Today I want to cover a topic which on the surface seems to be a natural for most b2b sales people. So, why is it being reported as a problem by some of you? Particularly the cold calls or calls to people you have never met yet you have their name as a lead.
Enter the normal fears or limiting thoughts creating issues for the once proud sales person. Sometimes making a call to someone we don’t know is a difficult task.
So, how can we become more effective when using the phone to contact important people for our sales success?
You can follow these five practical tips when making those phone calls to people you don’t know – yet. Here are the five practical tips…
- Set up your personal command center
Have an area cleaned off and ready for successful calling. Some people even have a mirror set up so they can observe their personal facial expressions during their calls. Interestingly enough, a customer or potential customer can “hear” a smile as a friendly attitude.
- Batch your calls
This is a time management technique. You get into a positive frame of mind, and make all your calls – one after another until you have gone through your list. This helps you keep your focus and intensity level for making the calls. And, once you get started, you will have a tendency to finish without having to get “in the mood” to make phone calls.
- Warm up by making lower risk calls first
Okay, forget the old do your most important calls first. That old saying belongs to your overall task priorities for the day. Yes, you do the most important things first except in making phone calls. Here you need to get into rhythm when using the phone. Start with lower risk (smaller accounts or “C” level prospects) and get started. As you get into a flow, then begin to call the higher risk or higher priority “A” accounts or targets.
- Have clear objectives for each call
Just like when you make a personal visit, you should have a call objective in mind for each phone call you make. Now, one piece of advice – unless you are a direct marketer using the phone to sell; you are going for some other objective such as an appointment, sending in some important information, agreeing to come to a briefing, or a follow up phone call. Your goal should never be aimed at making the sale over the phone.
- Listen for Trigger Words
This is key element when talking to an executive or decision maker early in the sales process. Your ears should be highly tuned into listening for any of the following words¬
Difficulties, concerns, unhappy with, issues, problems, bottlenecks, frustration, challenges, we’re okay, reasonably happy or satisfied, not trilled with, or lacking support.
These words are triggers for you to explore their meaning using the questioning model for selling. These are your door openers due to dissatisfaction with their current situation. Pay attention – they want you to help them.
There you have five practical tips for making your phone calls more effective. Follow these tips for one month and record your progress. Are you meeting your objectives with a higher percentage of calls? Are you getting to advance the sales process? Track the results of your calls and continue to work on your phone techniques until your objective percentages are in the 90% range – then you are one hot sales person.