Phone phobia, it’s a real affliction among entrepreneurs. You laugh because you can relate =)
The thing with small business owners like you and I is that we don’t often have a separate sales department to generate continuing profits. Too often, the head of the small company is the HR person, is the company driver, is the secretary, is the salesman. Sales and phone calls logically come in pairs like it or not. The phone really is your best means for soliciting new business, no matter how many shiny new tools the 21st century offers up.
I myself handle on the average at least 5 sales calls on a daily basis – and that’s just my minimum. In the distant past I used to dread the cold call just like you do, but now I relish phone conversations. I’ve come to associate sales calls with the ka-ching of incoming revenue.
In this short blog I will let you in on how I overcame my phone phobia and refined my approach for best calling results.
Write a script
A script is a very effective panic eraser. Why? Because pre-writing your dialogue lets you plan multiple replies for different scenarios. The way I’ve experienced it there are often only 2 to 4 replies you can anticipate when you call out, among which are these two (a) the point person could be out (b) the point person could be available to discuss.
So write a brief dialogue with said scenarios in mind. Memorize the dialogue for the first handful of calls and pretty soon you will be able to recite your script in a fluid approach.
Be nice to gatekeepers
8 out of 10 times you are likely to speak to a receptionist or an assistant. Be nice and polite while you ask to be transferred to the decision maker like the manager or the proprietor. Anticipate a gatekeeper when writing your script.
Your maiden call is like your calling card
So you finally get transferred to the head of the company. Don’t forget to mention these elements: A polite greeting, your name + company,and the purpose of the call,
Shoot for a meeting schedule
Your first call is not the right time to explain your offer at length. The most respectful means for approaching the maiden call is to ask for your prospect’s best time to discuss. Owners are very busy so ask for their best time to talk. This will keep you in their good grace. Keep your call brief, polite and cheerful. Don’t forget to get their email address so you can send a reminder of your meeting schedule. This will also enable you to send advanced information beforehand.
Best practice for the actual pitch phone call
It is now the day of the scheduled phone meeting. Prepare beforehand by writing a tight script that explains how your proposal will benefit your client’s bottom line. This bears repeating: don’t bore your prospect with unnecessary details. Go straight to the point by showcasing what’s in it for them. So edit and practice the pitch in the days ahead of THE DAY.
These pointers have been learned from my personal experience. One of my initial mistakes was dialing my first 3 calls unprepared. As you could imagine many incoherent words were uttered. A few hang-ups here and there. But I’ve learned the hard way and with practice now possess a confident phone manner. My business is all the better for it. With enough practice I guarantee you’ll be rearing the benefits of sales calls yourself.
If you need help generating incoming sales inquiries, give us a ring over at 949-229-3454 and we’d be happy to provide a free consultation on the best business development approach that incorporates all your available channels!