The phone is ultimately a salesperson’s greatest weapon and most powerful tool – especially for B2B Lead generation. But having a great conversation with a prospect is not a guarantee that you’re assured a sale or even going to have a further development of communication stemming from that call. Sometimes, there are issues you’ve overlooked the first time. Instead of using the follow up call to seal the deal, consider it a way for you to seek the truth out and understand the bigger picture. But before you do, how about we stop and think about some essential points. This sales technique invites trust and diffuses the barriers to comfortable communication when engaging with leads of all levels of interest in your product and r service.
Here are 5 important points to ponder:
- Always Double check before assuming a sale is yours
Prospects are used to traditional buy and sell relationships. They expect pressure from you, leading them to be more reserved with the truth. Until you’re sure they’re being completely open with you, you can never assume the sale. The first lesson any person using the phone on a regular basis must learn, is that you must never assume or count your chickens before they have hatched. As positive as the dialogue may have felt and you may genuinely have enjoyed the time speaking with them and felt a connection, you can’t see their expression or know that they were being 100% upfront.
There can always be excuses to come later, and it may not even be in their own hands. Finance, cash flow, availability, timing, practicality are all variable factors which even from a brilliant conversation, our out of your own and their hands in many cases. If you are speaking with a decision maker of the business, who has the power to action any transaction and has the ultimate say, then maybe you can have an inkling of greater confidence in getting the deal done. But it is always a more effective approach to not expect and be surprised. It is something which especially as a young, positively, maybe even naïve sales representative, you struggle to click with instantly. But over time, experience will teach you to remain calm and never complacent until the money is physically transferred or the contract signed.
- Let it be effortless for potential clients to come clean with you
The usual end of a conversation for typical cold calls is “Do you have any more questions?” If the answer is no, surprise them with another question. Ask them if there is absolutely anything you can do to make the situation more comfortable for them. You’ll surprise them when you take the conversation somewhere they don’t expect it to go.
For business people who are used to receiving and digesting generic cold sales pitches day-in day-out, they are receptive to an approach which leads away from the stereotypical scripted process. This is actually where your own individualism comes into play. And it is what separates the solid, to good, to amazing sales people. Those guys you look at and say, yeah, he/she just gets it.
Not everybody will have the charismatic flair or natural conversation which creates the best traction, but if you have a structure of your own which suits your own personality and working understanding then you are on to finding the sustainable formula to conversion more-often-than-not.
- Call back not close the sale, but to find out what went wrong
Vanished clients actually expect you to call and say, “Hi, I was just wondering where things are at?”
For this sales technique, let them know you know they don’t want to move forward because they haven’t called you back and you’re okay with that. Chances are, it will open the door to a new level of trust-filled communication. Let them know that you can handle a “no”. No is part of the process. There is a not a sales person in the world with a 100% win rate because it is not possible or at al realistic. This is a numbers game. And it’s about leveraging the situation to improve the numbers to the best situation. Not winning every time. But finding out why you did not win this one and using the knowledge to help you for the next opportunity.
- Ask for critique
Whenever prospects disappear, call them back. Dialog makes it harder for them to disconnect. Simply ask for feedback, so that you may improve. Assure them you’re only after self-improvement. We are all human. Empathy is a real thing, we may be at work but we all have feelings, understanding and connection. Just be up-front, open and re-engage is a friendly manner.
- Allow yourself the last word
Don’t let yourself be on the edge of your seat, waiting for their response as to whether or not you have the sale. Figure out a time where you can call and find out whether they’ll get back to you or not. Take the authority and ensure all objections are answered in each situation for their context. Once you have understood that they know everything in different ways, then you have done your job the greatest potential.
With these suggestions, the process of cold calling becomes much less of a pain because the focus is the truth instead of the sale. The real sales technique here is the more we release the idea of needing to make the sale, the more sales we’ll likely see.