A person naturally doesn’t like feeling as if they are being backed into a corner and consequently that person will often instinctively call to action their defense mechanisms and push back. Same goes for something as simple as a sales call or teleprospecting call. If they feel like you’re interrogating them, they’ll push back and be gone sooner than you can even register that the phone has been hung up on you. So what’s the mentality going into these types of calls? What’s your frame of reference? It should always be the same thing; to have a productive conversation, not a one-sided interrogation.
Whether you’re going through training or already a seasoned veteran in the industry, your repertoire of questions should be thoughtful enough to spark interactive dialogue. No pushing and pulling, no desperate attempts to get answers to your bland qualification questions. With an upbeat tone and thought provoking questions you’ll find it’s much easier to get your prospect talking more freely and in turn you won’t have to pry for that information. There’s ways to consciously do this.
Connect on a personal level; do some background research before your calls. Where are they from, where is it that they work, where did they work previously? Speak in a manner that fully humanizes yourself within the first minute and you’ll allow them to let their guard down a bit more.
You need to understand their pains and needs but converse about how those pains translate to their everyday work life. How is it affecting their ability to undertake other pertinent tasks? No matter if they are a C-level, Director level or Management level try to engage them in how they are personally affected by these particular needs or pain points.
Be honest and open if that’s what you expect as well. If there is an active issue that they need to solve, try to genuinely ask something like “Before I called you, how did you envision solving these issues?” You want your questions to have meaning and be as open-ended as possible as a means to avoid the haphazard ‘yes’ or ‘no’ replies.
For more information on how to have better, meaningful conversations check out Cliff Polan, CEO of Postwire, Pete Gracey, COO of AG Salesworks and Roger Ciliberto, Director of North American New Business at OneSource on their webinar “Conversations, NOT Interrogations”, Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 1:00pm EST.
Mike Ricciardelli, a Director of Client Operations for AG Salesworks, has been working here since 2009. He is responsible for managing client relationships, daily reporting and project analytics, strategic marketing campaigns and ongoing training for Business Development Reps. Read his articles here. For more information on Mike Ricciardelli, see here.