Despite major advances in technology, huge shifts in cultural preferences and dramatic changes in the way people conduct business, direct selling is still one of the most important jobs in the world. The advantages of picking up the phone and speaking to someone is as strong today as it ever was. However as effective as this may be unfortunately so many of us fear the thought of being rejected mid-pitch and opt to hide behind emails and social media.
Yes, much has changed in the world but for many sales people, it seems that talking to prospects on the phone will always be cloaked in fear and apprehension. Sure, there are numerous techniques available to help you get in the right frame of mind, psyched up even, for a sales call: Affirmations, Visualisation, and copious amounts of coffee are chief among those but in the end these are mostly just temporary fixes.
Tomorrow you will begin a new day with the same fears as today. Talking to prospects in person or over the phone doesn’t have to be this way. After all, you are performing one of the most important jobs in the world!
Forget temporary solutions and fear-alleviating mind tricks. You need ways to start enjoying your conversations with prospects; to wake up each day fearless and start generating more sales
Is that possible? Yes. With the right approach, it is.
Know Your Prospect Before You Get to Know Them
If you maintain the practice of using arbitrary lists as your prospect call sheet, you have every reason to be fearful. Calling on a list of strangers at random times throughout the day is a sure-fire way to keep your fear receptors on edge. These days’ people are busier than ever, and most do not appreciate surprise interruptions to their day from pushy salespeople – even if your offer is relevant.
A more productive approach would be to take some time to research your prospects. That doesn’t mean a cursory glance at their names and their place of work. It means discovering all their wants and needs. It means figuring out how what you’re selling fits into their lifestyle.
The extra time taken in research mode might mean you can’t call on as many prospects as before but, talking to people that you already know (from the research) will be more productive, and far less daunting.
You’re Not Selling; You’re Helping
When talking to prospects that you have already taken the time to research, the scenario becomes similar to speaking with someone you already do business with. You’ve identified a need for your services or products. Now, instead of selling, you are simply advising the other person how your offer could improve their business.
You’re helping the prospect just as you might help an existing customer in need of advice. This tactic means adopting a less forceful approach than might be required in a high-pressure, high-volume sales environment. It is, however, far more suitable in today’s sales-averse environment.
People buy from people at the end of the day and when you talk to people it creates relationships and relationships create customers which in turn generates more sales!
Throw Away The Script
Using a script makes you sound like a robot and when you use a script you are ‘reading’ not ‘talking’ to your customers. Children like to be read to, adults on the other hand find it patronising.
A heavy reliance on a script often breeds the most fear and that’s because at any time during the conversation the entire script can get derailed.
If you have gathered enough information during the research stage there should be little need for a script. At Xcel Sales we use a call structure and it is used as a guide to cover the key areas that we would like to focus on during the call. If you focus on helping your prospect you will see that there is nothing at all to fear.
FEAR has two meanings. Forget everything and run OR Face everything and rise. The choice is yours
By Nicola Hartland, Managing Director, Xcel Sales Limited, B2B Telemarketing, Marketing and Lead Generation experts covering the UK. For more information contact Xcel Sales Limited on 0118 402 1440 or visit their website.