When we place a cold call to a prospect, we often make the mistake of thinking they might be interested in us. We carefully tell them who we are, where we are from, and why were are calling, with a brief description of our product.
Why should they care? Do they believe they have a need – or do WE believe they have a need? Do they already have a vendor? Are they working on the problem? Have they just hired someone to handle the problem? Are they happy with their status quo – whether we think they are or not?
Too often, sellers forget to remember that buyers live in very stable environments, which i call ‘systems’. In order for them to want to change, or buy a product, they must disrupt what they have in place, and this takes time and care and consideration. Getting a cold call that pushes product or appointment is a selling pattern, and buyers just don’t buy that way.
Instead, call and give your name and company name, and ask if it’s a good time to speak. Tell the person it’s a sales call – it is! Then ask some Facilitative Questions to get them to begin considering those elements in their system that determine their status quo, and have them begin to go through the process of thinking through what would need to happen to get their systems elements (people, policies, initiatives) to buy in to adding your product.
To sell sales training, I use some of the following Facilitative Questions at the beginning of the call. And given the rapport I’m in, I don’t get objections;
Hi John. My name is Sharon Drew Morgen, and I’m the author of NYTimes Business Bestseller “Selling with Integrity”. Is this a good time to speak? This is a sales call.
How are you currently choosing the type of sales training to offer your sales folks?
Sounds like you’re caring a lot about your folks. Good for you. And it seems like you’ve got good training material that you’re using.
At what point would you and your decision team be considering adding some new material that your current vendors don’t offer? And how would you know that something ‘out of the box’ might give you some new skills?
Basing a call on getting your needs met as a seller, creates objections. Starting a call by helping prospects decide how to make themselves better, gets you a customer.