Sales Motivation: What to do When You’re New to Prospecting on the Phone

When you move from one sales job to another, sometimes the sales processes change dramatically.

For example, if you were in a job that was more relationship-based selling, it can be quite the transition to go to a position where telephone prospecting is front and center.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t lose hope.  Such a situation is rich with opportunities to refine your sales motivation and your sales skills.

If you are moving from face-to-face selling to telephone-based selling, consider the following: A background with ample relationship skills will serve you well because you have developed solid communication abilities.

When you’re prospecting on the phone, try to achieve goals in the following order:

1.       Verify you’re talking to a decision maker or a person who can help you.

2.       Allow them to know your name and who you represent.

3.       Obtain one piece of information from them that may help you on the next call.

4.       Allow them to see one pain with which you can help them.

5.       Secure a next step.

I call this the 5-steps of a prospecting call.

Most of the time a person is only able to make it to step 2 on the first call.  That’s OK. The objective is to be able to have a succession of calls that allows you to slowly complete all 5-steps.   Step 5 does not mean they’re buying from you yet. It merely means they’re in agreement with you on something and you can then start moving forward to build more dialogue with the customer.

The key to making the steps work is for you to be able to have 3-5 engaging questions you can ask of the customer to get them talking.  The trick is you don’t want the questions to be so narrow that they don’t necessarily apply to them at that moment. You want to have general industry questions most people would find of interest to them.  The objective you’re working toward is to merely get them to share one piece of information you might be able to build off of later.

You might be able to use the piece of information as part of a follow-up question right then or as something you ask more about the next time you call.  At any rate, use your skills you developed in your previous job to develop a natural comfortable dialogue with the people to whom you are now talking.

Lastly, set a comfortable goal you can achieve each day.  It might be the total number of calls you can make, or the number of conversations you can have. The key is to set a daily goal you feel you can hit and then do it.  When you hit you congratulate yourself and then set your goal for the next day. You will feel good about yourself and you will become disciplined in goal setting that makes a difference.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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