Today’s post is by Lauren Bailey (“LB”), president of award-winning inside sales training and consulting company Factor 8 – best known for frontline training that puts reps live on the phones getting results during training. Follow LB or Factor 8 on LinkedIn.
We’ve heard for decades that coffee is for closers, right? Not anymore. That’s old school. It assumes you’ve got the (right) decision maker engaged, found the need, matched the solution, and scored the meeting to close. It probably also includes some kind of cheesy gimmick like rolling them a pen, right?
But you don’t sell like that. You make 20 outbound dials before you even get someone on the phone. That guy who filled out the lead form is never the actual decision maker, and it’s a 50-50 shot if the contact info is right. Are you feeling me here?
So when you’re done with your awesome James Bond-like investigating and you finally do find the right guy and the right contact info – and it’s your birthday and Christmas all rolled into one and he actually answers...
DON’T BLOW IT.
New selling is like moneyball. More at-bats that get to first base = more chances to score a run.
Most Sales Call Intros Suck
Sorry, can’t sugar-coat this one for you, my friends. We hear thousands of sales calls a year during our training courses, and 90 percent of them are seriously bad. In fact, we’ve come up with funny categories for the bad. Yeah, we hear them that much. So which one are you? (Correction: Which one were you? Because now we’re going to fix them.)
- The “Show Up and Throw Up” Intro
You’re so pumped they answer that you spew data all over them. Take a breath – your intro should be five seconds or less. And the goal is to get THEM talking ASAP, not the other way around.
- The “Get Out of Jail Free Card” Intro
Don’t make your first question, “Are you the person in charge of purchasing IT equipment at Factor 8?” Who wouldn’t take that pass and say, “Nope”?
- The “Yeah, It’s My Value Prop” Intro
Value props are great, but the intro is NOT the time to start selling. It’s the time to engage the DM and get them talking! Wait till they say, “Wait, who are you with again?” Now hit it!
- The “Good For You” Intro
It’s awesome – really! – that you’re excited to introduce yourself as their new account rep, but sales calls (and especially intros) shouldn’t be about you. It’s about them. What value are you calling to add in your new role?
- The “Set Up” Intro
This is when we try and back the DM into a corner with a question like, “If I could triple your ROI on your sales training, you’d be interested, right?” And when they get shut down (because who doesn’t want to verbally smack this guy in the head, right?) they’re right back up in the fight with defensiveness and indignation. Save it. Don’t set them up. Engage them instead…and sound less like a cheesy car salesman in the process.
- The “Toucher” Intro
The best for last: please don’t call to touch my base. Please don’t touch anything of mine. Instead, let’s find a more compelling and value-add reason to call.
What Makes a Good Sales Call Intro
So what have we learned is a good intro to a sales call?
- Rule #1: It’s about them, not about you
- Your intro is five seconds or less
- You get them talking immediately
- You allude to the value you’re ready to add
How do we do it?
We call it a SWIIFT℠ intro. Typo there? Nah. It stands for
SO WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM?
- Their name (gets their attention faster).
- Your name and abbreviated company (be “HP,” not Hewlett Packard Eastern SMB division)
Lauren, calling with Factor 8.
- A SWIIFT℠ purpose statement (this gets them to pick their head halfway up from typing by expressing your goal of the call and highlighting, So What’s In It For Them?)
I’m calling to see if we can help increase your net-new sales revenue this year.
- Two SWIIFT℠ questions (short, closed, rote-answer questions that get them talking before they realize they’re talking to a salesperson.)
You have an outbound sales team there at ABC company, right?
And are they all managing existing business or hunting for new revenue?
Bam. Done. Four seconds or less and they’re actually talking to you!
Yes, this Approach to Sales Calls Actually Works
Yeah, I hear you. Does it really work? Absolutely. We’ve seen business development conversion rates increase dramatically after training SWIIFT℠ intros – we’re talking 40 to 300 percent spikes in leads converted to opportunities. And it makes sense, right? If your intro can keep 10x the people on the phone longer, you get 10x the at-bats to sell.
Want a little more help? Check out our video “Building SWIIFT℠ Purpose Statements.” I’ll run down how to build a SWIIFT℠ purpose statement that perks their ear and give some tips on delivery. Find more blogs and video links on this topic and other phone selling topics by visiting www.factor8.com/blog.