Selling On The Phone Is The Devil Incarnate. Really?
Ronan, aren’t you just a dinosaur?
What do you mean?
Well, you talk a lot about using the phone but isn’t it dead as a sales tactic? I mean I haven’t used the phone for ages.
And when was the last time you hit your sales target?
Ouch! That one hurts, Ronan. But when I was using the phone, it wasn’t working.
Okay, I can live with that. So, the issue is not that the phone stopped working. It is that it wasn’t working for you?
Mmm, I know where you are going with this.
Ok, I dread it. Actually, I hate it. It is demeaning. And I find it extra difficult doing it in front of my colleagues.
So we know the real issue. And let’s dispel the myth that it doesn’t work. The numbers don’t lie, and I see day in day out teams of successful salespeople nailing it on their phones. It is not the tactic. It is how we execute.
What do you mean?
Well, firstly, I believe the phone is NOT for selling. You are in B2B, and you sell a high-value product. You cannot do your product justice in a single phone call. So think of your first call as a conversation to establish a reason to meet or talk again.
So, it is an opening step.
Yes. And if you think about it that way, does it make you feel any different about it?
Yes, definitely. I always felt tense and pressurised. But that is also how I was taught. Always be Closing, Ronan.
Oh, dear. How things have changed. I want you to switch sides for a moment. Imagine you are the person on the receiving end of a sales call from a stranger (by the way you should always find a referral to that person first if possible).
You are busy in your office. You have your priorities. The sh*t has hit the fan, and you are responding to an email from an angry colleague. And suddenly the phone rings. How would you like to be treated? Do you want a pushy salesperson on the end of your phone?
No. That is a bit of a no-brainer.
But is that what you have been doing?
I suppose so.
Have you ever stopped and considered how you could change that approach and get into that person’s world?
I am now.
Great, so if you step into their world and see that you are interrupting them. You need an approach that is both respectful and non-threatening. You need to focus first on reducing the natural instinct to push back.
Ok, I get that. But how?
How about a concise and straightforward introduction like “Hi, Susan, it’s Ronan here from XXX, how are you. The reason I’m calling is XXX (tell her why you are calling and make it brief).
Then stop talking.
That is it?
Yes, because your sole purpose is to get engagement, start a conversation and ultimately generate a follow-up call. The goal is an appointment NOT a sale.
Right. I am beginning to understand. But there are a lot of gaps in this approach. I need to work on the specifics. My actual reason. And how I position the next step.
Yes. And you will need to have a few probing questions that indicate you are genuinely interested in solving a problem for them.
Ok, let me start working on this and I’ll revert to you.
Great and then we can start to look at using a multi-tactic approach to increase your success.
We can look at leveraging email, voicemail, and LinkedIn as well as content. Multi-tactic. Multi-approach. But let’s focus on this for now. Get it working well, and then we can add to it.
Ok, talk next week.
Call me on +353(86) 7732201
Ronan Kilroy | Insthinktive Sales Leadership Ltd. | Blanchardstown, | Dublin 15, | Office 01 8220523
More Sales, More Consistently, In Less Time