Tele Sales Would you agree that it’s not easy to make a tele sales call?

Of course, it's tougher than ever. There are all kinds of "studies" that say it takes five, eight, 11, 23 or more effective to use the phone.

In this article, I’m not going to go the entire tele sales process or psychology used, but I will go through a bit of it.

OK then. pick a number from your database . . . whatever one you choose,

So here's my question:

Even though you’ve made the call, why do you want to get off of it quickly?

You don’t know!

But it happens all of the time. Particularly with new sales reps who are prospecting. Often they are so surprised they got someone on the phone who will talk to them, they are not prepared to take it further.

Once they finally get a decision maker, they begin the call, then move into something like, "Well, I'd like to schedule a time with you to do a web demo." Or, "I'd like to email you some material and then call you back."

Here, I’m not going to go through being prepared, rehearsed, having a reason for the call, an objective, a sub objective and so on.

Here's my philosophy: If the music is still playing, stay on the dance floor. Take the call as far as you possibly can. Don't be the one to end the call. If what you have to say and ask is of interest and value, they will stay on the phone with you. After all, they answered the call, didn't they?

The Weak Follow-Up Call

In addition to now proactively stretching out your sales cycles, needlessly wasting your time with some people who will never buy from you, not taking the first call further sets up a weak follow up call.

Many reps send out literature, white papers, web links, samples etc. after a brief prospecting telephone call, and start out the follow-up call with the standard opening:

"Hi, I was checking to make sure you received the information I sent."  Then they follow with the equally ineffective,  "Uh, do you have any questions?"

After hearing "No, no questions," they end with,

"Well, keep us in mind if you ever need anything."

The listener, trying to sound as sincere as he can while lying (or laughing) responds,  "Oh, OK, I will."

Useless, ineffective and a total waste of time, as well as being a morale destroyer for your rep.

So, let’s look at it.  Because the initial call was ineffective and was prematurely stopped, the follow-up is not much warmer than the first call, and the use of go-nowhere, rejection-inducing approaches and questions on the follow-up. Here are ways to correct both of these problems.

As I said above, go further on the first call. Granted, unless you are selling something simple and your sales process is transactional, you indeed probably do have a multiple call process.

With that said, be sure it's even worth it for you to enter them into your funnel and agree to call back. You should have some variation of these criterion as part of your follow-up litmus test.

  • The prospect will do something between the initial call and the scheduled follow-up that would make this call worthwhile, such as check your prices vs. what they pay, or use the sample you send, or,
  • A future event will take place that would make the follow-up more appropriate, such as a new budget year beginning, adding more personnel, etc.
  • Next, the opening of the call needs to bring them into a conversation that readdresses the hot points fuelling their interest in the last call, and also serves to move the process closer to the ultimate objective you're seeking (the sale or appointment)
  • Here's a simple format for the opening.
    • Identification. The easy part. Name and company will do: "Hi Pat, this is Bob Tallent from DPNlive."
    • Bridge. You need to bring them back to where they were emotionally when you ended the previous call. Remind them of their interest. "...I'm calling to pick up where we left off last week, where we went through the benefits you'd receive from . . ."
    • The Agenda for This Call. This part needs to be proactive:
      "I'd like to go through the material I sent you to point out the precise cost-cutting features that apply specifically . . ."
    • Other proactive words and phrases include, "discuss," "analyse," "cover," "review," and "walk through."
    • Also include some value-added reason for this call. This way, if their interest has waned since the last contact, and/or they didn't follow through with what they said they'd do (which happens quite often) you still have a basis for continuing this contact.
      For example,
      "And I also did some research and came up with a few other examples of something you showed interest in the last time we spoke: how other printers have used this process."

To summarize, take advantage of the opportunity when you do get a decision maker on the phone. Move the process as far as you can, have a good reason for following up, and you will turn prospects into customers more quickly, and not waste time with those who will never buy from you.

Make it your best week ever!

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