Written by Sean McPheat |
I’m certain you’ve had this reply from a prospect when you’ve called them. Sometimes it’s genuine, sometimes it’s just an excuse to get rid of you.
What surprises me is that few salespeople plan for this eventuality, even though it happens often.
If the prospect has called you or asked for information, and you are returning their call, ask the decision-maker or gatekeeper what would be a better time to call, and make some suggestions as to what those times might be.
Suggestions might include early the next morning, after 4.30pm or at lunchtime. There will be a slacker time of day when it will be easier for you to contact the prospect, so identify when that might be.
Remember to have a specific objective for every call. If your prime objective is to gain an appointment, also have a secondary objective that you can fall back on.
If the client says they are too busy to take your call, say something like ‘OK, Mr Prospect, I understand, and thanks for letting me know’. That confirms to them that you understand their position, and says that you will soon be getting off the line.
Depending on your objective, you might just make the suggestion of when you’ll call back. This will make it sound proactive and important to the customer.
When you say you’ll call back, state what benefits the prospect will receive from taking your call. Something like ‘I’ll call you back at xx.xx when I’ll describe how we can help you achieve your goals in the export market’. That creates a reason for your prospect to take your call next time and piques his interest in what you could do for him.
Identify the true reasons for dealing with you, and the prospect will find time to talk with you on the phone, even if it is just to make an appointment.
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Originally published: 6 December, 2010