Part II: Qualifying and Starting Off

We’re back and I’m really excited to dive into this second section because this is the so critical and practical steps you can take to drastically improve your ability to improve your ability to keep a prospect engaged. In the first section we talked about activity, energy and strategy and in that section we really went over the importance of dialing in those points as a foundation for success.

And now that we’ve set that groundwork we’re going to get more into the specifics of what we’ll be actually doing. What do you say once you get them on the phone? When and why do you say it? What are some of the biggest things you should or should not do? And we’ll talk more about those elements and the content behind them.

Now before we do that there’s a bit more high level points I want to touch on that will be critical to your success in this section that we should cover.

Goals: You knew this was coming! You need to have a clear outcome. Calls and their respective goals will vary depending on where you are with a current prospect, that said generally speaking we’re going to be talking about a sales cycle that is relatively short and you should have an objective with your call to get the sale done within 1-3 attempts. So as a general rule you should set your goal to get a credit card and close the deal on this very first call. The fact of the matter is you may not have another chance to reach this prospect and better impact their life. The main exceptions are BIG prospects who have LARGER budgets that may be more shielded and hard to connect with and additional prospects in markets where you absolutely FEEL strongly they will succeed – your product value is superior. By the way that’s probably most of your prospects.

Qualify: You MUST at all times qualify the prospect you’re interacting it. Are they looking to get more inbound business? Do they have money to spend to buy your product? Why are you talking to them, did they inquire in? Did you cold call them? Are they a referral? You can’t constantly jump in and fire off a zillion inquiries but as you offer more info and energy about your product you’ll want to quickly and efficiently find ways to qualify them as strong buyer prospects.

What sort of frame, position is this person coming from? Who are they? This determine so much about how you approach the call and the way you want to interact with them. And I know that’s a lot but eventually you’ll be forming 3-5 “buckets” that will by in large cover the majority of the categories. Through doing this you quickly recognize where the individual on the call lands and how best to handle them and their communication needs.

Follow up: You must have a process for following up with your leads. MOST people are WAY to weak in this area. You don’t follow up and even if you do, your follow up is weak. One of the biggest mistakes I see made is not properly qualifying your follow ups. Make sure that you’re actually adding people that are qualified to potentially buy.

There is a very lazy and unpurposeful habit often observed in inside sales of simply responding to a prospect’s call me back, or try me six months. You DO NOT WANT TO fall into this trip. You’ll end up having a very clogged follow up pipeline. And very few of the actual calls you think you need to make will be worth the time it took you to pull up the record and dial.

Now following up isn’t purely black and white but you want to make it as clear as possible through injection inquiries such as “I can follow up, is 2 weeks too soon?” and “If I follow up at that time do you think we’ll actually be able to seriously talk about business or are you just wanting to say that to put me off? And you’ll have to guage this based on how your prospect qualifies and what you feel is right.

So with all that said, let’s get into how you start the call video which I highly recommend working from selling with a script and refining what you’re saying slowly after gathering data over time.

Note: Cold Outbound Calling: For these prospects and the rest of this section I’ll be talking about calling individuals and organizations that do NOT know you, your product or service. These are “cold” calls because you have no connection that helps make them warm. It will be very easy to adapt your approach to handle prospects that do know you after the fact.

Introduction: The moment a prospect picks up the phone you want to hook their attention quickly. You only have a brief moment and you’re looking for a way to quickly stand out and get them to offer a bit more of their attention. That is your main goal, hit them with something that piques their interest and curiosity and buys a bit more time.

In addition you want to introduce who are you are, and why you’re calling. Remember that your energy can be a critical variable here to whether or not jazzed about the prospect and your product filling and fitting their needs can be a HUGE factor into whether or not the call starts.

A typical intro I would suggest will be something like:

“Hi [insert prospect name], this is Kurt at Crushvertise. (pause) There’s an opportunity to show up on all real estate consumers’ Facebook and Instagram feeds as the person to call in X market. We have an incredible promotion running in this market – it takes a quick second to explain, did I catch you at a bad time?

This opener is quick, it introduces who I am, adds scarcity and urgency, quickly showcases what I’m offering in value and then pings them to see if when I’m calling is an ideal time for them. Again remember this is just the piece of the puzzle to get them intrigued and buy you a bit more time to dive into your presentation.

Transition: Next you’ll want to transition. I like saying something quick either way they respond.

(If yes) “Excellent! I’ll give you the quick 2 minute overview, if it sounds of interest, great, we’ll talk business. If not, we’ll go our separate ways, sound good?”

(If no) “No problem. How about I give you the quick 2 minute overview, if it sounds of interest, great, we’ll find a time to talk. If not, we’ll go our separate ways, and I won’t have to follow up with you again because we’ll know it doesn’t make sense.”

Now with these transitions what I’m preframing my presentation so that these prospects don’t feel cornered or panic about getting stuck on a long drawn out call. They can simply feel comfortable with their guard and feelings at ease knowing I’m simply going to give them a quick “preview” of only a couple of minutes to see if it’s of further interest. Again this works because I’m giving them small snippets to request more info. And then I’m going in to feed them more information.

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