If you aren’t using Google or some search engine to find out more information about your prospect before you speak with them, say goodbye to your commissions check! If you thought you’ll wing it and impress them with your product and get them excited, you are no different from the homeless guy carrying a cardboard saying he is hungry and he needs your money. How many times have you stopped to give him a quarter? You are also no different from the stranger who stands next to you at a bar and starts talking about something they (not you) find interesting. Did you continue that conversation?
Let us break it down to the ridiculous for you. No one cares about another sales person calling them, even if you are the next best thing since sliced bread! That is how the world works. It will be easier if you just accepted it and corrected it. Once you do that, you’ll realize the cardinal truths of sales:
Know how to talk.
If you aren’t confident or don’t like your accent or you are a genius or are shy, don’t even set up the call! To talk well with someone, you must do only one thing. You must show that you want to learn something from them by showing respect. If you don’t want to learn, then you are teaching. Teaching, in sales, is not respecting. If you don’t respect, you will not succeed.
Be interesting to talk to.
If you are morose or boring or reading from a script or talking animatedly, you’ll come across as irritating or pushy or threatening or disrespectful. To be interesting, you must pique my interest and tell me something I don’t already know. If you call me and tell me how cool the iPhone is, I’ll agree with you and hang up. Now, if you tell me how Apple is going to create a phone can be remote to control your credit score, that might be something. It is possible I think that you are just blowing smoke. However, I will surely remember you. If the prospect remembers you and remembers you were respectful, you are half the way to close.
Talk about things I am interested in, not what you are interested in.
Talk to me about my business and my job and I’ll at least listen for another minute or two. That additional minute is all you need to move the deal forward. If you talk to me about yourself and your company only and how well you can solve my problems and then ask me what I do in my job, you are wasting my time. When you do this, you are framing the conversation around yourself. So, it is something you are interested in, I am only going to look for ways to hang up on you. How do you know what my problems are if you never asked me for my opinion?Are you that person who walks around telling strangers to eat healthy when they didn’t ask? Would your advice count if they don’t find it interesting? The best salespeople first find an “in,” be it sports, weather, culture, life, business, what have you.
So, before you call, do your research, be interesting and find something you can make the prospect relate to. Only then should you be on your way to explore the opportunity further.