Why do so many sales people dislike phone prospecting? Often it is because the chance of success is so small (only two to four percent success rate). When the rates are down, even strong sellers with enormous internal capacity for rejection avoid telephone prospecting.
What if there was a way to increase the success rate to 50 or 60 percent? Sales people will be scrambling for telephone time at this rate. Your telephone script holds the key.
The first thing on which we need to focus is writing a script aimed at your decision maker. Remember that decision makers buy from people who hold bonafide confidence in themselves.
Assume for now you are able to turn the “gatekeeper” into your ally and the decision maker comes to the phone to talk with you.
You have only a 20-second window of opportunity!
The first objective is to reduce the decision maker’s anxiety over being called. I believe the primary challenge salespeople have with prospecting — the reason phone prospecting success rates are so low — is that salespeople are creating tension rather than interest. From the moment the other person picks up the phone and hears an unfamiliar voice call them by name, their tension rises. Because of this tension, you have only 20 seconds to alleviate the tension and create interest.
Here are several points to remember when you are preparing an “interest-grabbing” phone script:
Make sure you can get through the script at a reasonable pace in approximately 20 seconds. That’s your “window of opportunity.”
Think of a problem the buyer probably has. Do not bog down the decision maker with your company history. Do not ask the decision maker for an appointment yet.
Seek only to gain one thing: curiosity.
Establish curiosity about how another person in the same position as your prospect, with the same job title, has already figured out the solution to a problem your prospect probably has. Be prepared for a positive response — to continue selling on the phone or to book an appointment.
The foundation for a telephone prospecting script is a relationship story.
In 20 seconds, it is impossible to read most relationship stories; therefore, we only use the decision maker’s job title and their specific likely problems. Focused, relationship specific prospecting is the most effective. That is why the relationship story format starts from the base of a real job title and a specific problem the decision maker likely has.
If you want to call Vice Presidents of Operations, tell these decision makers specific problems of another Vice President of Operations and how you helped that Vice President solve their problems. In other words, you want to build a bridge of common ground.
Here is an example of a 20-second telephone script…
“Tom, this is (your name) with (your company) in (your location). I have been working with Vice Presidents of Operations for the past seven years. One of the chief concerns I am hearing from other Vice Presidents of Operations is their need to have confidence in the Editor of their company newsletter. I have been able to help other Vice Presidents successfully deal with this issue and I want the opportunity to share with you how.”
The response you want to hear now is “tell me more…”
This script does exactly what I want it to do! Tom, the decision maker, responds with, “Tell me more.” That is curiosity. The key is the relationship story and how you word the relationship story. Put some anxiety in it. Accent the frustration you hear from his counterparts.
Using the 20-second phone script, a seller is asking a buyer, are you curious how someone with your job title in your industry has already figured out how to solve a problem that you probably have as well? This is one of the great secrets to prospecting.
When you prepare your phone script, start with four relationship stories. Choose the story that is more probable for the initial script. Then have the others in reserve. Why? Because buyers don’t always say, “Tell me more.” Sometimes they say, “I don’t have that problem.” So then you can say, “Other problems I have also helped my customers deal with are (story B, C and D). Are you curious as to how I have helped our customers deal with these issues?
Now it is down to a “yes” or a “no.” If the answer is “No,” say, “Thank you for your time” and move on to your next phone call.
Make more money faster by easily connecting with hard-to-reach decision makers who can buy your products and services…NOW! Get started free by getting Michael McCann’s new Special Report excerpted from his newest edition of his popular business development book, Connecting with Key Decision Makers (How to Reach Hard-to-Reach Businesspeople Who Can Say “Yes”)…just for asking at http:/www.GlobalBusinessCafe.com/ – http://Twitter.com/MikeHMcCann Go now!
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