Any good sales rep sees a sales opportunity behind every first call, but they should also be aware that the first 30 seconds are crucial in either securing or losing the attention of their prospect forever. Remember, having a positive attitude is 70% of the work into grabbing their attention.
Everything a potential client says is important and can be used in a future call. Connect with the client and they’ll see that you really want to help them and that you’re interested in what they’re saying. The rest is getting yourself comfortable, using headphones or devices that let you move about and following the advice below:
1. SMILE AND DIAL
An upbeat introduction is key. Remember, they receive hundreds of calls a day and you need to stand out from the rest. Always make calls with a positive attitude that denotes security and don’t forget to smile. Yes, it’s corny… and although your prospect won’t see it, they’ll still detect it.
Be nice and use colloquial but professional language. You can also slip in a bit of humor, if you think you’ll get away with it. This will speed up the connection with the person you’re talking to.
Transmit sincerity by preparing short, 10-second phrases that cover both the reason you’re calling as well as the key-selling points of your company.
2. A FRIENDLY EXCHANGE
Start off by asking how they are and let them know straightaway that you want to help them. You’re not wasting their time, you’re dedicating it to advising them and providing them information.
Ask what you need to know to adjust your pitch and strike up a friendly conversation.
3. THE BEST TIME TO CALL
It’s important to know if it’s actually a good time to speak to your prospect or not. They might be driving or you could have caught them at a bad time. Ask when they’re next available to speak if you get the impression they’re busy, you can call them at a more convenient time to show your commitment.
It’s better to call at another time than to tarnish the relationship calling under pressure.
4. ACTIVE LISTENING
Use active listening techniques. If you cut them off, don’t ask them questions or don’t listen they’ll put you in the same box as everyone else who tried to sell them something and will hang up with or without an excuse. Let them see that they matter and you’re there for support.
5. STAY POSITIVE UNTIL THE END
End the conversation just how you started. In these types of calls, every word counts, right up until the last. Wish them a good morning or week and if the moment is right finish with something funny or with something personal they might have mentioned during the conversation e.g. an event they’re attending.
Most importantly, remember to thank them for their time on the call with you, how happy you are to have spoken to them and how you look forward to the next (especially if they accept your proposal and become a client). Even if you haven’t been able to gain much from the call, you should still thank them for their time.
You never know when someone might later need your services and the nicer you are with the more likely they’re going to remember or recommend you to a contact of theirs.
We hope that you put these tips to use. The most important and easiest thing to do to when talking to a prospect over the phone is to have fun and they’ll notice. Know that each call is different and prepare yourself for different conversations with different people from different roles and positions.