A Sales person cannot avoid telephone prospecting because, today, travel is time consuming and expensive. But it's painful when the conversion rate is less than 3%. What if you get 50-70% conversion rate? Smart sales person get more hit rates, more than 80%. The secret is doing just the essentials in 20 seconds. But How?
When ever a prospect receives a call from a sales person, the prospect gets more anxious and mostly sales person create tension resulting in unsuccessful call. Most people are tensed when an unfamiliar voice call them by their name and suddenly asks for an appointment or talk about some product literature. A sales person will get 20 seconds and during that time the call should be converted.
The key to success is avoid creating tension; rather create interest and establish curiosity. Don't put forward any forcing questions nor ask for an appointment directly. First talk in the same pace that the prospect talks. Develop a smooth flowing script for around 20 seconds approximately and that script should help to create curiosity. The best option is to start with reference story rather than company history and product literature.
Figure out a problem the prospect is likely to have, for this sales person may need some information about the prospect before hand like his job profile, designation etc. Now establish curiosity over how another person in the same situation of the prospect had already solved a similar problem. This leads to create interest and mostly the prospect says “tell me more" or something similar. Always plan scripts according to situation, for example if you are calling an IT person, tell him how you helped another IT person in similar situation to solve this problem. Intelligent assumptions are needed in order to strike.
What if the prospect doesn't have such a similar problem or he recently solved this problem. Sales person should be ready with a array of problems which the prospect is likely to face so that, prospect is excited and curiosity is generated. Address the critical issue the prospect is likely to have and create curiosity. Identify at least four critical issues the prospect is likely to face so that sales person can fall back if the prospect says “that problem is already solved". Be prepared with alternatives. It's advisable to keep track of statistics details so that sales person can fine tune the script using key words and shuffle the order of presentation of critical issues. Script rehearsal will be useful to get the smooth flowing pace.
To conclude sales person need to create demand and earn out an appointment from the prospect. Be ready to take positive response and do remember first impression is the best. The thumb rule is being sincere, intelligent assumptions doesn't mean being insincere. So eliminate tension, be sincere and create curiosity.
Cinoy Ravindran is a Computing Engineer, specializing in solution/ concept selling in Information Technology, Wealth Management, as well as Stress Management.
Read his blogs http://cinoy-tickets.blogspot.com