You’re over the first hurdle—you’ve set a first appointment to present your product or service. The next crucial step: prepare the way for a successful interaction, business relationship and sale. To ensure a successful sales pitch:
- Speak with the true prospect. If you’re not speaking to a decision maker, you’re wasting your time, as well as the time of the person you are speaking to. They’ll appreciate your tactful candor. Ask whether they handle new business in your field. If not, make the interaction count while keeping a good relationship going. Before ending your conversation, schedule a call with the right person. Ideally, it would be right then, but if not, get an introduction and future meeting with the principal.
- Make sure you have his/her full attention. Another way to waste your time on your first phone appointment is by speaking to distracted executives. Don’t forget to ask if they “still have 20-30 minutes available to speak today.” If they do not, ask to reschedule the call. You don’t want to compete with distractions.
- Establish a rapport before going into your pitch. Try to casually break the ice before talking business. Find common ground such as shared interests. Ask them about their responsibilities within the company or comment on the prospect company’s latest press. You’ll be surprised how the comfort level helps your pitch.
- Listen first. Begin the business portion of the phone appointment by asking open-ended questions showing genuine interest. As with any sales talk, listen first to discover your prospect’s pain points and what’s working well for them. Allowing them to talk about successes and innovations puts your host in a good mood so that he or she is comfortable sharing problems. This gives you the opportunity to determine what product, service or solution you should emphasize, as well as how to frame it. Now, you can define your solution in their language.
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