If your call volume is steady, you’ll soon find and ebb and flow to your calls. You’ll learn how to “mirror” the person on the other end of the line, know the ways of the Shirley the Gate Keeper, and all the objections of Bill the Decision Maker. They’re going to be serving you up all kinds of questions and concerns because they’re seasoned. They have their act down.
How are you going to reply? After all, they’ve heard it all before. How are you going to keep the momentum of the call and at the same time separate yourself from your colleagues and competitors?
Well, whether you know it or not you’ll find yourself in the midst of your “act.” We’ve talked about the importance of good note-taking — in regard to the prospect — but what about taking good notes on yourself and the calls you’re making? Know thyself, right?
Get your act down. Fast.
Find out what’s working in your pitch and your road past Shirley. Also, just as importantly, find out what’s NOT working. In a way you are no different than the stand-up comedian performing in front of a live audience. The only difference is that your audience can’t see you (not yet) and you’re performing for an audience of one. Just like the comedian, some of your material will work and some won’t. It’s important to listen and be observant and jot down your observations about your act.
If you’re dialing all over North America you will soon discover that you do better in certain parts of the country than others. Certain jokes or lines will keep the call moving in a positive direction. Like the comedian, maybe you fare better with a particular demographic. You might nail down the thirty-something NY brokerage prospect but struggle with the corporate executives in Cleveland. If that’s the case, then learn from your Ohio calls. This will not take away you away from the call and your overall game. Just listen and jot.
What kind of response are you getting from your presentation or “act”? Is it the words or your tone of voice that’s falling flat?
“Hey, Bill, how you doin’?”
“Pretty good. How you doin’?”
In the past I have had prospects say to me, after my greeting, “Do I know you, John?”
“No, you don’t, Bill. Not yet.”
“Well, you act as if we know each other.”
I always, and still do, take that as a compliment. It tells me, “I’m friendly.” But it’s not always meant as a compliment — and I certainly take note.
“Don’t act like you know me, OK?” they may snap. “What do you want?”
Not an auspicious start. Was I calling New York or Cleveland or Chicago or San Francisco? Take note, Johnny, fast.
Try to get your “act” (or “acts”– the country, world, is diverse) as quickly as possible. You’ll notice an flow and rhythm to your calls. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), you will settle in your comfort zone because each prospect and call is different from the last. You will, however, be able to dip into your trusted material — your act of common bond stories, one-liners, jokes, greetings, and closers — to reinvigorate the call and hopefully generate a deal.
Your sales persona is your act. If you’re willing to experiment with material — depending on whom or where you’re calling — and always be conscious of what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be one step ahead of your colleagues and competitors.