One of the most important and sometimes difficult tasks of frontline selling is remaining in control of the conversation to ensure you stay on point. Staying in control of the conversation enables you to direct the dialog on a path towards your end goal – a committed sales outcome.
The elements to building trust
People are naturally suspicious and want to know who they are talking to and what they want. To put the prospect at ease in the first instance, clearly identify yourself, state your name and the reason for your call. Show respect by acknowledging they are probably busy – this goes a long way and helps to neutralise any feelings of annoyance when interrupting their workflow. Get to the point, eliminating idle chitchat. Make sure you use the prospects name early on and several times throughout the call to give a sense of familiarity, be careful not to over do this or it can become awkward.
HEY YOU!!!!! Get your buyers attention!
People usually feign disinterest, it may not be that they don’t want to know about your product or service, it is often just that they are unwilling to give you their time and attention. To obtain someone’s attention make sure you have a well crafted customer centric dialog that highlights the unique value of your product or service, directed at their potential pain point. Refrain from going into anything too technical or use too many industry ‘buzz words’ or complicated language. Be sure your approach doesn’t sound like a ‘pitch’ and instead has a natural flow. It helps to believe in what you are saying, if you can get enthusiastic, it’s easy to get others on-board.
Delivery is everything
Tone of voice, enthusiasm and confidence are key to a stellar delivery. It comes back to believing in what you are saying. If you believe and are passionate about what you are selling this will translate and carry through. Pause during your discussion so you can gain valuable feedback. Make sure to maintain a natural conversational flow so the prospect does not feel like they are being sold to. Practice your ‘pitch’ over and over so you don’t need to read or follow a script it will just come naturally during conversation.
Empathy brings you closer to the business problem
By allowing the other person to talk, they will naturally open up, often revealing important information that you may not have thought to ask. Ask questions about challenges related to your product, often the prospect will sell the product to themselves, you just need to keep the line of questioning coming to direct the conversation . EG; “John, have you experienced xxxx? Tell me about what that was like. What did you do to move past that?” This will help to establish a need and qualify out any leads that are not yet ready to buy.
Solutions before features
Focus on talking about solutions and benefits NOT FEATURES. Features are very important but they should come later in the conversation or later in the buyer journey when the customer expresses interest in deeper level knowledge. We sometimes forget. Features don’t really make much sense to someone hearing about your product for the first time. If they don’t understand the purpose or the problem it relates to fixing, then it is hard to sell a feature. By focusing on benefits we accentuate the NEED.
Be prepared for possible objections and rehearse your answers, to stay confident and in control. There will be times when you may get an aggressive personality, if you are unable to neutralise the situation, simply thank them for there time and politely end the call.
End with a direct actionable request
Be concise and direct, suggesting a specific date and time to meet or further discuss. To get a response ask a question on how to execute your request, eg: “Will Tuesday or Wednesday work for that meeting?” Do not PUSH if they are not ready to go further, ask if it is ok to add there details to your nurture program to continue to receive regular updates and information.
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The AA-ISP Australia Chapter discusses sales best practice, opportunities, threats and challenges specific to the region and ways to best adapt global influences and emerging trends within the Inside Sales community. Anyone with an interest in sales teams and business growth are encouraged to attend and engage in our regular chapter network meetings and discussions.
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