Let’s look at the prospective phone call from the client’s point of view. It is Monday morning about 10.00 a.m. They are getting stuck into their to-do list, schedule of appointments and various projects. They have a busy schedule and like a lot of other decision makers in their company, their time is important. In fact it is their most critical finite resource, so they guard it jealously.
Now their PA is good at balancing their diary and keeping unsolicited calls from getting through although, occasionally, the odd one does make it. However, they can recognize a pitch in a nanosecond and can politely (sometimes not so) get rid of them. This is a typical environment that your prospecting call is going into. What do you say to make your chances of securing a sale or an appointment as high as possible?
Let’s look at what the ‘average’ sales rep says:
“Good morning, my name is John Doe from Superior Services, the reason I am calling you today is I just wanted to let you know…touch base…was wondering…was in the area…”
There is a science to creating great opening statements and this is THE most critical stage of the prospecting process. Fundamentally, you must sound pleasant and confident and quickly offer proof of how you helped someone just like them by reducing their PAIN (what they want less of) and increase their GAIN (what they want more of) all in less than 20 seconds! As a first step, write yourself a script and review it, do you sound interesting? If not, dump it and try again.
Tape yourself and keep going until you get it right. What are the critical issues for their industry, market and business? Make sure you identify and offer proof of two things; how you can reduce what they want less of and how you can help them get more of what they want.
Below, is an opening statement that I have highlighted and broken down the five elements which make it work. I encourage you to take your own statements and break them down in this way:
“Is that David DeCision?
Hi David, my name is Peter Sells of World’s Best Widgets.
David, the reason I wanted to speak with you today is that my company and I have recently been working with several other major businesses in your industry; ABC and XYZ industries.
We’ve been helping them not only cut (slash / halve / shrink etc) the amount of labour, administrative time and management required for most widget installations, but at the same time doubling the effective life and profitability of each component used in the process. I would love to come by some time and show you how we did that.”
Element ONE: The Greeting / Introduction
This confirms you are speaking to the right person and also tells them who you are and where you are calling from:
“Is that David DeCision? (YES) Hi David, my name is Peter Sells of World’s Best Widgets.”
Element TWO: Proof you have helped others like them
This builds a genuine reason for your call based on the good work you have done for others:
“David, the reason I wanted to speak with you today is that my company and I have recently been working with several other major businesses in your industry (use people and company names if possible) helping them not only”
Element THREE: Reduce their PAIN
This focuses on what drives most decisions; what is it your prospects want less of and where are the areas of their business giving them most pain:
“cut (slash / halve / shrink etc) the amount of labour, administrative time and management required for most widget installations, but at the same time”
Element FOUR: Increase their GAIN
This focuses on the other major driver in decision making: what is it they want more of:
“doubling the effective life and profitability of each component used in the process.”
Element FIVE: TRIAL CLOSE Appointment
This phrase invites them to agree to an appointment, or more likely respond to you with a question / objection:
“I would love to come by some time and show you how we did that.”
An objection or a question is the most likely initial response from your prospect. Stay focused on the reason why they should meet with you and keep the results you have achieved for others the key topic.
Ciaran’s book can be bought from our website at http://www.strikeforcesales.com.au.
Don’t forget Ciaran is running a Sales Seminar on Thursday the 29th of September entitled “Fix Your Sales & Profit”. Call us on +612 8080 3621 to reserve your seat.