Sales Training: Why too many people suck at phone prospecting


The world of sales is ever evolving, with new technologies, techniques and practices constantly being introduced. Despite this continuous development, some things never change, and one of those is the importance of engaging with your prospects on the phone. The telephone is still one of the most powerful tools a salesperson can use to connect with potential customers. It’s a direct, personal and effective way to communicate and build relationships. But with so much competition out there, how can you ensure that your call stands out from the rest? In this sales training article, we explore some tried and tested methods for engaging on the phone and standing out in the crowded world of sales.

For many so called ‘sales experts’ the phone has become a relic of the past. Thankfully with all the poor and limited telephone prospecting, it’s easy to stand out for the right reasons. The starting point is being clear with the objective of your call and it’s not to make an appointment or get the sale. When you believe the objective of your call is to get an appointment and make the sale, you are subconsciously putting pressure on yourself and on the call. The objective of your call is to qualify if it makes sense for you and the prospect to discuss further and meet. Now that we have that clear, let’s talk briefly about your tone. Your voice and tone are your body language coming through the phone. It is actually very simple – you only need to do two things:

1) Be professional
2) Be confident

On a call, you only have approximately 15 seconds to capture the prospect’s interest and attention, so make it count. Here is a simple six-step framework for your call:

Introduction: Begin by introducing yourself and your company. Keep it brief but warm and friendly. A smile can be heard through the phone, so be sure to sound enthusiastic.

The reason for your call: Be clear, concise and specific about why you’re calling. What solution can you offer to their problem? How can your product/service benefit them?

Your engagement question: This is the most critical part of your call. You need to ask an engaging question that forces the prospect to think and respond. It should be relevant to their business and open-ended, but not too broad.

Qualify/disqualify: Based on their answer, you need to quickly assess if they’re a prospect worth pursuing or not. Have they expressed an interest in what you’re offering? Do they have the budget and authority to make a purchase?

Question further: If they’re a qualified prospect, you need to ask more detailed questions to understand their needs, challenges and priorities. This will help you customise your pitch and provide a personalised solution.

Ask for the meeting: If you’ve done your job correctly, then by this stage, the prospect should be interested in hearing more about what you have to offer. Now is the time to ask for a meeting or demo, followed by a confirmation of the date and time.

Personalised prospecting scripts are vital. Results are directly related to the effort put into your prospecting questions. If you want to stand out and achieve greater prospecting results, then you need to put in the effort and build great questions. We recommend speaking with your best customers and asking for their feedback regarding your questions and if they would engage further and if they have any suggestions.
Engaging on the phone is essential for any salesperson who wants to succeed. It requires a clear understanding of your objective, a confident tone of voice and a well-crafted message. By following the six-step framework outlined above, you’ll be better equipped to build trust and connect with your prospects. And remember, the key to success is to personalise your approach and ask engaging questions that show that you’re interested in their needs.

Looking for more sales training to fill your prospecting pipeline? Get in touch with our superstar training team with decades of real-world proven sales training and sales management experience.

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