This sales tip is for sales people who use phone calls as a way to approach prospective customers.
In a world of email and social selling techniques, the phone remains one of the most powerful ways to engage with prospective customers.
If you are in pro-active sales, you have to love and master this fantastic medium. And, if you are a social seller, you just do not know what you are missing out on!
It is a good idea to work out what you want from a call. Expecting a sale to be made can certainly be the best outcome. Yet, it pays to set a reasonable expectation in two areas:
Feel: After the call you would want prospects to feel happy, excited about the prospect of a better solution to a problem.
Do: After the call to prospective customer has:
1) agreed to receive a quotation and review it.
2) agreed to meet face to face on a certain date/time to discuss xyz.
3) agreed to share information about the company use of xyz products
Starting a call well is key because it sets the tone for the conversation.
With the above in mind here are four proven lines starting a successful prospecting call:
The industry issue line
Strategy: Use a current known issue in the customer's industry to start a conversation.
Tactic: 'John, I was listening to the radio this week and heard about the current sales challenges in the car sales sector. May I ask you to what extent this applies to (company name)?'
The follow up line
Strategy: Use a recently sent communication as a starting point to establish your prospect's role.
Tactic: 'John, you probably received a letter about widget use last week. I wondered to what extent you are involved in the widgets supply?'
Asking for help line
Strategy: Asking someone for assistance to find the right person to speak with.
Tactic: 'John, I hope you can help. I am looking for the person in your organisation who is responsible for Health and Safety. Would you be able to put me in the right direction please?'
The credibility line
Strategy: Using a fact gained from other sources to credit the prospect
Tactic:'John, I have heard your name a few times in relation to Mobile Communications and would like the opportunity to explore how we might be able to support you. To what extent am I speaking to the right person as far as your organisation is concerned?'
The temptation to script yourself and not giving it 100% is real, especially if our role involves making many calls. There are plenty of ways to start a successful call and every prospect deserves an approach that suits them. Adapting our style and content to our audience is a key requirement in selling.
Feel free to contact me for any specific advice or help.