After you called someone who was referred to you or gave you permission to contact them through social media (steer away from cold calls please), you describe what your company does and offer proof to your claims. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is through telling a story of how your company helped someone in a similar business to the person you called. You want powerful results you can report.
What do you say? How do you organize it? Keith Eades in The New Solution Selling suggests telling a brief story describing the issue you tackled for a company like theirs, what was needed (which you provide) and the result obtained.
You want your prospect to admit pain. People buy more and faster due to pain than pleasure. You can pursue pleasure but solving pain is something acted upon immediately if framed in the correct way. From here, write up for yourself ways to respond to the various common problems admitted by the prospect. If you are prepared and wrote something powerful you can utilize when speaking, you have a chance at another phone call or in-person meeting.
Remember you must be interested in them and their company. It is often said that we do business with people we like, trust and respect”. Be that to your prospects and develop a relationship where they will stay with you long term.
Please write your comments below and what worked for you to get that initial appointment.
Here are five ways to reach prospects easier
Do you want to reach a potential client more successfully?
1-Call immediately when interest is indicated. People “cool off” and your chance of getting them later and keeping their interest diminishes.
2-The average sales person calls a lead about twice before giving up. Research shows that is takes 6-7 contacts to make a conversation happen. Most reps stop much too soon. Afraid you will “bother” them? Not if you continue to develop their interest, curiosity and give value with each message left. A lot of money is left on the table when you don’t follow-up persistently.
3-Franklin Covey found calling between 3:30 and 4PM is helpful. I also learned the boss will often answer the phone if you call between 8-9AM (check their time zone) or after 5PM when office staff is not available and they pick up their own phone.
4- Calling on a Wednesday or Thursday is considered best. The beginning of the work week is too hectic and Friday people are in a weekend frame of mine.
5-Use a local number –people have caller ID and are more likely to pick up the phone when local numbers are used. There are many companies that offer this type of phone service.
As you move forward reaching more of your leads, it’s important to have sales scripts ready with the responses to FAQ’s. That is your next step. I help my clients develop powerful sales scripts that have been tested and are successful. Some ideas are noted on my blog entries.
Please write your comments/thoughts below on what you found helpful in reaching prospects. Try the ones above and let me know your results. I will respond.
It’s not time to play hard to get! Call them within five minutes of their showing an interest in your product or service. You have more likelihood of reaching him/her too because he/she was at the computer to advise you of their interest.
If you don’t get a response, how often do you follow-up? Most sales people give up after one or two attempts. Research has shown if you make nine attempts, you have about a 90% chance of reaching them.
What is the best time/day to make that initial contact if they are not initiating it? Usually Wednesday or Thursday is best. People are busy after the weekend and are getting things in order the beginning of the week.
It’s helpful if you don’t need to go through an operator too. See if you can get their direct phone number. Using a company that provides you with local phone numbers is helpful too. It’s worked on me! Rather than seeing my caller ID noting an 800 or 866 number, a local one shows up. You are more likely to pick it up thinking it is local business or someone you know.
Please let me know what has worked for you. Let’s have a conversation.
Do you know how to speak with customers?
Keith Eades in his book, The New Solution Selling, discusses having “business development prompters”. It’s a way to increase interest in your product/service. You can use this in emails, on the phone, personal contact, trade shows, etc. You want to increase curiosity rather than sell.
One of the prompters discussed is for a new business prospect. There is no pressure to buy. It’s wonderful to have them developed so they are specific to the people (example: engineers) and companies you are calling. You start by stating your name, co. and then mention you haven’t spoken previously (ensures the person on the other end is listening rather than trying to figure out how they know you).
Then you discuss your expertise – for example, you’ve worked with ____(their industry) for the past ___years (if possible). Then state- what I continue to hear from people in this field is _____(difficulty with ____). We help solve this issue. Would you like to know how (then they are curious)?
If they want to talk more extensively, set up a meeting.
What have you done to get an initial appointment? Is this strategy helpful? Please let me hear from you. I will respond.