Three stages of a sales phone call
If unlike me you have not problem making sales calls to potential clients, then this will probably be of no use to you, and probably no point in reading on.
Six months ago I joined a coaching company to help improve my business, at that stage there was no way I would ring a potential client, as stupid as this may sound I guess I was afraid of the phone.
If I had a choice, and I almost always did I would email a potential client rather than ring them. As far as I was concerned if I emailed them and they didn’t reply, then I’d done all I could, if they didn’t reply then they are not interested in what I have to offer. At least that what I kept telling myself.
We probably all know that unless we ring potential client, we are almost always not going to get the work, but there are many ways to justify not ringing, and I think I know them all.
With the help of the folks at Sales Academy 2012 http://www.salesacademy2012.co.uk I got through stage one. This means that given the choice I would now ring clients rather than email them. This was a big step forward for me and you might think that’s it job done? Unfortunately not. But from never ringing a potential client to ringing Joe Bloggs at Bloggs and co was a massive step forward for me.
Stage 2 in the process is researching and ringing a potential client where you have no idea who you need to speak to, I guess that’s what you would call true cold calling (which I don’t do). Having mastered stage 1 stage 2 is simple right? After all it’s still just picking up the phone and ringing the company simple?
Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. Ringing a company and asking for Joe Bloggs is one thing, ringing a company and explaining who you are, what you do and why you want to speak to someone is completely different from stage 1.
Adam at Sales Academy explains this better, but it goes something like “the need to ring someone has to outweigh the fear of picking up the phone ringing them”
I think despite all the training from Adam and Amanda and despite the fact that deep down you know you have to ring potential clients if you want the work, there has to be a trigger to make you do it. What the trigger was for me is unimportant as the trigger is probably different for everyone. But last week the need outweighed the fear.
Over the last week I’ve phoned numerous companies, one company I’ve phoned six times, on the last call it became obvious that they are not interested in my services, so I stopped ringing. Over the last week I’ve spoken to some really nice people who are genuinely interested in what I have to say, and yes I’ve spoken to a few that are not.
I’ve spoken to receptionists who have given me the names of people I need to speak to, I’ve emailed them details of what I do then rang them a few days later. I arranged one meeting that turned into a £600 sale, emailed samples of my work to others that wanted more information and to see samples of my work, and arranged call backs for a few days time. But in all these cases I know now the people I need to speak to in each business.
I probably should be ringing more companies, but at present my method is slow but I hope effective. I spend time researching each company, looking at what they do, and how my work could benefit them. So when I ring them I have answers to their questions before they ask them.
I’m still at stage 2, but with help from Adam and Amanda at Sales Academy 2012 hopefully I will soon get to this stage. This is having a better sales technique when making the sales call, I’m not a great sales person and definitely not when on the phone.
So hopefully things will improve over time, but at least I’ve made a start.
Am I great on the phone? No
Do I like making these calls? No
Would I prefer not to make these calls? Yes
Will I ever like making these call? No
The point is I am making these calls, and no matter how much you hate the calls, or how much you think you will never be able make these calls eventually you will find your trigger, the point at which the need outweighs the fear.
If like me you hate using the phone for sales calls I hope this helps in some small way.