Helpful Steps in the Process
Answer clearly & establish the need:
According to research, it takes the person calling you on average 30 seconds to acclimatize themselves to your voice. This makes it important to answer the call in a clear and friendly manner. We must remember then, to avoid either rushing the caller or from bombarding him/her with unsolicited information.
Once answered and a basic level of rapport has been established, it is our priority to now use the remaining time on the call, to establish the NEED of the caller. What exactly does the person calling, need from the company you represent? In order to best learn about our caller’s need, we should focus on LISTENING to what he/she has to say, rather than, PRESUMING to know what they might want.
Listening is a skill, which should be worked on and developed over time. In sales, we must develop and train ourselves to become better ACTIVE LISTENERS. This term refers to our ability to not merely hear what another person is telling us, but rather, to listen with intent and purpose, so that we might best UNDERSTAND the other person.
Engagement & solutions
This leads us to ENGAGEMENT, the next step in the process which will ultimately be shaped by the information provided to us, by the caller. It is now when our active listening starts to pay off, as we proceed by clarifying any uncertainty, by asking the necessary questions. Once you have obtained enough information from the caller, you should be in a position to formulate in your mind, a potential solution to meet the caller’s need.
This process helps us to eliminate guesswork and instills within us, a degree of confidence that as we move forward with the call – we offer our potential new lead VALUE. We have become valuable to the caller because, we have taken the time to better understand their needs, and thereby, able to offer a suitable solution.
Often times, we might not be in a position to provide our potential new lead with a suitable solution. This is when we should be mindful of CROSS-SELLING, and the opportunity it might provide us. We must be mindful enough to engage with the caller, by asking OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS and actively listening, so we may understand their needs and provide value.
This should result in us finding out more about the caller’s company, current/future projects as well as their scope and capabilities. By constructing a more complete picture of whom we are dealing with, it provides us with the opportunity to offer a more tailored solution, both now and in future dealings.
Most sales people fail by not following-up after the initial sales call. In this scenario, all the work to convert an incoming call into a lead is wasted. Almost all prospective new leads require multiple touch points before they are ultimately converted into a sale. On average, we will need to engage in approx. 8 follow-up calls or emails before the lead is converted or a meeting has been arranged.
10 Key Point Summary
1. Present ourselves clearly.
2. Establish a report with the caller.
3. Use our active listening skills.
4. Understand the caller’s needs.
5. Avoid assuming to know what they want.
6. Engage based on incoming information.
7. Make use of cross-selling.
8. Always offer value.
9. Convert to a new Sales Lead.
10. Follow-up with multiple touch points.
Remember to always keep a pen and paper handy for active note taking. As we engage with the caller, we should be taking notes which include:
- Date and time of the call.
- Name and number of the caller.
- Details of the caller’s company.
- The caller’s position within the company.
- Reason for the call.
- Important details discussed.
- Solution offered.
- Scheduled date and time of follow-up.
Dayne Scrowther is Danpal’s Business Development Specialist, located in South Africa. Dayne looks after the development of our Southern African market, and as at the start of 2019, is providing both our partners in Mauritius and Sri-Lanka with technical/marketing support. He has a background in Interior Design, signage and 3D C.A.D modeling, with specialties in both Brand Management and digital social media marketing.