7 Proven Tactics To Get People On The Phone
1. Begin with social building
Post, tweet, friend, like, connect, pin, follow, join. Social media has introduced a whole new set of social selling verbs. Social selling expert Jill Rowley believes sales professionals use social channels to build trust. She rarely even has to ask for a call if she initiates a “social relationship” first. For scalable success, professionals should get used to qualifying actions beyond the obvious queues: “I want to talk to you” or “I want to sell to you”.
Jill shares content on Linkedin or Twitter with prospects to gain such trust and escape the stigma usually attached to traditional selling. She constantly shares helpful content such that prospects who look at her social profile immediately consider her a trusted resource and not just a sales person. At the end of they day, prospects are always more likely to respond to people they trust.
2. Combine voicemails with emails
Do you answer voicemails from people you don’t know? Not many people do. There are some key adjustments sellers should make when trying to reach out to new prospects. For example, Dan McDade has been running outbound campaigns for many years and has an optimized process for reaching people: 6-8 contacts over 6 days with 3 voicemails and 3 emails. While you may not reach someone on the first call, odds generally increase on the second or third call. Sales professionals are building trust each time they engage with a prospect.
Also, map out a schedule of actions to follow and then optimize. There is no silver bullet to engaging with a prospect – sales professionals must always be dynamic and make adjustments on the fly.
3. Show them you’ve done research
Too many salespeople make calls without the proper knowledge or intelligence on prospects.
Getting smart with data tools is essential these days. Sales professionals must engage prospects with knowledge about that prospect’s wants and needs. Starting a call with a specific comment makes a huge difference when engaging a prospect, for example, “I noticed you are the highest ranked deli in city Grand Rapids – that’s awesome!”
My company Radius Intelligence is a great solution for finding relevant and up-to-date information on 21 million small and medium size businesses. Most sales professionals use Google to understand a prospect, but even that is not enough research to set yourself apart when engaging a prospect.
4. Be specific and use numbers
Friendliness goes a long way, but at the end of the day it comes down to numbers. Concrete examples of success with using a new product or service is the main way prospects can quantify the value of doing business with you, the sales professional. A general rule is if the value proposition can easily be translated in opposite terms then it isn’t a strong or concrete message. Here’s an example:
Generic pitch: “XYZ Systems is an intuitive innovation for data analytics that will increase your user acquisitions.”
Inverse translation: “XYZ Systems is a hard to use, out of date product for data analytics that will decrease user acquisitions.”
More reputable and understandable pitch: “Your competitors are converting 2% of leads. We will get you to 5% and save you average of $45 per user per month. Attached is a PDF on 4 other specific ways we see you benefitting.”
5. Mention their competitors
Believe it or not, there are a couple sales voicemail experts (yes it’s true). One of them, Tibor Shanto, says he can get callbacks within 72 hours about 50% of the time. His primary technique is to mention a prospect’s competitor (grab his e-book HERE). Every prospect wants to know what their competitors are doing.
Benchmarking competitors with research, such as briefings on recent strategic moves, can encourage your prospects to “keep up”. People are conspicuous and will take action to combat inferiority. Therefore, a more pointed statement like this can yield serious results: “We helped Company X grow revenue by 50%; I’d like 15 minutes to tell you how.”
6. Leverage referrals
Referral selling is “tried and true” but for some reason, it isn’t always used. Think of referral selling two ways:
1) Finding contacts that are connected to the prospect and asking for a referral. Social media offers enormous opportunity to figure out “who knows who.” You can turn cold calls into warm calls with a little research and asking for help.
2) Mentioning related contacts – if you can’t get the referral, just get permission to mention their name. Anything to break out of the cold into the warm.
Research the hierarchy of the prospect’s organization and contact co-workers underneath him or her. These people can offer great insights into the best ways to make contact.
7. Contact during non-busy hours, get creative, and TEST
Figure out when the prospect is more likely to answer the phone. The oldest trick is to call or email before or after their standard business hours – this really works. Many businesses find that sending email at 10AM on Saturdays are opened more than during the week. Test different techniques and find the ones that work for you targets, but think outside the box.
A few emailing tools that can help you test methods best — Tout App for one-off email templates with built-in analytics, and Boomerang for scheduling email sends. Writethat.name is another simple tool to make sure you are saving and updating contact info for everyone you email with.
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