Category Archives for "General Sales Tips"

Jul 25

How To Deal With The ‘Summer Holiday’ Objection….

By Andy Preston | General Sales Tips

In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains why so many people get the ‘call me back after the summer holiday’ objection…..only to find that after the break, they can’t get hold of the person ever again!…..

It’s always interesting as we head into the summer holiday period, how many people fall for the ‘call me back after the summer holiday‘ objection!

Have you ever had anyone say those words or something similar to you? For most salespeople, this objection starts to rear its head from the middle of July onwards, or perhaps November, depending where you are in the world!.Continue reading

Jul 14

Sales Lessons From Hobbiton – The ‘Lord Of The Rings’ And ‘The Hobbit’ Film Set!

By Andy Preston | General Sales Tips

I was doing some work out in New Zealand recently, and while I was there, took time to have a look around and see some of the local attractions.

One of the trips I was really looking forward to was the trip to ‘Hobbiton’ – the movie set of the Hobbit village from the films ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’.

hobbit holeI’ve been a fan ever since I read the books as a child, and was looking forward to seeing that actual set itself – which had been left intact after filming had finished, and has now been made into a tourist attraction!

One of the interesting things I noticed while I was there however, was the Sales Lessons we could all learn from it! Here they are……

Andy’s Sales Lesson Number 1 – Know Your ‘Conditions’ Before You Start To Negotiate!

One of the clever things that the landowners did, was know their ‘conditions’ before the negotiations started for the filming of ‘The Hobbit’. They’d already had the experience of the ‘village’ being used for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series, and therefore knew what they wanted, when they were asked if the land could be used again for the filming of ‘The Hobbit’

hobbiton villageYou see, the first set of the village was mainly cosmetic in nature – literally just doors put into the hillside etc, and removed when the film crew left.

However, that didn’t stop people approaching the landowner and saying ‘did they film Lord of the Rings here? Would you mind if I just went over and looked at it?’

When that started happening more and more often, they realised they had something here. So when Peter Jackson came back to ask if they could use the land again for filming The Hobbit, the landowners said yes.

However, it was based on the condition that they built and left them a permanent set, so that it could be turned into a tourist attraction afterwards.

Even though that was a substantially higher cost, the landowners got their way, as Peter Jackson desperately wanted the land!

So what can we as salespeople learn from this? If you set your ‘conditions’ at the start of a negotiation, you are far more likely to get them at the end of it! And knowing how important what you have is to the other party, definitely helps your negotiation stance!

Andy’s Sales Lesson Number 2 – Provide A Great Experience!

One of the things they do really well at Hobbiton, is provide a great experience.

Now they do have a slight advantage, having something that people have read the books, or seen the films, and could be slightly ‘geeky’ about, but you still have to provide them with a great experience, even so!

Bilbos HouseOne of the things they did really well here was the tour guides were not only briefed really well, but they were obviously fans of the films themselves! Therefore they were really excited and motivated to talk about the topic and answer any questions from the group.

They knew all the stories, and while bits of the films were filmed in what parts of the village for example, so for the real ‘uber geek’ fans of the films, they could show them exactly what parts of the set where used for which parts of the films!

They then took you into the pub, the Green Dragon Inn, where you got a free drink (Beer, Cider or Soft Drink) which is good on its own, but they served them in mugs that looked exactly like the ones used in the films for example!

green dragon sign
A nice touch, that isn’t much effort to do (or much cost), but provides a great experience. The amount of people talking selfies with their mugs in the Green Dragon, or outside Bilbo Baggins’s house was ridiculous!

So how can you implement that in your role and your organisation? What can you do in your sales or service process to give people the kind of experience that they will rave about? That they will come back to you for? That they will recommend and refer you to others for?

Andy’s Sales Lesson Number 3 – Don’t Forget To Upsell!

One of the things they do really well at Hobbiton is to provide upsell opportunities to their clients. We sometimes forget that some people will want to pay a premium for better service, a better experience or a ‘premium’ option.

Are you providing them with that option right now?

One option you can purchase at Hobbiton is an ‘early access’ small group package, where not only do you get access to Hobbiton before the larger groups arrive (so your pictures don’t have lots of people in etc, so more like the films), but you also get better chance to ask questions of your guide (as they are less people), and more time in the location to take pictures etc.

green dragon breakfastAnother upsell option they do is that you can have ‘second’ breakfast (fans of the films will get that reference) in the Green Dragon Inn itself.

So they take you into one of the small rooms and your group has breakfast together – again, for an additional charge!

A great option – particularly for fans!

So in terms of learning form this, what ‘upsell’ or ‘premium’ options are you providing your clients with right now?

How many are taking advantage of them?

And what else could you be doing?


If you want some help getting your team to get far sales results, call +44 (0) 161 401 0142 or contact Andy here……..

This article is copyright Andy Preston 2010-2019. To copy or syndicate this or any part of this article contact Andy Preston for guidelines.

Jun 17

7 Tips To Get More Appointments From Your Cold Calls

By Andy Preston | Cold Calling

In this article, leading Sales Expert Andy Preston explains what steps you and your team need to take…..right now…to get more appointments from your cold calling…..

You know, it’s always interesting to read articles on cold calling….from people that don’t have a clue what they’re talking about! A client sent me a few articles this week that he was laughing about – all about cold calling – all written by people that can’t, won’t or don’t cold call – hilarious!

As most of you know, I’m well-known for my cold calling expertise and results I’ve got with clients from implementing the methods. So here are 7 tips for getting more appointments from your cold calls. Study them. Pin this article up on the wall. Make the techniques work for you. And I promise you’ll see a marked difference in your sales figures……

Andy’s Sales Tip No 1 – Stop Thinking ‘Cold Calling Is Dead’

There are a number of so-called ‘experts’ saying that cold calling doesn’t work, how it’s ‘dead’ etc etc. They’re wrong. Dead wrong. Funny how most of these ‘experts’ use that statement to then try and sell you their ‘referral system’ or their ‘internet marketing system’ instead, and talk about how it’s so much better?!!

Let’s be straight here. Cold calling is still one of the best (and quickest) ways to get new business. But it’s changed. It’s evolving. You need to be aware of what’s changing so you can stay ahead of the game….and your competition.

Andy’s Sales Tip No 2 – Stop Asking Stupid Questions!

This is one of the things that loses you credibility, rapport and respect straightaway on a sales call – asking stupid questions! So what do I mean by ‘stupid questions?’ Anything that asks about things they don’t want to disclose (whilst they still hardly know you, and you have no rapport whatsoever), asking about things your competitors will also ask about, and asking questions that have no value for the recipient of the call!

Let me give you some examples… ‘When is your contract up for renewal?’. ‘How much do you currently pay for’…. And my personal favourite ‘What will it take to get your business?’

Now before you fall off your chair laughing at this, these are REAL-LIFE examples of questions from sales calls I’ve observed in the past month! How scary is that?!!

You might as well say to the prospect ‘these are my pathetic attempts at qualifying you in order that I can decide if you’re worth my time or not right now, or whether I should call you back in 3/6/12 months time in the vain hope you remember me (rather than forgetting me within seconds of putting the phone down). Please let me know the answer to this so I can get on with calling the rest of my list of people I’m supposed to call today’.

Andy’s Sales Tip No 3 – Have A Strong ‘Reason’ For Calling

This is another thing the average salesperson fails to do. So if you do it, you’re already well ahead of the game. The prize for ‘worst ever’ call reason goes to someone who I once heard say ‘the reason for the call is to find out when your contract is up for renewal’.

Brilliant! Abject failure to understand tip number two! Great effort. Collect the envelope containing your P45 and join the queue at the job centre.

Your ability to grab your prospect’s attention is a major factor in whether you get a little more time on the call. And an important part of that is having a strong call reason. You do have a strong reason for calling, don’t you? And it’s about the prospect, not you?

Andy’s Sales Tip No 4 Call With Confidence And Belief

This part is often missing – particularly if the salespeople concerned are calling over a period of more than an hour. If they’re not careful, their motivation can drop off over time, and their confidence and belief can be affected in a negative way just by one bad call!

Prospects can ‘hear’ confidence and belief in your voice…and they notice when it’s missing! You need persuade people to buy into you and what you offer. They need to have faith in you and trust that you know what you’re talking about. But if you don’t have strong belief and confidence they won’t do either. Lost sales opportunity!

An example of how vital this area is – I worked with an internal sales team last week whose role it is to get appointments for their field sales colleagues. Purely focusing on motivation, confidence and belief we achieved a 60 PERCENT increase in appointments!! Note: I didn’t change anything about what they said, just their motivation, confidence and belief! Anyone else out there want similar results?…..

Andy’s Sales Tip No 5 – Do Some Preparation!

It often astounds me how little preparation your average salesperson does. Like I mentioned above, Cold Calling is evolving, and you need to evolve with it to give yourself a good chance of success. No longer can you call companies with a name of the person you’re trying to reach and have a good success rate in terms of getting through to them, or getting appointments with them.

The minimum preparation you should be doing prior to a call is to get the name of the decision maker, direct phone number and email where appropriate, an idea of your call reason and what you’re going to say, likely objections and how you’re going to handle them, plus access to your diary (or your colleague’s diary) to book those appointments in!

Remember, you need to know exactly the date and time that you’re trying to make the appointment for before you start to close – otherwise you’re affecting your chances of success in a negative way!

Andy’s Sales Tip No 6 – Focus Your Time

If you’re starting any sort of calling session, whether it’s cold or warm calling, make sure you’re focused before you start! This means eliminating any distractions. Far too many salespeople allow themselves to get interrupted during calling sessions, which then has a negative impact on the results they get from them – which falsely leads some people to the conclusion that it ‘doesn’t work for them’ or they’re no good at it.

Interruptions would include things like colleagues talking to them, incoming phone calls, emails, making a drink etc etc. Particularly if the salesperson isn’t enjoying the session, they’ll take advantage of the interruption, therefore ruining their chances of success in the calling session!

If you’re going to start a calling session, make sure you’re focused on it. As well as the end result you want to achieve.

Andy’s Sales Tip No 7 – Create Some Energy

Another big mistake the average salesperson makes is sounding bored and tired. Remember, when you’re making a phone call, your voice is all you have to persuade people, so make sure you give it your best shot! You need to have energy and enthusiasm in your voice in order to persuade others, so why are you making calls where you sound like you’re terminally depressed?!!

The longer the calling session goes on, the more you have to be careful of your energy levels. Sometimes short breaks between focused calling sessions actually produce better results, as well as the salesperson managing their energy levels during the session.

Remember – If you’re going to bother making a call, make it sound like a good one!

Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..

This article is copyright Andy Preston 2004-2017. To copy or syndicate this or any part of this article contact Andy Preston for guidelines.