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Getting Prospects to Talk About Themselves


Teleprospecting 101:  85% of conversations die within the first 15 seconds.

BEWARE!  Your prospects don't care why you are better than your competitors.  They don't care that you are the least expensive and most substantial solution out there.  They don't care if you are free, or if you offer free training, or if you have nice customer appreciation sessions with free food.  They care about one thing and one thing only - themselves.  This isn't an insult, we're all human and fundamentally we all prefer to talk about ourselves.  This human trait is so often overlooked in teleprospecting that it can lead to dramatically reduced results.

Sit down with your internal reps or your vendor's team and ask them one simple question:

"What is the first thing you ask a prospect when you finally catch them live?"

My guess is that you will get many different responses, but there will be a fairly consistent result.  Most of your reps will give you an answer that sounds great to you, but means nothing to your prospects.

Here is a real life example from my business:

We have a client that sells THE BEST wireless LAN infrastructure money can buy.  Their service is the best, their pricing is the best; basically, the best of everything.  Slam dunk, right?   Just lead with all that info, right?  No, wrong.  That is what we thought.  We felt that our client was the best (and they are), and was priced the, that's it, lead with that.  Call a prospect and simply tell them that we can do it better and cheaper, and we can do it now.  WRONG!
The fact of the matter is that none of that information means anything in the first 15 seconds of a live teleprospecting conversation.  That prospect (the one that is probably upset that you caught them live) isn't listening to a word you are saying.  All they are thinking about is what they can say to get off the phone.  If you want to win every call you make, take the time to craft a transition question that gets you from Intro to Qualification in 15 seconds flat.
Our initial question to facilitate a conversation in the wireless space was, "do you have any wireless projects or initiatives going on this year?"  It's not a bad question, but it never put us in the best place to have a meaningful conversation.   It didn't cater to the most basic human trait of our prospects; they want to talk about themselves.  Our new transition question is "How do you feel about the performance of your current wireless infrastructure?"  Most important four words in there - "how do you feel?"

If you want to have a great teleprospecting call and gather more information about a prospect, you had better think long and hard about how to get them talking about themselves before you make that first call. 

What are your thoughts?


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