No one likes to have their day interrupted with a call from a salesperson. But it’s demoralizing to make dial after dial, just to have every prospect hang up when you call them.
By incorporating these four techniques and strategies, you can get a glimpse into your prospect’s mind, build rapport, and significantly increase your chances of making a connection that leads to a closed sale.
Cold Calls Have a Bad Reputation
What’s the first thing that goes through your head when you get a call from a sales rep?
If you answered, “I can’t wait to get them off the phone,” then you’re not alone.
In fact, when a telemarketer calls me up at home and says those words that immediately identify them as a salesperson, the “How are you today?” line, my first thought is, “I’ll be great as soon as I get rid of you!”
One of the biggest mistakes sales reps make who have to call prospects – either to set an appointment, generate interest, or qualify and then send information – is they don’t acknowledge in any way what is going through the prospect’s mind.
Your Cold Call Is An Interruption
Let’s face it, everyone you call has a reaction to being intruded upon, and each of them is having a similar reaction to the one that you and I have.
If you want to successfully connect with your prospect, and earn the precious few seconds it takes to establish rapport and generate some interest, then you must put yourself into the mind of your prospect and enter the conversation that’s going on in their minds.
If you don’t do this, then you will be pitching and pitching and the prospect will just be waiting for you to take a breath so they can get you off the phone.
Four Techniques to Connect with Prospects
So, what can you do to enter this conversation? Incorporate the following three techniques the next time you make a cold call, and watch your call times improve, your confidence grow and your sales and income soar.
Make A Deal With Your Prospect
If we all know that what’s going on in your prospect’s mind is, “Oh, no, not another sales rep”, then why not acknowledge this? Try:
“Now _________, you probably get a lot of these kinds of calls, don’t you? Well, if you’re like me you’re probably wishing you hadn’t answered the phone right about now, so let’s make a deal: I’ll ask you just two quick questions to see if what I have can actually help you (do whatever it is your product or service can do), and if it can and you’re interested, we’ll continue, and if it can’t or you’re not interested, we’ll part ways, is that fair enough?”
Acknowledge Their Busy Schedule
Many times what’s going through a prospect’s mind is that they are too busy to listen at that moment, so they just use the overall brush off of, “I’m not interested,” and this usually gets people off the phone. Here’s how to enter into that conversation:
“_________ if you’re like me you’re probably busy doing a million things so I’ll make this brief. Let me just ask you two quick things and if we find that we’re a fit and you’d like to know more than we can talk about it or we can schedule a time when it’s more convenient, is that fair?”
The nice thing about this technique is that it acknowledges that they’re busy but it gives them the option of spending more time with you now if they like what they hear.
Say These 4 Magic Words
One effective technique to enhance your script is to start with the phrase “Please don’t hang up.”
By incorporating this phrase at the beginning of your script, you can disrupt your prospect’s thought process, prompting them to pause and capturing their undivided attention.
Simply disrupting your prospect long enough to get their attention can be a game-changer on a cold call. It opens the door for further conversation and gives you the opportunity to make a connection and present the value of your product or service— or offer to schedule a meeting at a more convenient time for your prospect.
Establish Common Ground
Another technique to connect with prospects is to establish common ground early in the conversation. This takes a bit of research up front, but is highly effective. You can say something like:
“Hi [Prospect’s Name], I noticed that we both attended the same industry conference last year. I found your presentation on [specific topic] really insightful. I thought it would be great to connect and discuss how we can collaborate further.”
By showing that you have a shared interest or experience, you can create a sense of familiarity and build rapport with your prospect.
Step Into Your Prospect’s Shoes
As you go out and make your cold calls, always ask yourself: “What is my prospect thinking, and how can I speak to that?”
Incorporating these techniques and strategies can make a significant difference in your cold calls.
By understanding your prospect’s mindset and addressing their concerns upfront, you can establish rapport and increase your chances of making a successful connection.
Remember to always put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and tailor your approach accordingly.
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About the author
Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…