You probably wish that call screening didn’t exist today. Without screening a prospect would be more likely to pick up the phone. Stop wishing. Instead, practice these 3 rules to sell more on the telephone.
1. Less is more when you sell on the telephone.
Each second—yes second—is precious. Don’t waste them! Each word you say should make your prospect to want to hear more from you. What does your prospect want to hear first? It’s simply who you are and what you can do for him.
Don’t waste time asking, “How are you today?” Your prospect doesn’t know you. He knows you don’t care how he is. His answer of fine or horrible is not going to give you any information to help you sell. Don’t ask it. Prospects hear the question and tune you out.
Above all don’t go rambling on and on about your company and products. You should say no more than 3 sentences before you’ve asked a question that the prospect has to answer. You want him involved in the conversation. It’s not a monologue when you start the phone call. A question that gets a prospect talking early in the phone call is, “Are you the person who selects the (product you’re selling)?”
Once a prospect agrees to talk with you (ie he doesn’t hang up the phone, tell you he’s busy, say he doesn’t take cold calls, etc.) he is listening to hear something that interests him. He wants to hear that you can do something for him.
2. Have something to offer that the prospect wants and demonstrate your competence when you sell on the telephone.
What does he want to hear? He wants to hear that you can solve one of his wants or needs. These wants or needs are simply 3 areas. Those areas are either that you can reduce a cost, avoid a cost or make him money. You reduce or avoid a cost when your product solves his problem. You help make your prospect money if what you offer helps bring him more customers.
You first announce your name. Add your company if it’s a well-known company. Then you follow with who you work with. When you call CIOs you would say, “I work with CIOs.” When you call CEOs you say, “I work with CEOs.” A person with the job title of who you work with is more likely to listen to you because you have just demonstrated quickly that you have earned the right to work with other people like the prospect.
Then follow with what you do for your customers and the results you’ve achieved. What you do must be what a prospect wants. For example, “I work with CIOs who want to increase IT Help Desk productivity. The clients we’ve worked were able to increase ROI as much as 40% with improved service efficiency.
It’s powerful when you can quantify the results you’ve achieved with other customers. It intrigues prospects when they hear the results and want to hear more. Now they’re curious about how you did what you did.
3. Respect your sales process.
What is your objective for the prospecting call? If it’s to get the sales call appointment then stop when you get the appointment. If it’s to get approval for the next telephone call for a demo, then stop when you get interest in learning more. Yes, I realize that some prospects are interested now and then later get distracted with other projects. The risk you take in moving too fast is that they shut the entire process down if they haven’t allocated the time they need to think about what you present.
Know your sales steps and break them up in manageable times that suit your prospects. Selling on the telephone doesn’t have to be complicated. Be strategic about what you say and you will start to get more sales using the telephone.