Despite the emergence of the internet as a research tool, 92% of B2B customer interactions still happen over the phone. Getting potential customers to return your phone calls, however, is increasingly difficult. Caller ID has helped consumers block robocalls, but it’s also made it easier for Executives to dodge calls from sales reps when they don’t want to talk to them.
You know firsthand that it takes more than just leaving your name and number to get a callback. Fortunately, we’ve got a tried and true method that will increase the response rate you get. It takes incorporating six steps into a 30-second message. With a little practice, you can significantly increase the number of calls you get returned and keep your sales funnel full.
Common Mistakes When Using A Script
First, let’s discuss some of the most common mistakes salespeople make when using a script for sales calls.
The biggest one is the most obvious. Don’t sound like you’re reading a script! Anything that comes off as disingenuous or “going through the motions” will get deleted from voice mail before you ever get to the end. Likewise, talk at a normal pace and avoid a hard sales pitch. It’s easy to speed talk when you have to make a lot of calls.
Your prospects are busy. If you make them work for any piece of information, they aren’t likely to take the time to respond. That means you must establish who you are, why you’re calling and let them know exactly what you want.
If they don’t quickly understand the value you may bring them, they’ll hit delete. Research shows that prospects will quickly delete overly long messages or very short messages, often without even listening to them.
Cold calling and leaving voicemails are key sales skills, but they aren’t the most enjoyable part of the job. It can be especially frustrating when you consider than the average response to a voicemail is just 4.8%. That means for every 100 voicemail messages you leave, you’ll be lucky to get 5 people to call you back.
How To Make Sales Scripts Work For You
Here’s the big secret in making sales scripts work for you. It’s not so much the script itself that gets prospects to call back. It’s more about the way the script is structured.
These six sales techniques are the key to getting better responses whether you are leaving a voicemail or you’re fortunate enough to get someone on the phone.
Step 1: The Opener
Launching into a sales pitch without first establishing yourself won’t work. You’ve got to tell them succinctly who you are and what you do.
Step 2: The Elevator Pitch
The first thing you’ve got to sell them on is that it’s worth their time to listen. Quickly summarise the reason you’re calling and focus on a tangible benefit they will receive by continuing to listen.
Step 3: The Proof
Step 3 is about establishing your credentials. Unless you have a previous relationship with the person on the other end of the phone, they have no reason to believe you can deliver what you say you can. Trust is at the centre of most B2B sales and you’ve got to establish your credibility first.
Step 4: The Pitch
It’s only after you’ve completed the first three steps that you should make your pitch. It should be low-key without any real pressure.
Step 5: Relieve the Pressure
In the early stages of connecting with a prospect, applying pressure is a bad thing. If they feel you’re pressing too hard, they may ignore you. You’re not going to make the sale on that first call anyway. Your goal is to get the prospect to call you back or take an in-person appointment.
Step 6: What’s Next?
Before you place the first call, you need to establish your goal. Is it to get the prospect to return your call, set up an appointment, or take a specific action? In step 6, you’re going to ask for the opportunity to take the next step with your prospect.
Here’s how this might all play out in a 30-second call:
Hi. This is Jim from XYZ Enterprises.
The Elevator Pitch
My company provides unified communication tools that improve the customer experience and improve sales.
We work with some of the biggest companies in your industry, such as Company 1, Company 2, and Company 3.
I work with these companies and I’ve learned about some of the strategies and techniques that make them successful. I’d love to share them with you.
Relieve the Pressure
I’m calling to see if this is something you might be interested in discussing. If not now, maybe down the road when you’re ready.
Is there a time next week we might get together?
If you’re leaving a voicemail, wind up with your contact information. If you get someone on the phone, follow a similar pathway through the six steps and then stop talking! It may be the beginning of a deeper conversation. If they bring up objections, have an answer ready.
Prepare Yourself for Calls
Before you make that call, you need to prepare yourself mentally. If you’re dreading making these calls, it’s easy for that to come through loud and clear for prospects. That won’t get callbacks.
Be positive. Be optimistic. Believe in your products or services and believe in yourself. If you truly believe you have a product or service that can greatly benefit a customer, you should be excited to share that with them.
Carol Dweck, author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” frames it this way. “Research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.” In short, your mindset is one of the key indicators of success.
Henry Ford, an American automaker known for developing the assembly line, perhaps said it best: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
Like other sales techniques, it takes practice. The more you follow these six steps, the better you will get. With some sales training and practice, you’ll increase the number of callbacks and keep your sales funnel filled.