Calling prospects on the phone is one of the most effective ways to generate sales leads, boost seminars and events, and arrange meetings with your prospects.
However, it can be incredibly challenging to reach the right person at the right time. We chatted with our Business Development Consultants and asked them to share their key tips for success.
Our first tip is simple, yet very effective: call before 8.30am or after 5.30pm to catch elusive customers. If they're busy the chances are they won't answer, but if you do manage to speak to them, you may have just caught them at the perfect time for a quick conversation that will lead into making some time in the diary for a longer chat.
When starting a new campaign get immersed in the product and or services your client is offering and fully understand their key strengths, what problems it resolves and how is it different from competitors solutions. Read and absorb some of their customer case studies so you can add context to your conversations.
Before making any calls to your target list, do some research. Organise your list into order of priority, and research your top ten before calling; find out who the key employees are, any recent news items, and their approach and company ethos. Armed with this information you will be able to create a more in-depth conversation with your target contact. Once you have targetted your top ten, move on to the next ten and repeat the same approach.
Everyone is busy and short of time, so to make an effective call get straight to the point: make sure the message is concise and relevant to the market the customer is in. Quickly point out how it differentiates you from the competition.
Always try to obtain mobile numbers. So many people now use just their mobiles and are happy to take calls on the move. You might just catch someone on their way somewhere with a few minutes spare to talk.
Once you start to feel like there is some interest, subtly suggest a meeting or a conference call. If they say they are busy over the coming days or weeks, suggest a date a month or two later. Get a date in the diary and then keep track of it.
The dreaded gatekeeper! Don't be pushed back or put off by Gatekeepers; recognise they are doing their job well, but work at getting across that you have very relevant information to communicate to their colleague. Ask for their help and if that doesn't work, just pause; you will be surprised how much they will say in a silence! If all that fails, try an alternative route, another branch or department might be more receptive. Be bold about asking for direct lines or mobile numbers, you'll be surprised how many people will offer you this information.
These are some of our key recommendations for making your sales calls more effective and productive. The most important element that runs through all of the above is preparation - whether that is researching your client, or the target list, it is important to fully understand and immerse yourself in the project to really maximise the results.
If you have a project that requires some expert calling please get in touch.