Wednesday I posted the first in a series of 3 Things you Should Not Say on a Cold Call!, looking at avoiding the phrase “Just need…”. By the way, the word just should also be avoided when following through with a prospect, rather than saying “I am just following up”. Be proactive and leave out the JUST, get to the point, the thing that will move the sale forward.
Today we look at avoiding either of the expressions “Wondering if” or “I was hoping that we could…”, or any variations of these expressions. At the risk of coming on a bit strong, I think that these expressions can and do make you come across weak, tentative, unsure, unworthy of being followed, especially when you are asking the prospect to change. Often it comes across as frankly mealy-mouthed.
When you picked up the phone, you were not hoping, you were not wondering, you picked it up because you WANTED to SET an APPOINTMENT. So say that. As mentioned Wednesday, I know you want to be polite, you don’t want to perceived as pushy or aggressive. But clearly articulating your goal is not aggressive or pushy, it is what makes for good sales people.
Add to that the environment demands that you be assertive to compensate for the realities of a cold call. Consider that the experts tell us that communication is 60% body language; 30% intonation; 10% the words we use. Which means on a cold call you are missing the biggest component, the body language, yours and the prospect’s. You have to make for that somehow, and I would argue that beyond the words you use, and your intonation, it has to come down to how you deliver you message.
One way to overcome the environment is to be clear, to the point, which means the buyers’ points, not your brochure talking points. Which means when it comes to asking for the appointment, do ease off the gas, gear down, and tell them what your objective is, which is you want to meet. Not hoping, not wandering if, may be, could be, perhaps we could meet. What are you, Oliver asking for more soup, or a potential business partner of critical supplier that will help your prospect meet their objectives. I know who I would make time for, it is the same for most prospects.
Lets get past the cotillion approach to prospecting, and get to what’s in it for the buyer, why, and when you want to meet.
What’s in Your Pipeline?