The Ask. Yes… both the easiest and hardest part of the phone sale. Quite an interesting enigma, right? Yes again, but let’s unpack this further. Phone selling is both an art and science and it follows a logical path (maybe a little nonlinear at times, but nonetheless there’s an end goal). Depending on the solution you’re offering to the prospect, there’s usually a lead up to the Ask.
Present the Purpose of the Call Clearly and Directly
For starters, remember to accomplish (when and if possible) the goal of making the call. This can be to set up an appointment, to introduce yourself, your business, and product and / or service, or to speak with the Decision Maker. By stating the purpose of the call (and thus moving toward the goal of the call), you minimize wasting time with uninterested and unqualified prospects and you maximize your ability to make more calls, reach more people, and close more sales. Here’s some great advice: it often helps (actually, the value of having this is more than I can put into words) to have a script available during the call just in case you get off track. Scripts aid you in staying focused and moving the call forward.
Listen Prior to Making the Ask
Unless you’re a telemarketer and are intent on blasting your prospects with a “canned” message regardless of their responses, then by all means, spray on. OK, kidding aside, prior to making the Ask, listen… listen… listen. Here’s the key in listening when conducting a sales call: don’t, I repeat, don’t answer the prospect in your head while they are talking. Don’t do it. Here’s why: you’ll learn that by keeping your mind still and clear without interrupting the prospect in your head or verbally, you’ll have given the prospect something that will often be reciprocated to you in full measure: “uninterrupted time for response”. Sounds weird… yes, but does it work? oh yes. I learned this technique from Stephen Schiffmann and it really works.
Remember, plan the call (set a goal and use a script), initiate contact, state the purpose of your call directly and clearly, and listen. After listening both consciously and subconsciously, if and when appropriate, make the Ask.