Opening does not take long, but how you start often determines how you finish. Although there are no magic words, you do need to think about how you present yourself in your opening statement. Three specifics stand out – you should determine how you would:
- Create initial rapport.
- Gain agreement on the purpose of the call.
- Establish the customer’s permission to ask questions.
There are, as usual, some common mistakes but opening mistakes are relatively easy to overcome. The three most telling mistakes are:
Wrong Time – This is a failure to “pick up on” the fact that it is an inappropriate time to talk.
Wasting Time – This happens when you take too long in creating rapport. Rapport is important, but customers are busy and wasting their time is a bad way to start the call. When it comes to opening a call, short and straight forward often wins over long and elaborate.
Starting with your Product – “I wonder if I could just take a few minutes to talk with you about our product X…” By throwing weak talk in with the product, no matter what happens next you’re probably in trouble. In successful calls the buyer talks more than the seller and the seller ask more questions.
Interested in receiving more sales training tips? Check our the web seminar recap from this week’s free web seminar Strategies for Sales Professionals. This one-hour web seminar covered the 5 attributes of highly successful sales professionals, managing price expectations/price objections, and understanding your potential buyers (and their roles).