1. Three-second rule.
You have mere moments to ignite something in your prospect’s brain that says “Whoa, maybe I should listen to this.” Once those seconds have ticked away, and your prospect’s brain thinks “waste of time,” your odds of success plummet, no matter how good you are or how much you might help them.
So, if you work hard to get a quality prospect on the phone and start with “How are you?” “Got a minute” or “I know you are busy I will be quick.” You are providing no information that is helpful to them and driving them to the conclusion that you are a time-waster.
Particularly painful if you happen to connect with someone that needs your service and would welcome a new option. You lose opportunities if you don’t hook them immediately.
2. There must be immediate absolute clarity as to what you do.
Your “what we do” statement must be easy to grasp and understand. Long multi-part sentences are hard to understand and knock you out of the box immediately.
3. Relate to what is familiar to them
The themes you touch, the benefits you speak of, the examples you give must be familiar to them. If they can’t relate, what you say will not resonate, and you will not achieve your objective.
4. Sell hope.
In the beginning, more than anything, you are selling hope. That given what you do, your credibility, your track record, your record of results, the long list of companies that you have helped, you enable prospects to conclude that you might be able to help them.
5. Stay focused on what matters.
You need to stay focused on objective specific behaviors that will advance a sale with a qualified prospect. Sorry to burst some bubbles out there but being conversational, sounding natural, keeping it short and not sounding salesy (don’t get me going) should not be your goals.
Are you saying the right things that enable possibly great future accounts to conclude that you are worth more time? That is the only thing that matters.
There are plenty of hard working underpaid reps that focus on the wrong things such as not sounding salesy. But guess what, what sounds salesy to non-buyers is what your next great account wants to hear. Focus on that.
6. Create some suspense and tease a bit.
It takes multiple interactions to build trust and comfort. Different prospects absorb and process information at different paces. Many times, without a second or third interaction, you are not getting a check. Earning that next interaction is key.
Hint that if they spoke to you again that there would be something delivered worth their time. Strategies, proven methods, case studies, examples, lollipops, something.
7. Don’t leave a giant hole in your script: Credibility Statement
Want to know the most common giant sinkhole in scripts that sucks away qualified prospects? The lack of a credibility statement. Mind-boggling.
Companies or individuals that have proven track records, plenty of satisfied clients, that could rattle off the names of reputable, well-known companies that have chosen them that could relate impressive results obtained, say absolutely nothing about any of it. Nothing. Not one syllable.
Without a credibility statement, callers don’t know whether you are reputable and maybe worth their time or calling from your parent’s basement. And don’t get me going on the knuckleheads that think it sufficient to mention saving them money. They are truly a lost cause.
Why should someone invest time with a provider without knowing if they are credible? They won’t and don’t. They go to Google and with a few keystrokes find possible vendors worth their time.
If you have credibility, use it. Be so credible your prospects think “ I may not find someone this good online, I’ll meet.”
8. Be believable and fact-based. Avoid hype.
Understand that when you are prospecting initially, as there is no familiarity, history or trust with you, that prospects will discount anything you say that may seem hyped or they are not sure they agree with. If you use words like “best” “superior” or make a claim that seems exaggerated, your prospects immediately discount the claim, and you are on shaky ground.
In the beginning, keep your claims matter of fact without hype or anything that suggests exaggeration. A strong fact-based no hype script will get you more “yes’s” as it will be believable.
9. Don’t lead with price.
I am at a loss as to how to sugar coat this. There are so many factors that go into a buy decision. If you lead with the price, you are not relating more important points likely to get you deeper into the pipeline. Leading with price is a very thin foundation upon which to build a sale and attracts the wrong type of customer.
If you are one of those that call people up and say “We can save you money,” you need to unlearn everything you think you know about sales. You truly are doomed.
10. Vary your pace and vocal tone.
People don’t absorb every word of your scripts. Not all words are equal. They absorb words and phrases that stand out to them. Make sure that your most important points are emphasized by varying your pace and vocal tone on those points. Lowering your voice and slowing down a bit makes important points stand out.
Have you been chosen by “500 companies in the East Yazoo area?” Is your typical result to “improve ROI by 22% within six months?” Make those points stand out by altering your pace and tone.
11. Eliminate the boring parts
When you write, you should delete the parts that people will skip.
When you write sales scripts, you should delete anything that sounds like the same old same old, heard it before, here is another one, yada yada yada. Delete that crap.
If you can envision a competitor saying the same thing, don’t. Don’t waste words. Keep it fresh.
12. Eliminate “I” and “we.”
Keep what you say focused on your prospect and your happy clients and accounts. “I think” “I want” “I’m calling today to” “we think” “We would like to.” That is the totally wrong focus. No one cares a whit what you think or what you want.
Turn your “I’s” into “You’s.” Keep the focus of your scripts on them.
You will have to say “We do X” But other than that, all your focus should be on them and the experiences of your current and prior satisfied accounts.
13. Remember that value knocks down doors.
Every syllable of your sales scripts should ooze with credibility, benefits, specifics, and value. Value knocks down doors.
If you are communicating value important to top prospects, they will forgive that you sound a little scripted or what you might consider being too salesy. (Don’t get me going.) If you are saying the things they want to hear, need to hear, you will open doors.
I have seen plenty of reps that were not the smoothest or most natural talkers, that sounded a bit scripted and salesy even, rack up opportunities consistently. Why? Because they are communicating value and the words your next great account wants to hear.
Many reps make the fatal mistake of not understanding that a lot of people don’t need what you are offering. You get rejected because they don’t need you. Not because you don’t sound natural, are not conversational enough or sound too salesy. Those are your insecurities.
Don’t water down your verbiage to have more comfortable conversations with those that have no need and will say “No” anyway.
Keep your scripts laser-focused on communicating value to those that do have a need. They will ignore what you might consider imperfections in delivery if you are communicating value and credibility important to them.
Value knocks down doors.
Have fun out there you crazy kids.