Sales professionals who spend time offering their products and services to every single person willing to answer a cold call are wasting their own, and prospects’ precious time.
There are only so many hours in a day so sales professionals should optimize their schedules by qualifying prospects before devoting too much time. Opportunity analysis enables salespeople to allocate time efficiently and spend time with people who are most likely to have genuine needs for the solutions being offered.
Instead of spouting off a product or service’s features and benefits at random which tends to bore the prospect and waste valuable time, the focus of the cold call should be on establishing rapport and determining if further discussion is warranted. Sales professionals can save time and optimize closure rates by warming-up cold calls by researching and qualifying prospects.
It is critical to learn as much as you possibly can about the company or person you’re going to cold call before you pick up the phone. Using Google for research is quick and easy, and a sure fire way to warm up the person who answers the call. Arming yourself with key knowledge before you pick up the phone will foster confidence in your ability to speak at ease and allow you to appear more credible and helpful.
DO NOT use a sales script or focus on closing the sale. Instead, ask questions similar to these to ascertain if you are speaking to the right person and the likelihood of ultimate prospect qualification:
- Is the person with whom you are speaking a decision-maker?
- Does the prospect have access to the necessary resources?
- Is this the ideal person with whom to share best practice information, trends or any valuable insights that you have to offer?
Again, the goal of the cold call is not to close the sale; rather the goal is to simply make an appt., e.g. earn the chance to make the sale with the right person.
One of the many advantages of taking the Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Course is learning and practicing prospect identification, qualification and the determination of buyer motivation. Once the meeting is scheduled and the prospect has been qualified, the information gathering process should begin by using an effective questioning model to discover the interest areas of buyers. The information gathering process should be conversational and capture the details required to develop and present compelling solutions for the prospect of the hour.
There is no one-size-fits-all explanation for every customer. Instead, understanding what the buyer needs in a product or service, but is not receiving and the reasons why, allows sales professionals to present solutions to qualified prospects that are exactly what the buyer has been looking for.
People buy from different perspectives and for different reasons. By asking the right questions, true sales professionals ensure that they sell to people based on their needs and their points of view. Prospect qualification and effective questioning are only two critical steps of the Sales Advantage process which, once learned, has enabled thousands of Dale Carnegie students to warm up their cold calls and grow sales exponentially.
The next Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage course begins on Monday, March 19th in Frankenmuth. Click here for details.
Photo Credit: Mark Deibert