Cold Calling in sales is challenging but also essential for your company’s success. Our guest today is here to discuss the art of selling by phone, and how to get customers to say ‘yes’. Art Sobczak, is the founder of Business by Phone, Inc., is a Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and the best-selling author of “Smart Calling”.
Art has been in the sales training business for over 35 years and has collected a lot of wisdom along the way. Through conversational sales and prospecting techniques, Art has been helping salesmen and women all over the country become better at what they do. There are a lot of salespeople who believe that selling is just a numbers game and that every ‘no’ they get is just another step closer to a ‘yes’ which Art says is a ridiculous notion.
While there is a correlation between putting in the activity and seeing results, the activity has to be good using a proven process. When starting a sales call, you must first do the appropriate preparation. This includes pre-call planning, online research, and social engineering. Social engineering is a phrase Art uses that means asking questions from other employees of the organization to better understand the company’s dynamics and needs. This intelligence can then be used when speaking to the ultimate decision maker.
Keeping this in mind, what happens if you don’t get through to anyone and are prompted to leave a voicemail? Art says you should definitely leave one. Most of the time, you won’t be able to speak to someone live, and you’ve already done the heavy-lifting (the pre-call planning) so you simply need to adjust the opening statement that you had planned. Art explains, “Leave a question in that person’s mind, that they want an answer to.” Make them curious, don’t just rattle off a pitch.
While asking the appropriate questions to your prospect is important, actually listening to their answer is also. Follow up your prospect’s answer with another relevant question that is guided by the conversation not necessarily pre-planned. Through this conversation, you can better gauge your prospect’s standing. If they reject your proposal, maybe you find that while they’re not willing to buy today, they might be sometime down the line under different circumstances. You can still accomplish something without getting a ‘yes’. Plant the seeds, and some will inevitably be harvested.