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Its your call: How to generate new sales prospects.
Humor me for a second. Think back to the last deal you closed and ask you, “Who was the decision maker I had to reach and influence? How did I do it?”
The reason I asked you to think about that is because there will always be someone you will need to contact and influence to get the next deal and the one after that and all the deals you could ever possibly close in one lifetime. Your success doesn’t just happen. You make it happen, and it all begins with prospecting.
Prospecting is nothing more than the art of speaking with people who might do business with you, and engaging them in a meaningful conversation so that they will want to see you and talk further. Let’s not make it any more complicated than that. At the end of the day a telephone sales call is only a conversation between two people.
Make a list of everyone you just identified. It doesn’t matter if you need to speak with fifty people or only one; your focus is on precision not volume.
Once you have the names write down the main issues facing each person on that list. The reason I’m suggesting that is because you will have to address their issues, not yours.
If you start your conversation rambling on about your products and services you will sound like you’re selling something. When you talk about their issues you hit their Greed Glands which address what’s in it for them. Retirees are not waking up in the morning wanting financial products. (It would be nice.) They are, on the other hand, concerned about the rising cost of living.
Once you’ve worked out what you want to say you will have to get the person on the phone. The objective of your call list is not about making calls. Many financial advisors base their lists on volume, in other words the more names on the list the better because if they don’t contact someone there are plenty more to call. What happens with this approach is that most people end up leaving a lot of money on the table, missing up to 75% of their opportunities, simply by not contacting people. A call is not a commodity. It’s precious.
It would be nice if we were mind readers and knew where our biggest opportunity was, but we don’t so we have to speak with everyone. Your objective is to book appointments.
So whether you have twenty people to call or only one, get them on the phone. All of them. Without exemption.
Leaving a voice message doesn’t count. That only fools you into thinking you contacted someone when in fact all you did was leave a voice message. The easiest way is to ensure that you connect with your prospects is to simply find out when they are in, and then call at that time.
By planning your calls and your message you stay in control.
Once you get your prospect on the phone you will have the opportunity to speak for all of about thirty seconds at which time you will either ask for an appointment or ask a qualifying question. From the time you introduce yourself to the time you ask for an appointment there are less actually than thirty words. Make each word count. The words you speak paint images in people’s minds and you have complete control over what those words are.
Twice as important as what you say will be how you say it. Speak slowly and send the message that what you have to say is important. It’s so important that you will take a minute before the call to focus on how you can make the prospect’s life better, and that will bring out the passion in your voice.
At the end of each call you will either be sitting there with an appointment or you won’t. Either way self-assess to either see what you did well so that you can do it again on the next call, or look at where you need to improve.
If a call does not work out for whatever reason figures out if it was they or you. If there was something you could have done better, make sure to take correction action for the next call and then reward yourself for learning from your mistakes. When you consistently self-assess you stop repeating the same mistakes, and when that happens your performance benchmarks rise as like gravity.
By making yourself more effective you ensure that your next deal will be more successful than your last.
Mark Borkowski – is president of Mercantile Mergers & Acquisitions Corporation. Mercantile is a mid market M&A brokerage firm based in Toronto. Contact: www.mercantilemergersacquisitions.com
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Google admits that advertisers wasted their money on more than half of internet ads
Online advertising is a fickle thing. It accounts for 20% of the ad industry’s total spending, and over 90% of revenue for the internet giants Google and Facebook. That said, no one seems to have any idea whether it actually works.
That uncertainty reached a new high this week, as Google announced that 56.1% of ads served on the internet are never even “in view”—defined as being on screen for one second or more. That’s a huge number of “impressions” that cost money for advertisers, but are as pointless as a television playing to an empty room.
This is not a big revelation. The web metrics company ComScore reported last year that 46% of online ads are never seen. Spider.io, an ad fraud company acquired by Google in February, has pointed out that a large portion of ads are “viewed” only by robots, revealing that one botnet of 120,000 virus-infected computers viewed ads billions of times, running up the tab for advertisers without offering them the human eyeballs they sought.
Still, the acknowledgement by a heavyweight such as Google that ad viewability is a problem could shake up the industry by delaying possible IPOs of ad companies and requiring new ways for advertisers to gauge the effectiveness of their ads.
The nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” In this case, it’s the obviously the half that pays for ads which are never seen, and now advertisers are looking for new tools to figure out which those are.
It’s worth noting that Google made this acknowledgement of the deficiency of the model it has profited richly from while also offering a new model to advertisers: In July it introduced its Active View product, which measures only viewed ads.
Senior financial abuse and fraud continues to be one of the most prevalent and “lucrative” enterprises in Canada. Approximately 30-35 % of all complaints received by regulators involve seniors. I suspect the elderly statistics are distorted as it’s my experience that the elderly are usually reluctant to formally complain for many reasons. Seniors often avoid publicity or litigation due to the embarrassment of having been bilked. They may unduly blame themselves for losses, are reluctant or unable to formulate a complaint or unaware that something is amiss. A 2007 Canadian Securities Administrators Investor Study: Understanding the Social Impact of Investment Fraud, estimates that over one million adult Canadians have been the victim of investment fraud. The study shows it is a common occurrence in the lives of many Canadians, with almost one-in-20 having been victimized.
1. Check registration: Engage with registered dealers and advisors with good reputations.
2. Don’t fall for investments that promise “guaranteed” or exceptionally high returns: If an investment seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Avoid investments that are advertised as “risk free”: All investments have risk. As a general rule, the greater the potential return, the greater your risk of losing money.
4. Don’t be rushed into an investment by high pressure sales tactics: Always take the time to evaluate and understand an investment before purchase. Always be leery of “once in a lifetime” opportunities, or investments that are only available “for a limited time.”
5. Be wary of inflated titles: A few advisors may use inflated titles to market themselves such as Vice President and the like. Too often, these are meaningless. Don’t be lulled into complacency or be intimidated by the titles.
6. Be wary of professional designations: Some advisors may use professional designations to market themselves as retirement or senior specialists. While most professional designations require rigorous study or extensive education or experience, some may be relatively easy to attain, and may even be available to individuals with no experience.
7. Avoid “free lunch” financial seminars for seniors: These seminars may be carefully scripted sales presentations designed to prey upon seniors’ fears. Some of these seminars may pitch investments that may be unsuitable.
8. Make sure that you clearly communicate your investment objectives to your advisor: Don’t let them steer you into investments that are not in line with your investment objectives or time horizon. Seniors typically live on fixed incomes and need conservative low risk, income-supplementing investments. Most importantly, closely review any document you are asked to sign, especially those with “investment objectives” and/or “risk tolerance” information about you.
9. Never sign a blank or incomplete document: Always take the time to review documents you are asked to sign, and ensure the document is filled out completely.
10. Never give cash to a financial or securities professional: When making an investment, use a method of payment that can easily be tracked. Make payments only to the registered dealer, NEVER to an individual.
11. Avoid any personal financial dealings with your advisor: You are not a bank so don’t start lending out money.
12. Get a second opinion: If you have questions about an investment and the advisor fails to fully or satisfactorily explain things, consult a different financial professional.
13. Ask questions: Some advisors may use language or jargon with which you may be unfamiliar. If you don’t understand something, ask for a clear explanation.
14. Don’t be afraid to contact your provincial securities regulator: Every province has a Commission/agency devoted to protecting people financial abuse and fraud. Contact your provincial securities regulator if you suspect you’ve been targeted as part of a financial scam or cheated in some way.
The following are the most basic questions that seniors, and investors in general, should ask when facing the decision to make an investment:
· Do you have a fiduciary duty to me?
· Can you explain the investment to me without using industry terms or jargon?
· What risks are associated with the investment/program?
· What are the investment cost in terms of commissions and fees?
· Are there additional or ongoing fees?
· Are there surrender charges associated with this investment?
· What happens if I decide to sell or cash in my investment?
· What are the pros and cons of this product re taxation?
· Why is this investment suitable for me?
· What type of reports will I receive and how frequently?
· How easy is it to sell or convert the investment to cash if I need money quickly?
· What happens if I have a complaint?
If the salesperson can’t or won’t answer your questions in writing and to your satisfaction, the investment may not be right for you. Ask questions and stay informed about your investments. Seek help if you believe you are being targeted or have been a victim of financial fraud or abuse. Some light reading to protect your assets:
Understand Investment Jargon The Steadyhand Investment Dictionary http://steadyhand.com/forms/2014/03/07/steadyhand%20dictionary.pdf
Pursuit of a Financial Advisor Field Guide – v13 A MUST read for retail investors.
The Responsible Investor http://faircanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Responsible-Investor-MoneySaver.pdf
Is Your Advisor to Blame? Things to consider when filing a complaint. http://www.robertson-devir.com/pdf/Is%20Your%20Advisor%20to%20Blame.pdf
Financial Fraud and Abuse Against Seniors | SecuritiesLawFirms.com http://www.securitieslawfirms.com/resources/securities/fiduciary-responsibility/financial-fraud-seniors.htm
GIC Rates : the online destination place for the best rate around. Guaranteed Investment Certificates. The Canadian GIC Market is worth over 730 billion and is a money maker for top banks. A recent study shows that the average account is worth over $60,000.00 and the majority of assets are with big banks at low rates. The review in Money Magazine explains that most people are getting burned when they turn to the safety portion of what should be a balanced portfolio. GIC is the bread and butter of the major banks in Canada.
This will all change by perception and over time. The highest rates paid are from some of the smallest companies, trusts, credit unions, caisse populaires and near banks. Few people know this and fewer people take advantage of it and stick to the big banks and pad their pockets and lessen their own.
It’s perception and decepti0n; how long will it be until there is an even playing field and a more efficient marketplace. Those that need to step up, monitor and manage this metamorphosis are still sleeping at the switch. The independent deposit broker will change the way things happen just like the mortgage broker used to be the lender of last resort and now is the go to facilitator.
GIC rates will become more and more competitive when the banks realize they are losing market share with the same old low rates when new and secure institutions will give out better rates for more and better business. The public will lose millions in lost interest in the meantime as the banks have no interest in marketing this GIC Industry Secret.
MONEY Tip: Use a registered deposit broker and get the best rate around for a personal or business investment account.
Shine bright like a diamond. Why pay good money for good diamonds? white diamonds, yellow, diamonds, green diamonds, blue diamonds or red.
The markets may go up and down and with it fortunes and lifetime savings are crushed or diminished. There is a good reason for not putting your eggs in one basket. Some say” diamonds are like real estate in your pocket”. In this day and age with markets up and down and perhaps too complex there was always other ways to invest. Precious Metals, jewels, gems, silver and gold, all hot commodities in general also may have their ups and downs.
To really know what your getting you need research, you need experience, you need connections. You know where you can get the best deal on “alternative investments”?.
One such company is Guild Hall Diamonds that has a unique offer that is wearable, beautiful investment opportunity. For most of us who barely know about cosmetic jewellery and then less of precious metals and least about diamonds then this new website will help. Learn the difference between diamonds first of all. You get what you pay for and knowing pays Nicole Snitman known as the Queen of Diamonds is ready to provide a high end service for a few millionaires and a growing and varied group of alternative investments investors. Targeting the rich is easy but getting them to buy still proves difficult. Often times less than one hundred regular and loyal clients that buy, buy often and more than one diamond for keeping and re-sale.
For me and my money I am quite impressed with this website, alternative investments and shiny stuff that is valuable and and in high demand. I can see the client list growing to not only the elite and wealthy but perhaps the average Canadian. Check the website our at www.guildhalldiamonds.com Guildhall Diamonds Inc. I can see this market growing to include a few market segments that were not available before. Learn more about the risks and rewards of alternative investing and investment grade diamonds at this recommended site.
Leader in Ontario with 70,000+ registrations in continuing education
TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ – Seneca has reached its highest continuing education enrolment in its 46-year history with more than 70,000 part-time student registrations.
Seneca has long been the leader in providing flexible, high-quality programs for those who want to further their education and upgrade their skills, attracting significantly more part-time students than any other Ontario college.
“We are delighted that the demand for our continuing education programs continues to grow,” said David Agnew, Seneca President. “This is part of a broader trend of students seeking more flexible options for their education, and Seneca is responding with evening, weekend and online courses that are meeting labour market demands.”
Most part-time students at Seneca are working towards a professional designation or career-based credential, whether a degree, diploma or certificate. Part-time enrolment has grown by more than 10 per cent over the past five years and continues to grow this fall.
Working with industry partners and program advisory committees, Seneca’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Training offers more than 150 part-time degree, diploma and certificate programs. Seneca continues to expand its suite of graduate certificates and degrees to meet student and employer demand. Seneca has recently launched a new part-time Accounting Techniques certificate and new part-time graduate certificates in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and Social Media.
Seneca’s fall full-time enrolment has also increased by nearly five per cent over last year.
With campuses across the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas and certificates renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Combining the highest academic standards with practical, hands-on learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensures Seneca graduates are career-ready.
SOURCE Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
The New Year is quickly approaching and this means that it’s time to start planning your savings for 2013. Do you know how much you can afford to save in the New Year or how much you want to save in 2013? A general rule of thumb is for people to save 10% to 25% of their net monthly income; however this of course this depends on several different factors such as your debt repayment obligations, your total family income as well as your total monthly expenses.
If you are planning to save a percentage of your income you should definitely consider investing in a Tax Free Savings Account. In 2009 the Canadian government introduced the TFSA as a way to encourage Canadians to save money every year.
The TFSA is an investment account that is offered by full service brokerage firms, discount brokers and banks to all Canadians who are over the age of 18 years old. As of 2009 Canadians can invest $5000 per year; therefore if you have never contributed into a TFSA you can currently (as of 2012) invest up to $20,000 (4 years x $5000 per year). The TFSA contribution limit is increasing to $5500 per year in 2013.
– $105 per week
– $211 biweekly
– $458 monthly
The investment options in a TFSA are similar to other investment accounts – they include cash, guaranteed investment certificates, mutual funds, exchange traded funds and stocks. All interest, dividends and capital gains earned on investments within a TFSA are completely tax free. This means that you do not receive a tax deduction when you contribute money into a TFSA, but you also have no tax consequences when you withdraw money. TFSA investments do not necessarily have to be used for retirement and your savings can be withdrawn at any time. We will discuss TFSA investment strategies over the upcoming weeks, so be sure to keep reading for more TFSA tips.
Current TFSA Interest Rates on Cash Deposits (as of December 18, 2012)