ToDo and Not ToDo: how to make phone calls with important clients
Iosif Panasyuk, an independent expert in sales, sales management and marketing, shares his personal experience of making deals and sales over the phone: how to prepare for a phone conversation, what aspects are important to pay attention to first and what should not be done during negotiations
When I was just starting my career in B2B sales, it happened that for a while it was not possible to go to customers. And in Russia, online meetings were not yet practiced. So I took the phone and presented our product. Just like that, very simple. At such telephone meetings, I always offered a potential customer to buy our product.
Over time, these calls became shorter and presentations more effective. You would be surprised at how short and simple they can be. But in order to achieve this simplicity, some preparations are necessary, as I found out.
“Preparations? For a phone call?”- many may think, ” Well, this is clearly unnecessary!”Too much? Unlikely. Only a few of us really understand how different a phone conversation is from the normal way people communicate.
When you are talking on the phone, no matter whether it is mobile, urban, Skype, and so on, a large amount of the necessary information that the listener wants to get is not available.
He wants visual “signals” — there are none. He wants emotional content — just a little bit of it. And his attention wants to focus on movement — there is nothing like that either.
Nature has not prepared us for mobile phone communication. For example:
…presented visually – in physical space. But phone calls are only represented in time.
We measure the stories we tell in minutes and seconds, not in words and images. In a call, you must find ways to convey the information that web sites can easily provide with images and videos. You have to do better than the site, or you won’t be listened to.
Think about this: how much you can learn by viewing a page diagonally, for example, “Vedomosti” or ” Kommersant»:
big headlines tell you Big Important news;
images of celebrities that attract attention, and so on.
During a phone call, there are no visual fillers, no titles, and no spatial information. Here are two key things you should remember:
during a phone call, you work with sound and time;
and on the other side you have a listener, not a reader.
Here are five factors that work against you:
During a call, you don’t know when the listener is actually listening to you and their attention is focused on you.
There are no identifiable “sections”, it is difficult for the listener to know” where it is”, in what place of your presentation.
Unlike the Internet, video, or print media, the listener can’t skip/skip the part that they think is boring and / or uninteresting, they have to listen to everything that you care about, no matter how tedious it may be.
And if a certain” section “is interesting to the listener, there is no way to “re-listen”, to return to it in the same way as you can do with the Internet, video or printed materials.
The listener can’t see or hear ahead of time, so if you quickly jump to a new idea or object, the listener is lost. Compare this to viewing a web site, your vision gives you an idea of the story, its environment, and context.
Here’s how to make your first phone call with a potential customer, especially when there are millions on the other side:
Give the information with a tempo and in a format that the listener can learn (if you need more information about this, please write).
I’ve written about this before, but again: don’t use your time to discuss the weather, it wastes precious seconds and minutes of attention. And sorry, “no”, the Russian team is not going to win the world Cup this year, so please avoid the sports topic too, it’s all a waste of time.
Keep yourself in hand, calm the excitement. Yes, it can be a sale, but it can also be a colossal waste of time.
Calm your excitement: if you are very excited, super-motivated, Hyper-caring-these are signals of your “need” position.
Here is the sequence in which buyers want to get information. A big idea, then they want to know if you’ve solved their problems before and how. And only after your company’s opportunities, benefits, and customer logos. Even later, the fact that you are ” industry leaders, received all-these-cool-awards.”
I hope this short article will be useful to you.