You have a telephone in one hand and a well-rehearsed script in the other. You’re ready to begin teleprospecting.
You’ve planned the delivery of your message so well that you’ve anticipated your listener’s objections and can fire quick responses. Finally, you pass the infamous gatekeeper and have your chance to talk to Mr. Big. You feel so close to making that sale. . .
Then reality kicks in: Mr. Big gets annoyed, and before you know it, it’s all over. No appointment, no sale.
Time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again, you think.
But aren’t you sick of this cycle by now? Aren’t you tired of calling numerous people to gain only a handful of appointments (if you’re lucky)?
YOU can yield more appointments with fewer calls by just adding a few steps to your teleprospecting process!
Step 1: Get over yourself
The prospect you are trying to contact is not waiting for your call, so stop acting like it’s a privilege to speak with you.
Realize that you are interrupting your prospect’s very busy day. They could be doing other things besides listening to a salesperson try to sell them something that they already have or think they don’t need.
When interrupting a prospect, make it worth their while. Don’t feed them the same carefully crafted script they hear from every other salesperson. Your prospects don’t want to be sold anything. They do, however, want solutions to their business problems, and want to be more productive and more profitable. If your message doesn’t meet their need, they won’t want to hear it.
The best and easiest way to show your prospect that you have solutions is to talk about them, not you. Focusing on their company will show them that it is probably in their best interest to set up an appointment with you.
Step 2: Identify your target
You can’t expect great results by using the same garbage on every company on your list, and it’s impossible to offer solutions to a company you know nothing about.
You must individually identify each prospect:
What is their business?
What is their current situation?
Who is the real decision maker?
What are their likely buying motives?
You can find the answers to these questions by speaking with the gatekeeper, a program administrator, or, if all else fails, someone from their sales staff (salespeople are born to talk and will tell you everything you need to know!).
The more you know about your prospect, the better chance you will have at talking about their company intelligently and thinking of original, personalized solutions. This will increase your chances of staying on the phone longer, making that appointment, and eventually making the sale.
Step 3: Engage the prospect
After some preliminary research about the company and the decision maker, your next step is to find way to effectively get their attention.
If you’re able to speak with the prospect over the phone, try asking them interesting questions about their business, their company, their needs, anything that keeps them engaged in the conversation. Again, the only way to engage your prospect is to talk about them and things that relate to them.
Don’t forget that there are several ways into an office: fax machine, snail mail, e-mail, telephone. Don’t just settle with one method! If a phone conversation isn’t possible, leave voicemails that will capture their attention! Use all the mediums available to you in different and engaging ways that complement each other and prompt your prospect to get in touch with you.
Be persistent! Continuously give these engaging pieces to the decision maker, while also following up with them over the phone. Don’t give up! Your next call may be the one that gets through and leads to the appointment!
Step 4: Sell the appointment
If you’re only trying to get an appointment with the decision maker, then don’t sell anything but the appointment!
After your prospect answers the phone, you only have about five seconds to get your message heard before the prospect stops listening, gets annoyed, hangs up, or says they aren’t interested.
Skip all that garbage about you and your company and get to the real reason of why you are calling. Use the brief time you have to tell them why you are calling and why it matters to them. If they want more information, they will ask. And when they do, they are showing you their interest in what you have to offer. This is the perfect time to try to close for the appointment!
Learning how to use these steps to get an appointment will also help you relate to your prospect during the actual appointment. You won’t feel tempted to rely on a disappointing sales script if you get to know the prospect and learn how to effectively engage them. Using these steps early in the process will save you time later, when you are face to face with your prospect and trying to make the sale.
Sure, you added some steps to the process, but you’ve significantly cut down on the time and frustration of calling number after number in hopes to get one appointment. With these steps, you’ll get twice as many appointments calling half as many people and have what it takes to later make the sale!
Tom Richard is the author of a weekly ezine on selling skills. To subscribe to this free ezine, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org