Sales skills over the phone with the prospect: Once you get past the secretariat screen and start talking to the prospect or decision maker, you enter the “Call.” Phase. To fix. To hang up “.
This is the time to briefly introduce yourself and request an appointment to meet you. Now is NOT the time to go into lengthy explanations, or try to close the sale over the phone. (Unless, of course, you’re doing tele-marketing … and we’re not getting into tele-marketing here.)
At this point, you have a crucial goal to accomplish: persuade that prospect to invest the time to meet with you in person. Time is money for effective decision makers, and they are not inclined to waste it on long phone calls or unproductive meetings.
When speaking with the prospect, be friendly but get straight to the point. Don’t discuss the weather or how their day will go.
Now is not the time to talk in detail about what your product is, or your journey. All of this will come later.
ASK “Is this a good time to talk?” DON’T ask, “Is this a bad time?” “
When you get the prospect on the phone, don’t ask, “Is this a bad time to talk?” ” Why not? Think how easy it would be to say yes to that question.
Instead, take a positive approach: expect good news. Use your phone sales skills to phrase the question with a positive expectation: If you feel the person on the other end of the phone is distracted or harassed, ask with a positive twist, “Is this a good time to talk?” Again, it’s easier to answer yes.
But if the prospect says, “Actually, no, this is really not a good time,” then you are in a good position to ask, “I understand. When will be the best time to speak?
Key mantra of telephone selling skills: “Call. Fix. Hang up.”
Sales professionals consider this first telephone contact to be the “call, fix, hang up” phase. The goal is to make the call, set up a meeting, and then hang up without getting bogged down.
Obviously, you don’t want to sound abrupt during the conversation, but you also don’t want to get into a long conversation at this point. For busy decision-makers, phone calls are inherently interruptions, so the shorter the interruption, the more business-focused, and more precise, the better.
Another reason to be succinct now.
– you MAY LOSE the chance to meet the Prospect if you talk too much, but the reality is …
– BUT, no matter what you say, you CANNOT MAKE the sale over the phone.
Phone Selling Skills: The First 30 Seconds
Once the prospect picks up the phone, you have two crucial tasks to accomplish in about 30 seconds or less … that is, before the prospect’s interest increases, or before another incoming call becomes priority.
In these first few seconds, you must,
1. Introduce yourself and your business, (if you operate under a business name), and,
2. Present the concise reasons for your phone call, as well as the reasons why the decision-maker should take the time to meet with you..
It might seem like a lot to do in 30 seconds, but here is a sample script you can adapt:
“Mr. Robinson, this is Tom Gibbons from Productivity Services. I’m calling you because I think we can increase the profitability of your business by reducing office overheads, maybe up to 20% in the first year. with you for about half an hour to explore the possibilities. Would later this week be handy, or would the start of next week be better for you? “