October 14th, 2016

Once you have qualified your leads, warmed them up and scheduled your first call, you need to prepare. Having gathered all of the relevant information about the lead and highlighted which product/service they require, you need to pull together a series of questions. Outline a brief structure for the call and ensure it is engaging and informative. Focus on the product or service they need and avoid digressing into the other services you offer; there will always be opportunities further down the sales process to up sell.

Personal Approach

It is important to refrain from jumping straight into a sales pitch. You need to take the time to show interest in both the person you are speaking to and their business.

> People love to talk about themselves, so you should build enough prior knowledge to be able to ask the right personal questions. Look at their career history on LinkedIn, devise a couple of relevant questions and delve a bit more into their personal life.

> What are their personal goals within that organisation and how will the project we undertake help them reach those goals? Giving them a personal drive will help to incentivise them in proceeding with the sale. For example, knowing they aspire to be the next Marketing Director, explain that you will provide the relevant reports ahead of their next management meetings; this will be a key step in helping their promotion materialise.

> Let them talk about their own personal agenda for a little while and then guide the conversation along nicely to where you want it to go. You need to be interested in the people who are buying from you.

Understanding their Strategic Goals

You also need to be establishing their strategic goals by asking the right leading questions. For example, if you were talking to a law firm you may ask:

> Are you trying to increase your revenue?

> What number of associates do you promote to partner level?

> Are you satisfied with your trainee programme?

> Do you feel you market yourself well to your trainees?

Asking these questions will help guide them to the answer and cover any embarrassment if they do not know what their strategic goals are. If they do know their strategic goals then asking these questions will help them to understand that you are both business-orientated and commercially-minded. This will instill confidence that you are aligned with their goals and will be able to deliver accordingly.

Qualification Process

When making this initial phone contact, first and foremost you need to be assessing whether they qualify for the remaining sales process. Have a solid idea of what you are going to sell them beforehand and clarify whether they are a genuine buyer. Once you have got this far, proved your value and proved their value, you need to lock them down to a meeting. Question whether it is really necessary to meet them face to face or whether a Skype call will suffice. Afterall, there is a tangible time cost involved with travelling; the more time you have, the more sales you can generate!

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