short, to-the-point presentation about how our website can bring you business or your money back. Do you think you would try it then? - by RainMaker
IMO, when the desire is high and the risk is low anything is possible. ;) - by SalesGuy
Thanks for the encouragement, SalesGuy! Someone told me that when you walk into a business cold, you only have 30 seconds and will not walk out with a sale, but because I know that I will never be able to excite sales reps into a $100 initial commission per sale unless the sale is quick and easy, I am trying to prove them wrong. I have not sufficiently tested my approach, but because I don't have much outside side sales experience, personally, it is diffiecult to know if my results would be typical. Thus, my probing of the pros....Thank you. - by RainMaker
RainMaker, I used to sell "Management Services" to small business owners. I'd walk in to the business cold and convince the owner, on the spot, that it was in his/her best interest to pay our company $250 to have one of our analysts come in to evaluate [judge] how the company is being ran. Talk about resistance! My point... like Salesguy said, "When the desire is high and the risk is low anything is possible." - by Jackie
Thank you, Jackie, that is EXACTLY what I am trying to do! If you don't mind, I have 3 questions for you: 1). How much was your compensation on the $250 sale (if you don't mind me asking) 2). As a rep, could you make enough sales to make it worthwhile (I've had some people tell me its not worth it for such a small sale)and 3) Did you consider a sale to be dead if you didn't close it on the spot or did you follow up on ones that wouldn't cut a check? - by RainMaker
Thanks Everyone for your input. This is very helpful to me. - by RainMaker
Thank you, Jackie, that is EXACTLY what I am trying to do! If you don't mind, I have 3 questions for you: 1). How much was your compensation on the $250 sale (if you don't mind me asking) 2). As a rep, could you make enough sales to make it worthwhile (I've had some people tell me its not worth it for such a small sale)and 3) Did you consider a sale to be dead if you didn't close it on the spot or did you follow up on ones that wouldn't cut a check?
I've thought about and I believe the sale was $500 not $250 and I received $400 of that.

For this particular company that was the only sale available so a rep either made enough money or they went elsewhere.

Personally, I considered the deal dead but that probably wasn't always the case. This viewpoint helped me take maximum advantage of the time I was given and prevented me from any false hope of future deals. - by Jackie
Thanks, Jackie. That was quite helpful. On my first day of testing out my sales technique, I gave 6 brief presentations and didn't make a sale. I was a little disappointed because I didn't think it would be that hard to get a measly $199 out of a business for an advertising product that offers a 100% money back guarantee if they don't get results!

I am evaluating whether to: a) modify my presentation b) spend a few more days out in the field to see if the numbers get better with volume (and experience) or 3) try a different prospecting method altogether.

I assumed a deal was dead if I walked out the door without a check and was not going to waste my time with follow up phone calls to these "stallers." Then much to my surprise, 2 days later one them called ME and asked me to return so he could buy. This unexpected twist really messed with my head.
If anyone has any experience selling a low-cost product and can share with me what worked for them, I would be very grateful. - by RainMaker
I am evaluating whether to: a) modify my presentation b) spend a few more days out in the field to see if the numbers get better with volume (and experience) or 3) try a different prospecting method altogether.
So you made 6 cold calls and got one sale. That sounds like a pretty good ratio to me. What were your expectations for how many calls you would need to make to get a sale? I wouldn't modify your presentation just yet. IMO, your suggestion of spending more time in the field is the way to go. You'll get a better picture of what is realistic. - by Doc MC
3) try a different prospecting method altogether.
Don't throw the baby out with the water. :p

What other prospecting methods are you considering? - by SalesPro
Next week (when my kids are back in school from spring break), I will log in more time in the field to see how the numbers play out. I did not really know what to expect as far a sales/presentation ratio, but I was assuming I would have to make the sale on the first visit, which I have not done yet. (The sale called me back 2 days later).

As far as other means of prospecting. I'm all ears on suggestions. I've never had very good luck with mailings, except following a newstory in my local paper, where I followed up with a postcard, a phone call, and in person.

If my first contact is by phone, what is my goal? To get an appointment? I would love to hear what's working out there. Because the sale price is low, the method needs to be fairly simple or highly effective or I fear the rep will not be willing to follow the steps for the $100 commission (and subsequent renewal commissions).

Thank you for your input. It is really great to hear from the voices of experience. - by RainMaker
Next week (when my kids are back in school from spring break), I will log in more time in the field to see how the numbers play out. I did not really know what to expect as far a sales/presentation ratio.
Good Luck!:) Let us know how it goes.

If my first contact is by phone, what is my goal? To get an appointment? I would love to hear what's working out there. Because the sale price is low, the method needs to be fairly simple or highly effective or I fear the rep will not be willing to follow the steps for the $100 commission (and subsequent renewal commissions).
Making your first contact by phone can be a great way to cover a lot of ground quickly. IMO, making a appointment would be the goal to have, that way when you do go out into the field you know you are going to see people that are seriously interested. The trade-off with telephone sales is that it is easier for potential customers to disregard telemarketing too quickly and you may lose some sales that way, but covering more ground should make up for that. Also about the $100 comission I wouldn't worry about that. If you have a salesrep who spent 1/2 a day making a seventy phone calls and got 5 serious appointments for the afternoon and closed 4 of those sales that's a pretty good days commission. Sorry for rambling on and on and on.:o - by Doc MC
Thanks, DocMC, you can go "on and on" on my thread anytime. I love the input.

You know, I hadn't really considered calling first because I figured I'd get shut out before I could have a fair shake, but I have broken my pitch down to an intro (hook) and then the presentation (if I tweak their interest with the intro). There is no reason I couldn't use my intro by phone and then ask for an appointment. I'll have to give that some thought and maybe a try. - by RainMaker
OK, DocMC. I have to tell you I was reluctant to go the calling route because I really wanted to try hitting shopping centers in one shot. Well, I started to collect a pretty big pile of bus cards with notes (come back Tues, etc) and I realized that in the hit or miss process, I was spending a lot of time missing the decision makers. So I finally wised up...THANK YOU.

Now I am starting my day with phone calls to make a sprinkling of appointments and canvassing the immediate areas surrounding the appointments in between. Now I have he opportunity to give at least a few presentations in businesses who have invited me to stop by and still having the tantalizing prospect of an unexpected sale during the canvassing (as well as gathering good leads for tomorrow's calls). Thanks for the good advice, Doc! - by RainMaker
Now I am starting my day with phone calls to make a sprinkling of appointments and canvassing the immediate areas surrounding the appointments in between. Now I have he opportunity to give at least a few presentations in businesses who have invited me to stop by and still having the tantalizing prospect of an unexpected sale during the canvassing (as well as gathering good leads for tomorrow's calls). Thanks for the good advice, Doc!
I'm glad it worked out for you.:) Just a quick thought on the businesses that you canvass in between appointments, don't be afraid to let the cold calls know that you are waiting for your appointment with their neighbor. It may make them feel that if someone else will go through the trouble of arranging an appointment maybe they should hear you out.;) - by Doc MC
Very good advice, Doc! :) Thanks, again. - by RainMaker
Hi Doc, I just wanted to follow up with you on this. Switching to telephone canvassing has greatly enhanced my productivity. I just wanted you to know that this turned out to be a pivotal revelation in my whole approach. THANK YOU, AGAIN. Also your advice about broadcasting the appointment to neighbors got me to thinking...if an appointment gives me "clout," what will a SALE get me. Now after a sale, I use the bandwagon effect to hit surrounding businesses ("I was next door taking pictures for their website and thought I'd pop in to see if you might be interested in learning about our low-cost website program..."). I also do this categorically in addition to geographically....(After I sell a particular type of business--pet shop, for example--I cold call other pet shops and mention how I just made a site for such and such pet shop..") :D - by RainMaker
I'm glad I could help. Word of mouth is a very powerful selling tool, even if it's from the salespersons mouth.:D Thanks for the update!:) - by Doc MC
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