MythBusters – Prospecting Techniques
Welcome to this Two Minute Sales Tip with Tim. So it’s a beautiful Saturday morning and I’m down at the office trying to catch up on some reading. As a matter of fact, I really hadn’t planned on shooting a video today, but as I was going through some of my ready somebody had sent me an article that they wanted me to comment on and as I was reading through this article and getting ready to comment on it, I felt like there was an episode of MythBusters inside of me just dying to get out.
So today’s Two Minute Tip is really going to bust three myths on how to effective at phone prospecting. According to this author, Step One: The Greeting. Of course you have to have a great greeting. You have to get the client’s attention. You’ve got to get that prospect to tune in and listen to you. Here’s the example that the author endorses:
Hi. This is Sarah Smith from Acme Industrial. Can you tell me who in your company makes decisions about __________?
I don’t know what your experience has been, but my experience has never been very positive when I use an opening like that. When I ask hi this is Tim from Acme Industrial. Can you tell me who in your company makes decisions about ________? Usually I get why are you asking that. Tell me what this call is about. That’s information we don’t give out. It just sounds salesy to me, and when I sound salesy people start to shut down. I get that because when people sound salesy to me, I have a tendency to shut down, and at the end of the day this just makes it look like you’re unwilling to do your homework. So I think you need to do a much better job at greetings.
There’s a lot of really good sales advice out there and there’s some sales advice that I just caution you to be very careful with!
The author goes on to say it’s important to give a company capability overview. Couldn’t agree more. The company capability overview is a statement or big picture of how you can provide benefits. It is meant to enhance your credibility and answers the question “Why Us”. Couldn’t agree more, but once again the example that the author puts out there is to lead with something like this:
At Acme Technology we are an industry leader in shipping automation.
I mean that is just selfish adulation. Who calls and says we’re number two, or who calls and says we’re trying to get better? There’s nothing specific about this claim. There’s no facts in this claim. There’s no numbers, no percentages. It’s not specific and it’s not relevant and it leaves the listener still asking WIIFM (What’s in it for me?). So I think we have to do a much better job of putting together a company and capability overview.
Then towards the end of the article, skip a couple of steps here, the author says, hey it’s important that you close the call correctly and see if you can’t get a next step. Couldn’t agree more, but here is the specific advice this author gives. Lead with something like this:
Gee Mr. Prospect, what would work better for you? Monday at 9:00 or Tuesday at 2:00?
I think we call that the alternative close back in the seventies. I know it was popular back then because back then sales reps were being taught manipulation techniques. Guys, we don’t try to manipulate somebody. We don’t give them an alternative close. You simply ask the prospect hey given what I’ve shared with you today, given the conversation that we’ve had, what do you see as being the right next step.
Guys, there’s a lot of really good sales advice out there and there’s some sales advice that I just caution you to be very careful with. Let me get some feedback from you. If you would love to have me go back in and instead of just busting the myth to actually giving you some practical tips on how to formulate a greeting, how to formulate and state your company overview and how to set that appointment, how to close the call properly, I would love to do it if there’s enough interest.
My name is Tim Wackel, thanks for watching.