The following article was contributed by Roger A. Simpson, the 4 Minute phone man is a Telephone New Business Development Consultant and Phone coach from Phoenix, AZ.
The 4minutephoneman.com would like to share a sales and marketing tip for any sales person who picks up the phone to make a cold prospecting call. The old school approach to cold calling goes something like this.
“Hi! My name is Roger, I am from Xyz Company, and I am here to sell you something today. Get ready, we can do it all in one call if you will just listen, follow my agenda, pay attention and buy today”.
The New Business Development cold calling environment no longer allows this type of call to continue. The defense shield goes up and the call gets terminated. The average sales prospecting call lasts four minutes. The above call only lasted less than 30 seconds.
This is new information, pay attention:
- Change your way of thinking. Change your mental objective before you make your call. Change your mindset. Forget about your personal objective to make the sale, set the appointment or get a yes or no decision today.
- Think about how you can help the prospect to solve one of his business related problems.
- Learn how to shift your mindset so you can enter in to a two-way conversation with the prospect. This will help you to understand his needs.
- How can I gain his trust so he will be open to my suggestions?
- Are the products that I am offering at fit for his business?
This concept and strategy is the beginning of a process that requires more than one contact. There was no attempt to get the prospect to make a yes or no decision on the first contact.
First Contact: Introduction call: Follow the mind shift outlined in the above bullets. Test the water to find out if they could use our services. Gather information. Record names of persons who answer the phone. Ask for the key contact person if known or ask for the person handles the new business development for the company. Also get the number of employees and length of time they have been in business. The objective of this call is to open a line of communication using a Low-key approach with no high pressure.
Email the company information and give them the Web Site address. Set up a Customer Record file and record any information that will help you remember the prospective client and help him remember who you are and why you are calling. Use the information gathered to build rapport, credibility and trust. Everything you record can be used to structure follow up calls. This detailed record sets you apart from the other new business development people offering their services. This attention to detail portrays the image of being a professional. Prospective clients like to deal with professionals. They would like the have their own sales staff using these techniques.
Second Contact: Prospect receives Email with information about your company and products and how to reach the web site. Send the information out the day of your initial contact or when they give you permission to send something to them. Set up a call back file.
The reason to send something written is to be different and also get an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper in their inbox or their active follow file with information about the products that are available to them along consider with your name on it. You will be different when you actually send something and then follow up to offer any additional help.
Third Contact: The second call comes three days after the information was sent out. The objective of this call is to confirm that the person to whom the information was directed did receive it. Do light trial close to determine the level of interest. Do not give a presentation on this call. Get in and out fast and ask the decision maker to read the information and let him know you will be calling back to answer his questions. The next follow up is usually one to two weeks later depending on the interest level. The best time to schedule this call is on Thursday.
Fourth Contact: Third call is a mini presentation to probe for their needs and hot buttons. Share more information about us and what we do and find out when they can fit us into their busy work schedule.
Fifth Contact: The fourth phone call is to engage in additional two-way conversation and offering to help if the prospect needs some. Continue to keep notes on the progress.
Sixth Contact: The prospect calls you back and thinks it’s about time he had someone to stop by and have a meeting with him. Record the day, date, and time and turn in a copy of the Customer Record file to the Business Development Manager.
Seventh Contact: Review the prospects record file information with the sales consultant. The next contact with the prospective client is an extension of the telephone contact person. This helps sales consultant to prepare for the first face-to-face meeting.
Eighth Contact: Sales consultant goes out on appointment.
Roger A. Simpson, the 4 Minute phone man is a Telephone New Business Development Consultant and Phone coach. He can be reached at 602-569-7755 http://www.4minutephoneman.com Go to the how to reach us page, scroll down to the large banner and click on it to get a Free Cold Calling Help Audio Seminar. Or email Roger.