- When you are making introductory calls to set up new business meetings, you are not selling whatever it is that you sell. You are selling a meeting. You want a few minutes of your prospect’s time and that’s it. You are not asking your prospect to buy anything or change anything they are currently doing; you are asking your prospect to agree to have a conversation with you. Most importantly: You are not asking that your prospect make a buying decision on the telephone. If you approach prospects in this manner, you will encounter far less resistance.
- Structure your call from the prospect’s point of view. Many callers want to first determine whether or not they are speaking with a qualified prospect so they ask questions up front. Then if the prospect appears to be qualified, these callers try to set up a meeting. Your prospect, on the other hand, wants to know who you are and why you are calling. You will encounter far less resistance in your calls if you start out by telling them.
- When speaking with a prospect, avoid questions that imply that your prospect has made mistakes in their past decisions. For example:
“What don’t you like about your current vendor?”
- “What are the weaknesses of your current supplier?”
Both of these questions imply an insult to your prospect’s decision-making abilities.
- If your prospect already has a vendor, another particularly useless question is: “How is that working for you?” (or “How is that going?”) Please eliminate it from your repertoire. Remember that the biggest enemy to sales is the status quo. Prospects are often not willing to admit that something is not working, especially to a stranger. This question could easily backfire when your prospect says, “Great!”