I Hope You Don't Open Your Calls This Way

Because you only have a few precious seconds to make a connection and establish interest, you’d better have a good opening prepared in advance. Besides being very busy, your prospects probably get a lot of sales calls every week, and many of them from your direct competition. So why would they want to talk to you? What can you do to separate yourself from all the other calls they get?

The answer is that you have to establish a real connection with your prospect and stop sounding like all the other sales reps who call them. Here is what your competition usually sounds like (I hope you’re not doing this!):

“Oh hi Mr. __________, this is _______ _______ with the MLT Group. __________, we are an industry supply manufacturer and we help companies streamline their production process. We work with many companies in your field and save them between 10 to 15% on the cost of their storage and delivery process. What I’d like to do is ask you some questions to see how our process may save you that kind of money as well. Where are you currently getting your…”

Do you see how this opening makes no connection with the prospect? Do you see how it just starts pitching at the prospect and doesn’t acknowledge that the prospect might be busy, or not interested? Do you see how there is no rapport built here and how it’s a one sided conversation?

How do you feel when someone barges in on your day and starts in with a pitch like this? You’re probably thinking what most prospects are thinking: “How do I get this sales rep off the phone?!”

Now let’s look at the right way to open your call. Your goal in the first few seconds is to make a connection and get them to interact. You have to acknowledge that they may be busy or that you respect their time and you need to establish some rapport and separate yourself from all the other sales reps calling them.

Try this:

“Hi ________ this is _______ _______ with (your company), how’s your Tuesday going? Great. Listen, _______, I know you probably get a ton of calls so I’ll make this brief.

Let me ask you, if I could show you a better way of tracking and shipping (or) and save you money doing it, would it be worth spending five minutes with me next week to show you how?”

Or,

“IfWhat is the one thing you could change that would have a dramatic impact on your productivity and that would save your company money?”

Or,

“If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about how you currently do (their business), what would it be?”

Can you see how this quick questioning approach is more effective than what you may currently be using now? Eighty percent of your competition still barge in on their prospects and open their calls up with a long explanation about what they do and what they offer, and pitch their products and services without checking in with their prospects or establishing any kind of connection. No wonder most people brush them off the phone!

You can separate yourself from this group instantly, starting today, by using the opening technique above. Once again, adapt it to fit your product or service, and then practice it until it’s natural and easy for you to use. As you do, you’ll begin to notice yourself struggling less, making more connections with interested and qualified buyers, and you’ll have more confidence and feel better about yourself. Just like the top 20% do!

The Real Secret to Qualifying Leads

OK, now I want you to pay very careful attention….

I’m going to give you, right now, the Real Secret to what it takes to really qualify a lead. Before I do, though, let me back up just a minute.

Here’s how all this came about. Right now I’m involved with a company whereby I’m listening to and critiquing cold calls. These are qualifying calls. We’ve written the scripts for these reps, put in all the qualifying questions, and now I’m listening and seeing how good a job they are doing. Here’s what I’m finding (and by the way, this is the same thing that I find with ALL of my other clients as well – i.e., that means I’d find it with you, too!).

#1: The first thing these reps are doing is defaulting back to how they’ve been doing it for the last several months (or years). In other words, they haven’t yet begun using the new scripts and new proven techniques word for word yet. And that’s OK. It’s a process.

The good news is that once they do, they will immediately begin qualifying better, understanding true buying motives, and they’ll begin understanding who isn’t likely to be a buyer. That will save them A LOT of time.

#2: But here’s the real secret: After they begin getting comfortable with the scripts and begin asking the key qualifying questions, what will come next are the REAL SECRETS to qualifying the leads. And here’s what it is:

While I’m listening to these calls, what I’m dying for the reps to ask are the things that I would be asking that would tell me if I’m dealing with a prospect who might actually buy in the future, or if I’m dealing with someone who is likely not to buy on the follow up calls. And here are the things they (and YOU) should be asking of all of your prospects (Not in any particular order):

“How often do you check (prices, rates, suppliers, services, etc.) with other companies like mine?”

“Have you found that you can get better (service, pricing, rates, etc.) from another company?”

If so: “Did you go with that other company (or – “Did you give them a try?”)?”

And if not: “Oh, why was that?”

“What would you need to see from our (company, information, service, etc.) that would motivate you to actually try someone different?”

“What part of the decision process are you involved in?”

“What happens next after I give you a (competitive quote, price, service analysis, etc.)?”
“If you like what you see, what would be our next step?”

And then my favorite – a trail close! You absolutely MUST say this at the end of ALL Qualified calls!

“_________, let me ask you, if you like what (we can offer you, pricing, service, availability, whatever is appropriate for your product or service), can you see anything that might stand in the way of us doing business together?” (Note: You can use many different trial closes here – just pick one that matches your product or service the best).

These are the Real Secrets to qualifying a lead. Yes you need to ask the other important qualifying questions that I list in my blog, books and CDs but after you do, you need to find out if you’re really dealing with a buyer, and asking these types of Real Questions is the way to do just that.

Compare these questions (and the kinds of answers you’ll get from them) with the kinds of questions you or your team is currently asking. If you’re far off from them (in other words, you don’t ask them at all), then you need to incorporate them TODAY. Not tomorrow or next week, but TODAY.

I guarantee that when you do, and when you begin getting the Real Answers to these Real Qualifying Questions, and your sales career will begin to dramatically change (and so will your company). This is how you move from the bottom 80% into the Top 20%.

But like everything I give you, don’t take my word for it. Try it and see for yourself. If it works, all you have to gain is hundreds to thousands of extra dollars a month. How good will that feel?