Written by Sean McPheat |
So, your company has spend gigillions of pounds or dollars on leads and passed them onto you.
Your job is to seek out the decision-maker and make them say ‘yes’ to an appointment and ultimately sign up to buying your products and services.
You pick up the phone and, when connected to the decision-maker, start giving them reasons why they should drop everything they were doing and have a good conversation with you instead.
How do you gain their attention?
What should you say in the first few seconds?
Well, here are some examples of what NOT to say!
Why should you avoid these in your opening statements? Because they are naff, and everyone knows they are. Try some of these for starters:
“I just wanted to introduce myself and my company”
Firstly, the word ‘just’ sounds weak. Drop it. Secondly, you’re not inviting them to a party, and they’re not interested in YOU. They are interested in themselves and their company.
“Hello, I’m with TopTravel Services and we have some great offers on our transport services at the moment”
Their initial reaction is probably ‘We don’t need that’ or ‘We’re happy with our current transport provider, thanks’. Products and services actually promote resistance, because it’s difficult for a person to connect what you do with the results they may obtain. Not good.
“You’re probably aware that we are industry leaders in….top providers of….Number one supplier of….”
As soon as I hear a brag or promotion of a company, it creates resistance because not many people are attracted to others who extol their own virtues.
“I’m sure you would agree…”
This is a request, a sort of embedded command that tries to get some form of concurrence. Unfortunately, it often has the opposite effect.
“Are you the person responsible for…?”
You should have found this out before. Asking this is annoying as it proves you’re trying to sell something.
“If I could show you a way to…”
Here you are asking the decision-maker to make a commitment without hearing any details of what they are committing to. These type of questions build resistance immediately.
Remember these facts about sales:
People are reluctant to talk to salespeople they don’t know.
They feel they may be under pressure to agree to something they may regret later. People don’t want to be sold to. It creates a defensive mindset.
Most people make up their minds about how they will react to a sales call in a few seconds.
Most will think ‘how do I get rid of this salesperson?’. You need to get the decision-maker into a positive frame on mind.
You should know exactly who the decision-maker is and what their challenges are before you pick up the phone or meet them.
These seem pretty obvious statements, but they often need repeating as they are very commonly displayed.
Think seriously about your opening statements and avoid these obvious no-no’s when you make contact with the decision-maker.
Originally published: 1 February, 2016