As a marketer who works closely with our B2B sales team (as all marketers should), I sit right on the sales floor and attend our weekly sales meetings so I can keep the sales team informed on what I’m doing and also to learn from them. I always love hearing what prospects and customers are telling them — and what they’re telling prospects during their sales outreach — as it fuels my content.
Spoiler alert: This blog was fueled by one of those sales meetings, where a discussion was held about how to turn that first quick cold call or conversation into a meeting. My sales team, as usual, had great ideas, so I took notes and thought I’d share the tips to help others with their own cold calls and B2B sales outreach so you can also help potential prospects quickly understand the value of your company’s offerings and determine if you’re even talking to the right person.
When you’re a sales representative, Business Development Rep (BDR), or a Sales Development Rep (SDR) making that first cold call to a prospect, you know that you have just a few seconds, if that, to gain that person’s interest before they hang up or tell you they don’t have time. Read on for ways to keep that conversation going past that initial five seconds of sales engagement and turn it into a meeting:
- Do your research. Before you get on that cold call, know who you’re talking to. Glance at their LinkedIn profile and see if you have anything in common and pull up their company website to look for a tidbit of information that you can drop into the cold call. This way, you won’t come across as doing a call to just anyone and it will be clear that you have personalized this call.
- Pardon the interruption. The first words out of your mouth should be that you know you’re an interruption, because you are, and that you’re asking for just 30 seconds of their time to explain why you’re calling. If they don’t hang up right then and there, keep talking and move on to the next step.
- Stay on the line. If the prospect says they’re running off to a meeting, that doesn’t mean you should say “Sorry” and let them off the phone. Ask for a referral to someone else if they’re possibly the wrong person or ask to set up another call at a time that works better for them.
- Help me help you. After you’ve acknowledged that you’re an interruption, ask if the person you’re calling can point you in the right direction and explain what you’re looking for. It may turn out that this person isn’t who you should be talking to at the company, but they know who that person is and can refer you to them. Most people like to help other people, but they need to be asked. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t get it, so ask.
- Build rapport. Mention a pain point that you’ve seen in the industry and ask your prospect if they have that problem. If they reply in the affirmative, ask if you can set up a meeting to discuss it further. If they don’t reply in the affirmative, you may have just given them some food for thought.
- Keep it open. As you’re asking qualifying questions, make sure that you’re asking an open-ended question, such as “If there’s anything you could do to increase sales productivity, what would it be?” This helps narrow down what the prospect is struggling with, so you’ll know what features to focus on for that next meeting. For example, Team Dialer helps sales reps increase their daily productivity by up to 800%.
- The sound of silence. Even though this is a cold call, don’t rush through your spiel. Instead, slow down and let there be moments of quiet in your conversation and listen. Your call will then feel more like a true conversation instead of a sales pitch and give the prospect more of a chance to listen and think and then reply, giving you at least 10 more seconds on the call. This is not all about you. It’s about your prospect.
Reach out to us here at ConnectLeader today to see how to help your sales reps and BDRs have more conversations that turn into meetings. Simply click here or give us a call at 800-955-5040.