September 30th, 2016

In our previous post, we discussed methods of warming up your lead prior to making that first phone call. If you were unsuccessful in your attempts to engage with your lead then you need to decide whether to continue the sales process. Consider how much of your qualification criteria they meet; if they are highly qualified then it may be worth making the call anyway, despite a lack of interaction in the first stage.

Getting past the gatekeeper

If you were successful in engaging your lead digitally, it is time to seek out the gatekeeper. When making contact, often the first person you speak to will be of a relatively low seniority. You need to make sure that you are transferred to the appropriate person who has a higher level of seniority and is a key decision maker. Leverage your own level of seniority so the person you are speaking to feels compelled to transfer you.

Making the first call

1. Whether you have been interacting with a specific person or the general brand, you will have an ideal lead-in to the conversation following your warm up tactics: ‘I’ve been communicating with XX about XX’. This approach will instil a level of familiarity even though you may not be familiar with the person you are speaking to.

2. Within the first 10 seconds of the call, listen to their tone of voice and recognise when you have called at a bad time. Briefly explain the objective of your call, that you initially need 10/15 minutes of their time and that although you are grateful they have taken your call, you appreciate that it may not be the best time for them to take an ad hoc call.

3. Consequently, schedule a better time and don’t be afraid to be a little presumptuous; instead of ‘would you like to schedule a meeting?’, tell them ‘I have my schedule open in front of me now, let’s say XX’.

4. You will not have long to convince them that they should arrange a meeting with you. Know exactly what you are calling about and make a valuable suggestion. Look at their website social feeds for inspiration. Give them a good reason to listen; you need to say something compelling in order to nudge them into scheduling a call or booking a meeting. If they are happy to give you their time in the future, they have already begun to engage in your sales process.

Continuing the qualification process

The qualification process never stops and you should always be considering how likely each lead is to be a conversion. You will probably have a multitude of potential leads in your pipedrive but not all will turn into a sale. The more you can qualify an opportunity over others, the more you know where to spend your time. Ultimately, if someone is not prepared to take the next steps and continue your sales cycle then they are a weak sale.