Structuring a powerful sales call opening is worth spending a little time to get right. You will need to decide exactly what to say. I can’t tell you that, but it is a significant part of the sales call.
Because of course if the opening doesn’t grab their attention, then you won’t get past first base, and all the other wonderful things you want to tell them will be wasted ! It’s a bit like writing a mail piece, a mailshot. I find the most difficult bit is the first couple of sentences – to get them hooked.
So do I recommend starting with a powerful series of benefit statements ? Well ‘No,’ probably not in most instances. People like to be communicated with in a respectful, clear way. So make your call crystal clear.
You should start with 3 things in the first sentence. You say:
1. Your name
2. Your organisation’s name
3. The reason for your call
This allows the other person to be clear about the context for your call, and they’ll start to consider their responses. Be honest and open at the start and you will get more from the other person. This is one of the parts of telesales training courses that we run.
And of course preparing the reason why you’re calling also makes sure that you know why you’re making this call ! Because if you don’t it won’t come across to them either.
The first stage then is your name. Giving them your name instantly makes the call more personal. If you’ve got their name as well it starts to make this a conversation between 2 human beings. It also shows that you’ve got nothing to hide and that you’re not ashamed about what you are doing, or what you are offering.
The second part is the name of the organisation you are calling from. This will in most cases give them a clear idea of what this call is all about. For instance saying “and I’m calling from Smithson Telecommunications” or “… and I’m from Jackson Engineering Supplies” will often tell the other person most of what they want to know. Again it also reinforces the fact that you’re being honest and up front. You’ve nothing to hide.
You then wrap this up with your reason for calling. If you’ve spoken to them before, this is easy, you just summarise (and I mean SUMMARISE) what they said to you before. And if you can use their own words it makes it even more powerful. “and when we spoke 6 months ago you told me that you would start to look at your PPE suppliers again once the ‘dust had settled’ on the merger.” Using their own language back to them has a strong resonance. In addition, the fact that you are able to tell them something that they know to be true, proves that this is no longer a cold call. Finally it also shows that you’ve done your homework and know exactly why you’re calling. This all marks you out as a professional.
So in one sentence you’ve set your stall out, and told them all the key things they want to know. As a result of this, you will find that they will be far more relaxed and open and honest with you in return. Not every time perhaps – but certainly far more than if you don’t lay your cards on the table at the outset.
Working on your sales call script is well worth doing. It helps you produce more effective sales calls and it works for them too.
If anyone reads this blog stuff, and wants some thoughts on call scripts to avoid, let me know via this site. And I’ll let you in on some of the stuff that doesn’t work.