Sales Blunder #6: Losing opportunity on first phone call

Let’s say you’ve been consistent and persistent and you finally get your prospect on the line. Do you know what you plan to say?

The reality is that 65% of all sales are lost in that opening telephone call. And frankly, this could apply to how you leave voicemails also.

If you think back to my very first blunder, I talked about how most people selling a product or service tend to default to a feature dump. That usually happens in telephone calls too. This is NOT the time to “sell” your prospect something or to be talking about yourself.

Here are the elements to think about before making your call:

  • Introduction – A great call starts with this foundation! Clearly introduce yourself – first name, last name, your company – be confident and above all, be articulate. You don’t get a second chance to make that critical first impression, so take it seriously. If you are leaving a phone mail ALWAYS leave your telephone number at the beginning and end of your message.
  • Grab their interest – determine what might capture their interest long enough to spend a few minutes talking with you. What economic trends might be affecting their industry? What challenges do your current clients mention to you that might also apply to your prospect? Take the pressure off yourself and them by getting them engaged in a conversation with you.
  • Ask for time – Once you’ve captured their attention, ask them for a few more minutes. Then stick to the agreement. If you asked for 10 minutes, end the call in that time or less. Demonstrate that you are a professional who respects their busy schedule. Your goal is to secure a future appointment, so don’t try to sell them in the first call. Get them interested and they’ll be far more likely to want to meet with you.

Don’t just roll into your sales pitch. Take the time to put a framework in place for building a relationship with your prospect. Using this approach, you capture their interest in a way that lets them know you are a professional, that you understand their world. And you’ve gotten them to talk about issues that you know your product or service can help them solve. Now, that’s a great first step!

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