Let’s demystify the proactive call. I have found that it really helps salespeople new to (or scared of) prospecting to break it down into its simplest elements. Below is the flow of a typical call at- tempt with a touch of coaching sprinkled in:
- You initiate contact with the prospect • You reach your intended contact (or a gatekeeper, or voicemail, both of which we’ll address shortly)
- You say hello and speak in a normal, authentic manner • Knowing that the prospect was not expecting your call and that you are likely interrupting them, you acknowledge that interruption, say something that builds credibility, and then express the reason for your call (that you believe you can help them)
- The prospect either resists, asks a clarifying question, or expresses interest
- You respond appropriately, tease the contact with a value nugget (an outcome you achieve) from your sales story, and then ask the prospect for a meeting
- The prospect typically rejects your initial request
- You ask again for the meeting, offer more value and more reasons (outcomes) why it would be a good decision for the prospect to meet with you
- The prospect either agrees to meet with you or rebuffs you again. If they agree to a meeting then schedule it, or ask yet one more time for the meeting making it clear that the prospect will get significant value and ideas from the time invested, even if there is no next step for you
- The prospect accepts your third request and you schedule the meeting
There is nothing complex or mystical about conversation flow just outlined. Even better, there are no physical risks to the seller attempting prospecting calls. As far as I’m aware, no one has ever been injured while phoning a prospective customer! Further, there are no tricks, secret code words, or special tools required.
I have personally executed this outline thousands of times myself, and I have helped thousands of other salespeople master the very same approach. It works. And it works especially well when executed well.