When it comes to making sales phone calls, there are some very clear things that you can do to improve effectiveness and increase results.
1. Confirm Availability
It is safe to assume that the prospects we call are busy. Not only is this because the decision makers usually have full plates in terms of workload, but also because with common headcount reductions taking place, the prospects that we call are possibly more busy today than ever. With that being the case, it can help our results to make sure the prospects we reach are available for our call.
If we assume the prospect is busy, we can try to validate if they are normal busy or if they are crazy busy. If they are normal busy, we can try to move forward with the call with their permission. If they are crazy busy, we may want to regroup and call them another time as it will be very difficult for us to build any interest.
2. Communicate Value
It can improve our results if we can communicate the business value that we have to offer early in a phone call. The core of what a prospect wants to know from a potential vendor is how you are going to help them to increase revenue, decrease costs, and/or decrease risk. They will not get as excited about how fancy or advanced your products are if you have sold them at the business value level yet.
By delivering some sort of value statement early on sales phone calls, we can improve the odds of the prospect taking our call.
3. Disqualify the Prospect
When a prospect takes our call, they will likely have their guard at a medium level, especially when they detect that we are some sort of sales person. Everything we say and do will either increase or decrease the prospect's level of guardedness.
One thing that we can do to get them to decrease their guard is to disqualify the prospect. This would be to question how well they may or may not fit with what you have to offer. This is a very powerful thing to say as it makes the prospect think that you are going to make sure it makes sense to move forward before you try to sell.
4. Qualify the Prospect
It can be very productive to try to qualify the prospect while making sales phone calls. This would be asking a couple of questions that ensures that it makes sense not only for them to talk with you, but just as importantly that it makes sense for you to spend your valuable time selling to them.
5. Uncover Pain
At some point during sales phone calls you will want to uncover pain. If there is no pain, the prospect might not be qualified as if there is no pain there is no reason to change.
6. Build Rapport
In order to get the prospect to continue talking with you and possibly set up a first conversation with you, it can help tremendously to establish some sort of rapport with the prospect.
If you show them respect for their time by confirming that they are available, communicate how you can help them through communicating value, and disqualify/qualify them, you can make some large strides toward building rapport.
7. Build Interest
In order to create any momentum, you will need to create some level of interest. One way to achieve this is to connect any pain that is uncovered with the business value that you have to offer.