The pre-approach gives you the knowledge and power to have informed discussions with prospects. Analyzing prospect data will help you tailor your approach. But don’t let the pre-approach slow you down and become a barrier to making the sale. Sometimes picking up the phone or dropping in on prospect is the best course of action.
Six "must knows" before picking up the phone
1. Key information about the industry, company, and people
2. Specific key issues and needs they are facing
3. Evidence of your past results with similar customers
4. Common ground or contacts
5. Specific call objectives
6. An appropriate call opening
Whether you’re making an appearance or using the telephone, the sales process doesn’t change. But using the phone presents a different set of challenges that you need to be aware of so you can prepare! Some of these challenges are:
• As you know all too well, it’s very easy for customers to avoid you.
• Your call is an unexpected interruption.
• Attention spans on the phone are dramatically shorter than in face-to-face meetings.
• You can’t see customer reactions.
• Body language, a major communication tool in face-to-face meetings, is eliminated.
• It’s easy for a customer to do something else while talking to you.
• Recorded messages and interactive voice response technology makes getting to the right person challenging.
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