Written by Sean McPheat |
You made the initial contact through LinkedIn. You then directed the prospect to your company website for additional information. You emailed more documentation and now it is time to call to set an appointment. Fear begins to set in. Will you face a strong gatekeeper screen? Will the prospect have time to talk? Will your voice present the wrong image and ruin the sales process?
Right before your eyes, the phone seems to be growing larger, heavier and you wonder if it is your imagination, or if the handset suddenly grew teeth! You begin to think that maybe it is a good idea to try to set the appointment by email as well.
Depending on your business model and sales process, perhaps a purely or mostly e-selling process makes sense. However, for most sales people, the telephone is still an indispensable part of the sales process, and using too much email has increased their phone phobia.
Email and other e-prospecting and communication avenues are a critical part of doing business today. However, there are times when you need to put down the mouse and pick up the telephone!
5 Reasons Why You May Still Need To Make The Call
#1. Image Is Everything
To truly secure your image in the mind of the prospect, especially before your first face-to-face meeting, the prospect needs to hear you voice. Sending great emails, photos and everything else, cannot replace your voice.
Has the prospect needs to hear your voice, you should hear his or hers as well. By speaking to the prospect, you can determine many personality traits not evident in email correspondence. Does the prospect speak very fast or slow? Is the prospect a formal, business-like person is she more laid back and casual? These are important things to know before a sales interaction, and people do not write exactly the way they talk.
Once you have some insight into the prospect’s personality, you can slightly adjust your approach to match. To create rapport, you need to appear similar or familiar to the prospect. You can accomplish this in a telephone call.
Many questions and fact-finding methods require instant feedback. When you pose a question, often you need to know the prospect’s reaction right away to be effective. Sometimes, waiting for an answer just does not work.
#5. Real Person, Not an Avatar
Until you actually speak with the buyer, you are in a sense, an avatar. That is, you are a graphic representation of your alter ego. We all know that people can represent themselves to be anything they want via a virtual environment. Pick up the telephone and put a real voice and personality behind the image.
Originally published: 18 January, 2012