Script the first few seconds of every sales call
Good salespeople don’t use scripts. They don’t in part because they know it’s counter-productive.
Don’t misunderstand me. A successful salesperson still needs to be in control of the conversation, needs to know what they want to say, and what outcome they want from the call. But putting a word-for-word script for a back-and-forth conversation isn’t going to be authentic, isn’t going to address what the prospect is telling you, and isn’t going to help you build rapport, trust and interest from a smart, qualified buyer.
What IS important, however, is to script the first few seconds of the call. There’s no reason you can’t have the specific words nailed down for how you want to begin the call, create immediate interest, and earn the right to continue.
Especially when talking to a new prospect, this set-up is everything. If you don’t take control right away, the prospect will lead you somewhere else. If you don’t create immediate interest and value, your chances of engaging the prospect in a conversation that goes somewhere diminishes greatly.
Here are some specific things to keep in mind:
- Don’t ask how they’re doing. This is a default start to a call for many (“how’s it going today?”), but can take you in a number of directions and tangents you don’t want to go. Keep control of that direction.
- Do ask if they have a moment. It’s OK and polite to ask if they have a moment to speak. You aren’t going to take 30 minutes unless they give you permission, but you do want to make sure they weren’t interrupted.
- Make a statement about benefits and outcomes. Demonstrate that you are offering a positive outcome or achievement of a core objective, not selling a product or solution. If that benefit or outcome meets a priority of theirs, they may continue to listen.
- Ask if they’re the person responsible for achieving this outcome. If they are, you know you have a match and can continue. If they aren’t, you can ask who would be responsible and end the conversation.
All of this can happen in the first 20-30 seconds of the call, and will help ensure the rest of the call if of value to both of you.