Ask The Salesguy - How do you open a call?

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From Mark Shalinsky, Business ContributorMark@DataSalesScience.com

The most difficult part of sales is making that great first impression and engaging with a prospect.

As this is so hard, many sales professionals prefer doing anything else such as emailing, getting referrals, sending gifts, or even sending a personalized note or a video (!) that puts a layer between them and directly speaking to a prospective buyer before the prospective buyer is ready to engage.

However, speaking directly to a prospective buyer will result in the fastest transition from them being interested or disinterested in your wares.

Remember, a “no” is just as important as a “yes”, because time is the only commodity nobody is making more of and you don’t want to waste your time dealing with people who will never buy.

This is where the “cold call” comes into play; calling a prospective customer, having them answer, and engaging in a conversation.

While it looks simple on the surface, this simple action causes much dread and despair in many a sales representative.

The question, is why?

The answer is simple and can be one or both of these factors; the sales rep is calling the wrong people and or the rep has the wrong message.

Solving these problems is straightforward.

Calling the wrong people.

A company needs to triangulate on who their customers are. Classically this is broken down by the types of companies that would be interested in your product or service (the ideal customer profile or ICP) followed by the people in the company who would buy it (the persona).

Consider a company selling analytics and dashboarding product.

Any company with measurable metrics should suffice, that could be a mom & pop corner store tracking inventory to a company that sales software as a service (SaaS) internationally.

However, the person in each of those companies would be different. For the corner store, you’d want to talk to the owner, for the SaaS company, you’d only be wanting to talk to someone in finance, and the title, role, and responsibility of that individual, (or group if it is large enough) would depend on the size of the SaaS company.

Now that we’ve identified the customer, let’s look at the message.

When reaching out to the prospect, a salesperson needs to talk about what would be the most time-consuming factor that that analytics package can solve. In short, nobody cares about your or your product, they only care for how you can help them solve a lingering problem they may or may not know about. For this reason, the message your sales rep relies on will be vastly different between our two examples.

A rep who knows the right people to talk to and has the right message can then confidently pick up the phone, call, and be confident that they will have the correct talk track.

So what does it look like to open a cold call?

More on that next time on, Ask the sales guy!

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