I do a lot of troubleshooting for sales teams, and one thing I continually see is the biggest obstacle to success is the belief systems reps have about engaging with prospects. How we think about things forms the way we DO them, so sometimes what is needed is not coaching but changing a mindset.
What are some mindsets to examine?
- "People don't take calls." Ask if you are calling the right people? What are you saying? Would YOU take a call from YOU? Do you leave yourself messages to see how you sound on a voicemail?
- "No one answers their phone." Are you calling the exact same person at the exact same time every day? Are they on vacation? Are they in the same job?
- "People cut me off." What are you saying when they cut you off? What is the stage of the conversation you generally lose people? Is there a pattern?
Sometimes it is a lack of empathy of what is happening on the prospects side. For example, realizing that most executives get 300+ emails a day, are in meetings, have a team reporting to them, and other things going on that distracts them.....seeing this enables you to see a couple of things. First, they may have heard your message and are interested, they have been too busy to call back. Or maybe they didn't even get your message. Everyone isn't carefully micromanaging each voicemail like a precious piece of data to close the loop on, likely they are just busy and had good intentions but the reality is life happens and days go by and it falls off their radar.
Also, pushing on the system is very important. What do I mean by that? If you are calling someone repeatedly and not reaching them--have you even determined they are there? Many reps get angry and frustrated someone isn't calling them back only to realize they are out sick, or on vacation, or don't even work there anymore. So instead of air coverage of contacts you haven't personally confirmed, zero out and ask if so and so is in this week--find out if they are even around. Are they the right person? You need to find this out earlier than later.
Another thing that happens is reps don't realize how they are communicating. Sending a 2 page email will overwhelm someone that has about 5 seconds to read something is a sure way to lose their interest. Keep your follow up short, concise, and fit it in what can be seen in the view window of Outlook without opening it. THAT is how much space and attention span you have of your prospects, more than that is asking too much. Save the content for the discussion. What you want is for them to say "tell me more" not "this is way more than what I asked for."
The good thing about owning your results, is you can now control your results. Conversations and engagements are predictable and measurable and you can change what you are doing to get to the right results. This is why a person will get 2 calls from 2 different people about the same topic with the same talk track, they talk to one but not to the other--why? Because it wasn't what they said as much as HOW they said it.
Here are a few things to do as a homework assignment. If you aren't getting the results you want, ask yourself what is happening. Do you introduce yourself in the form of a question? Do you believe prospects don't want to talk to you? Do you need to change your beliefs about prospects? Are you losing their attention at a certain stage of the sales cycle or conversations? You'll find a slight adjustment will change your experience significantly.
What you can do:
- Leave yourself a voicemail of both your introduction on live calls and your voicemail message to see what you sound like, do it until you get it to the tone you want--ask if you would listen to you? Hearing yourself will surface if you are taking too long, or if you are saying things that could be stated a better way.
- Examine if there is some consistency to your unsuccessful calls--there may be a phrase or term(s) you use that aren't resonating. Use your prospects terms, not yours.
- Do you believe prospects don't want to take your calls? We have well over a million calls under our belt to prove they do now more than ever.
Happy selling :)