Going into a call with no plan is planning to fail. We’ve all heard this old adage before, but it is more true than you may believe.
There is immense value in creating a pre-call plan. You are able to gain control of the situation and guide the conversation in the direction of a sale; you also gain confidence in your pitch because it has been well thought out and prepared beforehand. Pre-write your opening and some questions that you’d like to ask so you don’t get bogged down by minutia.
Even with the best preparation and plan the conversation may move away from your talking points. You must be able to pivot and not lose control of the conversation.
Listening can be more important than whatever pre-call plan you’ve developed. While you want to stay in control of the conversation, using active listening to keep the customer feeling engaged and heard will pay off in dividends. Even over the phone people are able to tell when you are disengaged from a conversation, stay positive and adapt your call strategy as necessary to stay relevant in the discussion. Don’t just wait to respond, but rather, listen for themes and emotions and craft your response based off of the attitude of the person on the other end.
The 4 Communication Principles
- People respond in kind
- We control the flow of a conversation
- All responses can be anticipated
- People talk in stories
When asking questions make it a conversation, not an inquisition.
- You want people to feel like they’re talking to someone they know and can be candid with. You don’t want your line of questioning to come across as an interrogation as it will intimidate who you’re talking to and make them clam up.
- Allow people to expound upon their own ideas and experiences to give you insight into how they operate and to make them more comfortable.
Quick Call Planning Strategies:
- Pick Up The Phone and use it as much as you can.
- Call all Existing Customers / UPSELLING OPPORTUNITIES
- Establish a Call Frequency with Existing Customers.
- Check all Data Points with Existing Customers.
- Have Conversations with the True Decision Maker.
- Get Introduced to the True Decision Maker.
- Mix “Warm Calls” with “Cold Calls”.
- Ask for Referrals.
- Call ”Lost” customers.
- Dig out the Business Card Pile.
- Use web tools like LinkedIn & Fleet Seek.
- Many People are also on Facebook.
- Don’t waste an Email on a “Great Potential Phone Conversation”.