Lots of people in business see the telephone as an anvil, that’s how it feels when they pick it up, it’s a chore. This feeling comes from the fear of being rejected. Not many business people are brave enough to put their head over the wall. However those that do will find rich long term rewards for the short term pain they experience.
Given the right attitude you can use every rejection as a learning experience. Pay close attention to what happens. Learn what not to say and when not to call. Every time you receive a rejection take a moment to evaluate the position in order to benefit from it. Rather than letting it ruin your attitude for the next call, you should say to yourself, “Well, that didn’t work. Is there a better way to say it?”
With appropriate optimizing, you’ll soon find your calls being well received and you’ll have fewer rejections. To save you some time on this learning curve, here are eight points to consider before making any prospecting calls.
1. Develop a professional greeting. Just saying hello then going straight into your sales pitch will not work, as your prospect will immediately put up a barrier between you. You need to allow the prospect to engage. Your initial greeting should be quite formal; begin with a “good morning Mr…” or “good evening Mrs…” don’t just say hello, be professional.
2. When you introduce yourself give them your name and that of your company. “My name is David Jones with XYZ Company, we are a local business that helps companies like yours to save money. Do not mention the product. If you do, you will give them the opportunity to say that they are happy with what they already have and hang up. By using a general introduction, yet mentioning a benefit, you’ll arouse your prospect’s curiosity and keep them on the line longer.
3. Always thank the prospect for allowing you the time in their busy day to talk to them.“Thank you for taking my call”. Don’t say that you’ll only take a moment as that has been proven to put people off if they think you are going to take something from them. Say something like “This will only involve a moment of your time so you can get back to your busy day”.
4. State the reason for your call. Try if you can to ask a question to provide the reason of the call, such as: “If we can show you a way to improve your productivity and save you money would you be interested to know more?” This question is designed to get a positive response. Ask questions that can only be answered with a yes. This is the point when you are ready to ask for an appointment to see the prospect or to provide them with more information. You are not yet selling the product you’re only selling what the product will do for him – the benefit.
5. Arrange a meeting. Either in person or a teleconference, find out all the information you need in order to give your prospect a solid presentation.
6. When scheduling a meeting use the alternate choice method. Offer him a couple of times, “I can pop in to see you today at 3.15 p.m. or will tomorrow at 10.45 a.m. be more suitable?” don’t say “when can we meet?” By giving him a choice you are taking charge of the conversation and by asking for a time that is not dead on the hour will give the impression that you are a person who is punctual and will respect your customer’s time.
7. Reconfirm the date, time and place of the appointment and thank them for their time. Tell them about the preparation you will do prior to the appointment in order to make as much of the time allowed as possible. Always give them your phone number should anything else arise.
8. If the meeting is a few days away send a letter of confirmation as soon as possible. If the meeting is tomorrow send an email. Keep the confirmation brief and encouraging.