Calling Prospects: Facts and Fiction
When calling your prospect, the prospect remains in control. He is free to answer your call or to hang up at any moment during the call. Nevertheless many industrial clients have a negative association with sales people that are calling. Why? In earlier days calling was the only method to establish contact, which has been misused by many. Besides that the phone culture dictated that you had to answer every phone call. Nowadays sending emails is taking over part of this annoyance.
Calling will give you insights into the behavior of your prospect, into his organization and his challenges.
Many sales people experience Call Reluctance. This reluctance can be turned into a positive signal during your phone call. The insecurity can make the person on the other side of the phone feel more comfortable. Do not let Call Reluctance push into a mode during which you keep on talking without taking a breath of air. This will not bring you closer to the goal of letting your prospect feel OK. The prospect is the target, do not try to hold a “Me Story”. Try to keep the focus on the world of the prospect.
Let the Prospect do the Talking
The best sales people will create an environment in which the prospect is doing most of the talking. What the sales person offers, does not matter if the prospect does not feel the need. The goal during the first call is to identify the requirements of the client and to create a sense of mutual trust.
Before you end the call
Many calls will not result in any business opportunities. This is not a great deal, since you have prevented yourself and your prospect to invest too much time in building a further relationship. But, before you end the call, make sure to ask for the prospects advice. Who might be interested in your service? Use your prospect to generate leads. These leads are much more valuable than the lead that led to the phone call.
Nurturing after your call
Whatever the outcome of the telephone conversation is, try to send an email to your prospect explaining the outcome and thank him for his time. This extra activity will set good grounds for future contact. You never know when your prospect can be of help in the future. Added advantage is that you contribute to the image of “Calling as method of establishing contact”.