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Lead Generation Toolbox

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Engage a Lead in the First 20 Seconds

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Twenty seconds may not sound like much time at all, but consider this: a hummingbird beats its wings at an average of 53 times per seconds. This means that a 20-second period is just enough time for a hummingbird to beat its wings an incredible 1,060 times.

It’s also enough time for a new lead to decide whether they’re going to listen to you or not. First impressions in business can be ruthless. This is understandable, as no decision-maker has the time to waste on an unwanted sales call, read a spam email, or even organize a meeting with someone they don’t trust.

We call this the critical window of opportunity. The first 20 seconds of meeting a new lead is your one chance to make a lasting, positive impression, so what do you do?

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Topics: lead nurturing, Setting Appointments

Speed Up Your Sales Cycle With Focus And Preparation

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You're only as good as your last great sale. Are you getting your next one fast enough to reach your goals? Many salespeople approach their next big win like it will take months. That's a bad assumption to make if you want to accelerate your sales cycle. With the right focus and preparation, one salesperson I work with got her "next great sale" in a short amount of time. Here's how:

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Topics: Setting Appointments, new business development, sales strategy, Sales

Three Essential Actions in Approaching a Whale of a Prospect

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Today we have a guest post from Sherrie Roberts. Sherrie has been crushing sales goals and breaking records for over 20 years from local broadcast to national networks and rep firms. Serving in roles as salesperson, sales manager, General Manager and Founder.


It’s tempting to approach all prospects with the same strategies and tactics—it’s much easier and quicker to use a “one-size-fits-all” approach. But no two prospects are the same, especially the big ones. 

I’ve had several opportunities to earn the business of “whales.” Two of those were company record breakers, and a few were against all odds. These experiences had three common traits that stood apart from the rest. 

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Topics: Setting Appointments, Sales

Three Essential (Often-Overlooked) Metrics Sales Managers Should Track for Better Performance

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I surely hear a lot of talk these days about success in setting new-business appointments. Sales managers often say with a degree of pride, “Our team set 28 appointments last week.” Or, “We had a very good appointment-setting session and got 31 new appointments in only two hours.”

These numbers are impressive, and the logical sequence of events from there would be a steady increase in new business volume. But, too often, when those new business metrics come in, the cause and effect doesn’t exist. New business does not spike as one would expect after four straight weeks of appointment setting. 

So, what is wrong?

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Topics: Setting Appointments, Sales

"Follow Up Next Week" Does Not Mean You Have an Appointment

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One of the leading indicators for sales success is to look at the number of appointments that a salesperson has each week. (This is not the only leading indicator that you should be looking at, but it is one of them.) The idea is that if a salesperson has a significant amount of appointments each week which involve finding needs, getting assignments, presenting solutions, or delivering a proposal, that this quality sales activity will lead to good solid revenue performance.  

I think it’s fair to say that everyone in sales or in sales management would agree with this, so I’m not really going out on a limb having made that statement. But here is where I think there might be a flaw. I think many salespeople are confusing "I'll follow up with you next week" with "I have an appointment." To be clear, "I’ll follow up with you next week" does not mean you have an appointment.

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Topics: Setting Appointments, Sales

3 Things Every Successful Seller Should Have

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Three of the best things you can have as a salesperson are also the three things that seem the most difficult to get ahold of. Referrals, testimonials and case studies have all helped a salesperson at one time or another either get a great first appointment, or to help set appropriate expectations. But, I still get asked time and time again how one can go about getting more referrals, testimonials or case studies. The challenge is, you, as the salesperson, are the only one who can make any of this happen!

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Topics: referrals, case studies, Setting Appointments, sales strategy, Sales

The Media Salesperson’s Appointment Dilemma

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Media salespeople struggle now more than ever to secure quality appointments with prospects that might actually be ready, willing, and able to do business. The fact is that media salespeople are typically at their best when they are in front of a prospect, finding needs, and selling solutions. The challenge is that most media salespeople, after spending many frustrating hours cold calling, only find themselves going on one or two quality appointments a week. The system is broken and it must be fixed before even the most talented sellers will see better results.   

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Topics: Setting Appointments, Sales, media