Or do you make loads of calls and not get anywhere with them?
Then it’s easy to start to avoid it. But in this day and age it’s an important part of your sales arsenal – after all, how many emails did you get yesterday versus how many phone calls?
So – first things first – you need to do a bit of prep. This is what ensures your call gets to the right person and gets the response you are looking for.
Finding out who you want to speak to is the most important thing – this might be super easy if you have already met them, or more complex if its someone in a role in a big organisation. Before you pick up the phone you need that name. Without it you’ve got ‘sales’ written all over you! You then need to work out what value you can offer them – have you got information or feedback that would be of value to them? And lastly, but most importantly… why are you calling? What is your objective? And I am very clear you should always have ONE clear goal – otherwise the call can become overly long and confusing.
Great – then let’s pick up that phone…
When the phone is answered speak clearly and slowly. Often when people answer the phone they are not 100% engaged – they may still be looking at an email at the same time, or finishing a conversation with someone else in the office. So be Clear and Slow in you opening intro. What seems to be really slow to you will feel so much faster to those at the other end of the phone. It also gives them time to listen and engage.
Introduce yourself like Bond….James Bond! Give your full name with the emphasis on your first name – and the magical pause. Again this gives time to ‘hear’ your name and with the emphasis on your first name it is underlining a personal relationship which is really beneficial in building rapport in those opening moments.
Be able to clearly state why you are calling - most importantly the value you are offering with the call. In a sense this is what is ‘buying’ you the time with the person on the other end of the line. A great way to engage people at this point is to reference a previous interaction you are following up on – either face to face or on social media.
What is your objective – have a human conversation …. And then get to the point, why are you ringing! Remember you have one objective, so if it is to meet face to face, ask for the meeting, don’t spend so long on the phone that the customer thinks ‘there’s no point – we’ve just had that conversation’! Remember to position this with the benefit it will offer to your customer.
Gain agreement… and get off the phone!
Once they have agreed, you need to leave it there – don’t start to take up lots of time with info you have already told them, or can tell them in person when you meet / speak again etc. Remember – time is precious so don’t take up too much of theirs!
The key thing is that if you have had a normal, human conversation you can always ring them again. You can always call back. So focus on the conversation – listen and respond. Be yourself – we are all just normal people, so as long as you treat your prospect or customer like a human being they will always be happy to talk again, so just make sure you aren’t running to a script, and you are genuinely interacting. That way even if you don’t get what you need out of this call, the door is always open for you to call back!
I’d love to hear how your calls are going – let me know below!