Save Time. Make Money. Jigsaw.

27 12 2010

Not to get all cliché on you, but every salesperson working on commission knows that time is money.  The more time you spend on non-money-making-activities (ex. administrative tasks, prospecting, blogging) the less time you have to close business.  Because I am an efficiency-seeking nut-job, I constantly look for new ways to improve my work flow to get more done in less time.

Enter: Jigsaw.com.  About three months ago I happened upon an amazing sales prospecting tool; Jigsaw is a content-sharing searchable database of companies with the names, positions, and (this is the good stuff) direct contact information for employees.  I am talking any and everybody up to C-level executives.  And did I mention it’s free??

The basic functionality of the site involves a points system.  You can earn points or purchase them, and then use them to “buy” business cards, which cost 5 points.  Site collaborating helps you “earn” points, for example adding companies, contacts, and correcting flawed information already in the database.  Bonus- if you add a contact you get royalty points anytime someone purchases that contact card.

Previously, I could spend 20-30 minutes looking for a single person’s email address or trying to find their direct phone number.  I got to be quite the Google-search whiz, but it still was time consuming, and on non-money-making-activity nonetheless!  With Jigsaw, I can be in and out in under 2 minutes with complete contact information for several people at the company I am targeting.  Priceless.

Registering for Jigsaw

Be sure to use your company email address – Jigsaw rewards credibility.  Any Gmail, Hotmail, AOL etc. domains are restricted to only a few transactions a day, but with a known company you have unlimited access.

Choose your username carefully.   Every time you add a contact to the database, Jigsaw alerts that person via email including your your username.  You may or may not care about anonymity,  but just know that your username is important and can never be changed once chosen.

Using Jigsaw



The home-page view is simple and self explanatory with easy navigation to what you need:

…to find information: I recommend searching the database using company websites – there are many similarly-named companies and this eliminates searching.  Once you find a company, you will see a screen with all basic company information and options for searching:

 

I typically do a brief overview of the basic information and locations before going to the “Directory” tab.  In the Directory you are able to see all contacts at the company.  Often there are hundreds but there are easy filter options to help you hone in on your contact:

 

Once you locate your company and contact, you can purchase the card.  Keep in mind that if any of the information is incorrect, you will get “refunded” your points. 

…to add information: Be forewarned – Jigsaw is very strict about accurate information and will lock out anyone who “spams” up their system.   When adding contacts it is important to maintain an above 70% accuracy percentage.  As you can see from above, anyone can update your contact card at any time meaning you lose the royalty and take a hit in accuracy.

Some further tips:

  • Scrub the database against LinkedIn for content and job titles- not all Jigsaw information is accurate.
  • If you know the name of your contact but can’t find them in Jigsaw, purchase the card of someone else at the company.  You can use the “form” of their email address to find your contact’s.
  • Take one day early on and add as many contacts as you can – I spent an hour when I first started and STILL haven’t run out of points.

Try it out.  Sign up and add yourself into the database for practice.  You will be amazed at how much more time you will have to actually engage those contacts when you know where to search for them.  Good luck and happy selling!

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The Voicemail Vortex

9 08 2010

I was looking through the CRM tool at my new company today and picked up a prospect account – we’ll call it Bob’s Construction and Leasing.  While reviewing the notes for Bob’s, I realized that this account had been repeatedly called on by 4 different reps for the past year and a half – none of which had gotten a single call back.  There were no alternate forms of contact (email etc).  Right then and there I saw this for what it really was – a Voicemail Vortex. 

You may be familiar with the term, or you may not.  But you are certainly familiar with the little “delete” key on your own phone.  It’s the one you keep your finger on when entering into your voicemail box so you can listen to as little of the message as possible and get on with being productive.  Voicemails are like an intrusion on your day.  And guess what – the people you are cold calling feel the exact same way. 

So back to my situation.  After careful pondering, I decided to give it the old college try and dialed the number.  Of course – voicemail.  I left a brief, polite message and went back to the drawing boards.  If this guy won’t answer his voicemail, what can I do to get his attention? 

I decided a brief, cheeky email may be the solution to my problem: 

Hey Mike,

I hope your Monday is going great.  I wanted to shoot you a quick and candid email to follow-up on the voicemail that I just left you.  I know you have been left messages by Cogent reps before, and I also know that you have not had your interest piqued to the point that you would return those calls.  

Look, I know it is not your first priority to respond to cold calls.  They aren’t very fun on either end of the line to be honest.  But what I have to offer you could drastically improve the efficiency of your wide area network.  Cogent specializes in increasing our clients’ bandwidth while decreasing the overall cost of the network. 

Could we possibly schedule a call in the next week to determine how Cogent could be of value to Bob’s Construction and Leasing?

Take Care, 

Tara Wagner

Within 5 minutes I had his response in my inbox as well as 2 other contacts from his company that I should be talking to.   Moral of the story – don’t waste your time leaving voicemails when you know the client won’t listen to them.





Overcoming Objections With A Simple Jedi Mind Trick

7 06 2010

A while back I attended a Sales Boot Camp program hosted by the Sales Guru himself – Paul Castain.  I had a blast collaborating with my fellow sales junkies and learning all the “secrets to success” from our dear Uncle Paulie.  As with all sales meetings, I returned home with a fire in my belly, buzz words ringing in my ears and a phone in my hand determined to sell to anything in my path.   I’m sure you all know what that post-convention high is like.

Now, almost a year later I started thinking about what has really benefited me in my day-to-day sales.  I have written a lot about the creative impact this training had on my cold-calling approach (See: Creative Cold Calling Experiments #1 and #2) , but I want to tell you about a simple yet genius method of overcoming objections that I use almost daily.

The magical phrase is simple, yet powerful and goes a little something like this:

  • Me:  So I’d love to get together to discuss your needs further, does next week work for you?
  • Them: No.  I am very happy with my current provider and can’t see any reason why I would be interested in speaking with you further.
  • Me: Okay, I hear that.  Let’s meet anyways.

Typically, this phrase strikes confusion into the heart of your prospect, soliciting the “I don’t know how to deflect that – she still wants to meet me?!” response that ultimately turns into an appointment.  Now for you over-zealous hunters out there, the goal is NOT to turn your phone call into a battle of wills.  People still only buy from people they LIKE.  This handy little trick will help you overcome absolutely any objection and get the face time that you need to demonstrate why working with you will make their projects, jobs, and very existence happier, healthier, and easier to navigate.

One small note, the conversation doesn’t always end right there with the magic line, you may need to do a little further convincing with reasons like:

  • We aren’t trying to toss out your provider, our services truly complement what you already have
  • This way you will feel comfortable calling me if you ever DO have a need and I will know what you are asking about
  • Your organization could benefit from knowing what other services are out ther!

Now go out there and give it a try!  Happy selling!





Hello, Can You Hold Please?

6 05 2010

Did you know that 60% of phone callers who are put on hold will hang up and 30% of these callers will not call back.
Don’t leave revenue that comes calling on the table. 





Facebook is, Like, Amazing!

27 04 2010

Once a mode of speech reserved only for valley girls and the cast of the hit 90’s movie Clueless, Facebook has taken the term “Like” to a whole new level.  Market researchers everywhere are honing in on the massive amount of “Like” information being made available to them from the over 400 million Facebook users.  If you have yet to, like, get clued in on this amazing new tool for social media promotion you should check out this comprehensive article:

Facebook’s Like a Timebomb

As a sales person, this information can be used to help you identify new prospects, build rapport with new prospects by identifying their interests, and  as a means of promoting your services!  And now – my turn to try to figure out how to add a “Like” button to my blog.





Press Checks for Dummies: Part 2

26 04 2010

Here is a general guide of things to look for on a press check.  Print for your own use or give to new clients!

 

Color – verify color against the color proof and/or PMS swatch for match.  Feel free to fold the press sheet.  Be sure to look at the proof AND the press sheet under the color specific lighting of the lightbox. 

  1. As this is a 4-color build of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK), be sure to only ask for adjustments with those colors.  Don’t ask for more “green” but ask questions that specify what you want the end result to be:  “if we add more yellow, will it make this green lighter?”
  2. Pay close attention to flesh tones- they can be tricky.
  3. Oversaturation of one color can make the rest of the sheet look muddy – be mindful of this as you check the sheet.
  4. Remember that the pressmen are not able to fix design issues, only adjust colors.

The Register

Registration –checking that the CMYK plates are all in register or in line.  Pull out your magnifying loupe (or ask to borrow the pressman’s) and check to see that all colors are lining up properly. 

A great way to verify registration is to check the circular register mark in the corner of the sheet. Also look at the edges of bold text.

Paper – Is this the paper you ordered?  Pick it up, feel it, fold it.  Keep in mind that these sheets will still have wet ink on them and the sheet may be slightly different when the ink is dried.

  1. Hold it up to the light to see if the ink has run through.
  2. Know that uncoated sheets will NOT match the color proof as the color translates differently onto coated and uncoated sheets.

Clarity – Using the magnifying loupe again, verify that the dots are sharp and clear when using a coated sheet, and reasonably clear on an uncoated sheet.  As with registration, the text is the great way to view clarity both from a distance and close up.

Magnified Ink Dots

  1.  Be sure that the ink is laying smoothly through the solid blocks of color and gradients are smooth.

  Other Details:

  1. Varnish or Coating: Look for a slight change in the gloss of the paper at the edge of the sheet to see if it has been applied
  2. Hickies:  Stray spots or irregularities in ink coverage causing small white circles.
  3.  Scumming and Ghosting: Ink or images appear in unwanted places

Above all, feel free to ask the pressman questions – this is his area of expertise and he wants this project to look good just as much as you do!

 





Best “Out Of Office” Response EVER

12 04 2010

We have all seen the generic “I am out of the office until May 12th and will get back with you at my earliest convenience”  out of the office replies.  Yesterday I received an automatic response that made me stop and read it twice thinking Wow – here is a rep who is leveraging her abundant personality with her value proposition even when she is out of town!  I promptly replied to her email telling her that I loved it and that I was going to steal it.  Please read below:  

“I am glad that you contacted me and look forward to speaking with you, but please note that I am currently out of the office and will return April 7th. You are important to me and I DO believe that Western is the best company to assist you, so in my absence… 

For NEW quotes, contact my colleague Vince Navarro at (713) 407.5213 or vnavarro@westernlithograph.com. He has been in the industry for 25+ years, so he can get your project going smoothly until I return. 

For PROJECTS IN PROGRESS, contact my CSR Scott Hill at (713) 407.5267 or shill@westernlithograph.com. He is my “right hand,” so be assured that you are definitely in good company! 

Thank you. 

Stephanie R. Hood” 

Now if that doesn’t impress you, I don’t know what will.