3 Ways to Elevate Moments of Interaction
Business prospecting can be hard. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes no one wants to talk, and sometimes you really did catch your contact at a bad time.
In today’s world, is it commonplace for businesses to incorporate a business development specialist in their best practices. This role is an important one, as it acts as a liaison between management, marketing, and the sales team. An individual in this role is on the front lines. He or she is the person establishing and qualifying quality relationships. Is this pursuit worth the sales team’s time? Are the marketing team’s efforts headed in the right direction? How can management strategically guide the business down the right path? These are all things that a business development specialist is monitoring at all times.
There are other challenges too. Maybe the data provided by the marketing team is not the best. It is possible that the sales team members have different opinions, so what they desire in a prospect can vary. Also, to put it bluntly, sometimes it is hard to pick up the phone and talk to a stranger. Are they in a meeting? Do they have any interest in the service or product your organization offers? Is this even the right person’s voicemail? I called Sherry, not Jerry.
In moments, business-to-business sales development can feel like an intimidating role, but the role is important nonetheless, so here are three ways to elevate those moments of interaction.
1. Put yourself in the perspective of the person you are calling!
This tip is sales 101, and listening to what the prospect has to say is vital to success. Identifying pain points is crucial. By being attentive and taking notes, you can develop a better understanding of a prospect’s perspective. Think about listening before you listen. Some call it research, but I think of it as acting. Go on the prospect’s website. Are you calling on a small business? Was the website last updated in 1998? Is this call going through the corporate headquarters or the individual’s cell phone? What’s the weather like in Georgia? Is there anything notable in the news this morning that happened in that part of town? You know yourself as a caller and what you are bringing to the table, so think about what the prospect has going on in their reality so you’re able to relate to them.
Break the script
When most people think of a cold call, they think of something structured that includes a brief introduction, some type of pitch, and then a call for action. All three of these pieces are important, but how they are delivered can be what makes or breaks the opportunity. While it is important that you provide the necessary information to qualify a lead, it is equally important that you remember the person you are calling on is also human. Laugh at yourself and build rapport with a back-and-forth dialogue. If they are direct and ask, “What do you want,” then tell them. Remember, the person on the other end of the line is doing his or her job in the same way you are doing yours.
“Tell me more.”
This quick phrase can be powerful when a prospect says something like, “I’d love to continue this conversation in a different capacity, but… (insert rebuttal here).” Reply with, “Tell me more.” This simple sentence helps you continue to break down barriers and build rapport, flip the script to understand where they are coming from, and ultimately find an opportunity to introduce your own thoughts. When we better understand each other, we can build common ground and develop relationships.
Prospecting is a pivotal role in business, and at times it can bring unique challenges. Breaking down barriers, building rapport, and finding common ground are all essential to the job. Being an attentive listener and reflecting on what works and what does not are imperative for success. When done properly, prospecting can be a great tool that positively affects an entire organization.