As you’ve probably guessed by reading the title of this article, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about the lies that prospects love to tell. And in all honesty, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. That’s because, particularly here in Britain, prospects often lie to get salespeople off the phone. Sometimes it’s because saying no to someone straight away can seem bad mannered, blunt and, and downright rude. More often than not though, it’s because we’re all so incredibly busy eating cucumber sandwiches and talking about the Queen that we simply don’t have time for sales calls.
So, how can you make the most out of ‘Pinocchio Prospects’ (see part 1) and sell around their lies? With every false promise and broken sales person’s heart, there’s a lesson to be learned, and it’s learning these lessons that will help transform you from the kitten of cold calling into the Wolf of Wall Street.
It’s vital to know exactly what to say to get the most out of every single response from a prospect, even if they’re clearly telling big fat fibs to get you off the phone and get back to their afternoon tea.
In this article, I’m focusing on one phrase which is a favourite amongst prospects, and which I’m sure you’ve heard time after time:
Lie #4 “I’m interested: send me some info and I’ll get back to you”
First and foremost, there’s no point trying to force your way through the door; if someone doesn’t want to talk anymore, then they aren’t going to be responsive, even if you manage to win a verbal wrestling match and submit them into listening.
What you should’ve hopefully gauged from the opening part of your phone call is whether or not they’re genuinely interested in your product/service. Did they ask questions and make a conversation out of the call, or did they just let you finish your pitch and then reply? If it’s the former, they’re probably being genuine, so by all means send them some marketing collateral or a pricing guide. Just make sure you follow up with a phone call, and add them on LinkedIn (read on)!
If it’s the latter turn of events, however, or if your marketing collateral is poor, you should simply arrange a better time for the phone call. They’re probably in a rush right now, or have got so much on their mind that they couldn’t possibly give you a fair chance. When they ask you to send them some information with the promise of a response, try something along the lines of:
“Name, I can tell you’re busy at the moment, so apologies for catching you at a bad time. I haven’t really got anything to send over that would do our products/services any justice. Is there any chance we could arrange another call at a time that better suits you? I’m convinced that we can help you (talk about solution to an industry-wide problem)?”
This way, the next time you call, the prospect has already agreed to listen, so the chances of them being open to your pitch are far higher. The real beauty of this beast though is that it allows you ample time to prepare for the next phone call, having now gauged the kind of person the prospect is, which should in turn boost your chances of success.
One of the best ways you can prepare for your second call is by using LinkedIn to do some research. Ask the prospect if they use the site and if it’s ok to connect, and you’ll be able to learn a lot about them in a very short space of time.
As we’ve mentioned in social media articles in the past, LinkedIn is one of the greatest modern sales tools around simply because you can flip the sales game on its head; LinkedIn allows you to talk to a prospect about their problems before you pitch, so you can sell them a solution, whereas traditional sales involves pitching to a prospect and then finding out about their problems as the relationship develops.
As you’ve already asked them to connect, there’s nothing wrong with dropping them a follow-up message before your next call to ask a couple of questions about issues that they usually face. Knowing this is half the battle, and a positive response will open them up to your sales pitch even more.
And if they say no to the second phone call, don’t be downhearted- all they’ve done is call their own bluff, which will save you a lot of time in the long run, and you can still send them some collateral if you have any.
Agree with me? Disagree? Maybe it’s completely different in your country! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my article below.