Today we’re going to look at the most common goofs that sellers make when using the phone to cold call potential prospects.
Let’s start out with the traditional words that most salespeople use when they leave a message. It usually sounds something like this:
Mr. Collins. Hi, this is Terry Sanders calling. I’m the new account rep for Generic Systems. My company is a local printing company that offers one-stop shopping for all your printing needs.
The reason I’m calling is that I’d like to find out how your company is handling your printing needs – and then share with you a little bit about how Generic might be able to help you out.
I know you’re a really busy person, but I’d be glad to meet you at your earliest convenience.
Sound familiar? If you’re like most sellers that’s what you say. You start out by introducing yourself and giving a quick overview of your company. Then you explain the reason for your call. And finally, you graciously ask for an appointment. In fact, you may even mention that it won’t take too much time.
If you’re leaving a message like this, you’re blowing it. Big time! Let me go through the all the ways.
1st Paragraph Mistakes
- To be effective in sales, you need to sound like a peer. In the U.S., that means you address someone by his or her first name. Your phone message should start out with, “John.”
- Never identify yourself as the “new” rep. Prospects don’t want to deal with someone new. That means that they’re going to have to spend more time to bring you up to speed and educate you on what has gone on before. It also might mean that you’re a real “rookie” and no one wants to deal with the new kid on the block.
- Leave out the job title. People don’t like sales reps calling anytime. And it doesn’t matter if you say that you’re an account rep, account executive, business development specialist or whatever. Your title is irrelevant to decision makers so don’t say it. You think it’s important. They don’t. That’s what matters.
- Speaking of irrelevant, you’re also making a two-pronged mistake when you say that you’re a “local printing company that offers one-stop shopping” for all their needs. You may think it’s important to position our firm, but the reality is, that statement only creates a road block for you.
Here’s why. Here’s what’s happening in the decision maker’s mind as you’re saying that, “Local? Who cares. With technology today, I can get printing in China. And one-stop shopping? I’m already working with Perfect Printing. I don’t need to listen any further.”
DELETE! That’s what happens. With that very lovely opening paragraph, you’ve effectively lost the opportunity. No wonder no one calls you back.
Okay. A few people might still be listening, but not many. In the next article, we’ll take a look at the what’s wrong with the second paragraph.