In part 1, we covered two major crimes salespeople make on prospecting calls that significantly reduce their chances of having a conversation with their prospect much less booking an appointment. In part 2 we’ll cover several misdemeanors that tend to build on each other and can create as much damage to having a successful call as the crimes covered in part 1.
Below is an inexhaustive list of misdemeanors salespeople commit on calls from the start of the call to the end.
- Not treating gatekeepers with Equal Business Stature – gatekeepers aren’t for “getting around.” If we expect to be treated as an equal by the decision maker, we better treat everyone we interact with as an equal.
- Full Name in intro – “It’s Hamish Knox calling” is code for “SALESPERSON!” and is unlikely to get us farther than our name before whoever answers the phone says, “send me some information and I’ll get back to you.”
- Asking if Mr./Mrs. are “in” – without a “we are equals in this conversation” we default to our child state of asking for our prospect formally, which also sets of a “SALESPERSON!” alarm in the mind of the person who answers the phone.
- Not reading prospect’s tone and/or background noise – whether inbound or outbound someone’s day is getting interrupted. Ignoring a prospect’s tone or background noise and plowing ahead with our attempt to have a conversation kills rapport before it can be formed.
- Exclusively talking about us and our company – picture someone walking up to us, telling us how awesome they are for 60-120 seconds then asking us out on a date. That’s what prospecting calls tend to sound like to our prospect.
- Take time prospect gives instead of asking for what salesperson needs – a prospect who says, “sure, I’ll give you 15 minutes” is setting up a free consulting trap. In our experience the first visit with a prospect needs to be at least 60 minutes to even start effectively qualifying.
- Not confirming appointment – one of the biggest costs of sales is appointments that a set, but never happens. It might be uncomfortable but asking, “so what’s going to come up between now and MEETING DATE that will cause us to move or cancel this meeting?” reduces the potential for our prospect to blow off our visit.
- Not setting the agenda for appointment – as the Sandler Rule goes, no mutual mystification. Not establishing the agenda for our appointment before we visit with our prospect sets puts us offside before we have a chance to start qualifying.
Because of scripting from our parents (like, “never talk to strangers”) prospecting calls can be uncomfortable. With an “equal” mindset, a focus on the prospect instead of ourselves and checking all the boxes in our process we can keep our record free of prospecting call violations have more conversations and book more appointments.
Until next time… go sell something.