Each week I’m asked by at least one salesperson, “How do I open a call with someone I’m prospecting?”
For many salespeople, it’s the biggest obstacle they need to overcome when prospecting. In my upcoming book, High-Profit Prospecting, I dig deep into the issue of how to open a call.
Below are just a few of the ways you can do it:
1. Know your telephone call can go one of three ways and each one needs a different plan. Your call can go to voicemail, be answered by a gatekeeper, or answered by the person you’re trying to reach.
2. Make sure your voice has energy and you’re ready to speak clearly, regardless of where the call goes.
3. Your objective with the first call is to merely earn a reason to contact them again. Your first call is to merely uncover one piece of information or insight from which you will set up a follow up time to discuss.
4. Know the question you’re going to ask or the statement you’re going to make that is going to capture their attention.
5. The prospect doesn’t care about your title or how many years your company has been around or anything else. The call is about them!
6. Be personable. Let your personality come through and certainly do not read from a script. Yes, you want to have talking points, but the last thing you want to be is robotic.
7. Accept the fact you are interrupting them, but remember you need to interrupt them if you ever expect to be able to get them to benefit from how you know you can help them.
8. Tailor your call to the person you’re calling. There is zero need to be making truly cold calls, thanks to the internet and the ability to gather information.
9. The way you start off a call will vary by industry, person you’re calling, etc., but one approach I like is:
“Hello, I’m Mark Hunter and I have some new information regarding changes that are occurring in the industry. What are you seeing happening?”
Yes, it can seem vague, but that’s the point because I want the prospect to then ask something along the lines of: “What are you calling about?”
With a question like that, I can then go into a 10-second response about the information I have and in turn ask another question to engage them. My objective with the call is to merely gain one piece of information about the customer with which I can then schedule a follow up time to talk when the prospect has more time.
10. Never view the one call you’re making as the only call. Each call is a new opportunity, and you never know when the next call you make may be the best call you’ll ever have.
Keep reading my blog over the coming weeks. I’ll be sharing a lot more information about prospecting and my soon-to-be-released book, High-Profit Prospecting.
Mark Hunter is a consultant, trainer and sought after speaker on sales.