In 2016, the sales call is a divisive subject. For some, it’s an instant turn-off, frequently described as dead.
For many others, though, it’s still very much a part of a winning sales strategy.
No matter how certain statistics may stack up against it, sales calling still has the potential to convert.
So if you’re not turning that potential into profit – then perhaps you’re not doing it the right way?
Of course, a call isn’t the only way you can reach out, but it’s all too easy to ignore an email, whether intentionally or not. With a phone call, it’s immediately much harder to slip under the radar.
Rejection is still a very real reaction, but you are (at the very least) demanding a degree of attention when someone picks up at the other end. It’s up to you then to turn that contact into a conversation – an opportunity – a sale.
So what makes the perfect sales call pitch?
If there’s one thing you can certainly do to improve your chances of success with a sales call, it’s to be prepared.
It sounds like a no-brainer but it’s still a step that deserves this amount of emphasis. Know who you are talking to and most importantly, what issue you are looking to solve within their world.
First of all, it’s great to have a sales pitch script.
You would never attend a meeting without a plan, so why would you pick up the phone without one?
It keeps you on track, makes sure that your conversation is flowing and actually reminds you to engage rather than reeling off details.
A script isn’t just about prompting words, it also directs when it comes to your overall approach.
If you’re looking to polish your performance to perfection, remember these points:
It’s all in the greeting
When you make a call, it doesn’t take the receiving party very long at all to decide whether they are interested or not.
It’s all too possible that you can find yourself losing out as early as one sentence in.
Add to that the almost guilt-free action of cutting you off because you’re not actually stood in front of them – and hooking someone in becomes a pretty tricky task.
Your greeting is so important that it should be treated as an individual step within your pitch.
It’s not a quick prefix to your hard-sell section, it’s a chance to lower your prospect’s resistance, in turn giving your main pitch a much better chance of surviving.
Don’t use your greeting to wedge your foot inside the door, use it to actually say hello.
Be more you
When you’re unable to meet someone in person, you’re at an instant disadvantage.
Facial expressions and body language are taken out of the equation.
So how do you fill the gap they leave? – by turning up your personality.
Your tone defines more than 86% of the impression you make on someone, according to ContactPoint, so don’t just think about what you need to say, think about how you need to say it.
Your sales script will remind you of the words, but it should only ever be a reference.
A natural conversation will occasionally bring you off script, but building a rapport with your prospect will prove to be invaluable when you do reach the point you need to get to.
Get to the point
If you’re lucky enough to be speaking to the right person, chances are they are pretty busy.
On top of that, the human attention span is down to just 8 seconds – falling from 12 in the last decade.
So as much as your personality is a tool for winning them over, you don’t need to make everything fluffy. Tell your prospect why you are calling, because no matter how much they like you, they will be wondering that from the get-go.
Make it a part of your opening lines, but be sure to present it in a way that isn’t easy to dismiss: you’re not calling to ask if they need what you’re selling, you’re calling to ask how they’re dealing with the issue your product solves.
Timing is key
Unfortunately, the power of knowing the absolute perfect time to cold-call someone is simply not possible.
Abide by these and you’re giving yourself the best chance you can.
If you find it’s a bad time, then enquire as to when would be a better one. At least you then have a follow up that can work to your advantage if you have left enough information to be considered.
Solve a problem
It’s important to remember that the tangible product or service you are selling is of no interest to the prospect unless they can relate it to the resolution of an issue.
It’s here that you create a need – and your job instantly becomes a whole lot easier.
If your script focuses on the features and the spec of your product, then level it out with a concern for how it will improve someone’s life.
Best of all, this is something you can engage your prospect with.
Ask them how they cope with the issue at hand, why their issue is occurring and how their frustrations affect their lives. This will expose the root of their needs and set the stage for you to save the day.
Give your sales call strategy a shake-up
If you’re growing frustrated with a lack of sales call success, it’s time to take a look at the script.
Bring your words to life, know how to condense your message and always consider your timing.
Don’t just focus on the product you are selling, but look at the problem is it solving.
Sales calling doesn’t have to be cold, it should be as warm as possible when it comes to tone and manner. So don’t just write your script down, live it out as often as you can.
Confidence and preparation are your strong foundations for success, and a sale isn’t always your immediate concern. A conversation, a relationship, and a follow-up appointment are all wins that can help you to reach your ultimate goal.
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