The Secret To Opening Great Sales Calls

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The Secret To Opening Great Sales Calls

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Want to see a salesperson sweat? Ask them to call someone who they’ve never spoken with before.

Someone who will be interrupted.

Someone who’s never heard from us before.

Whether we’re making cold calls, warm calls, reaching out to inbound leads or calling referrals, being face to face, ear-to-ear or screen-to-screen with a stranger can be stressful. And often, salespeople will do anything they can to avoid it. Up to and including scouring the internet for sales articles teaching them the secret to opening great sales calls!

There is a way that we can better prepare for the first call to a new prospect, and it doesn’t come from drinking a bunch of caffeine or listening to pump-up music (although it can!).

Instead, it come from using a consistent process that allows us to remove hope from how we prep for our first calls, the value we provide on those calls, and setting next steps.

To learn the secret of opening great sales calls, we spoke with Joe Ingram, CEO of Ingram Interactive. Joe has decades of experience in sales and in coaching salespeople, so we were honored that he shared the same process he walks his clients through.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: To trigger this system, Joe recommends beginning before you pick up the phone. You’ll want to get yourself into ‘state’, a term that refers to you at your best. There are a variety of ways to do this, and Joe recommends one that will especially be powerful in sales: Read over a few testimonials. If you remind yourself that you and your company have served customers and produced real results in their lives and businesses, it will be easier for you to muster up the courage to step onto a new battlefield.

R – Repeatable: To make this system repeatable, Joe says to start with the questions you plan on asking. Don’t wait until you’re on the call to do this – in the heat of the moment, it’s a guarantee you’ll forget some critical questions.

Mapping out your questions ahead of time comes with the added benefit of self-review. Ask yourself if your questions are designed to serve you or serve your customer.

Next, Joe says to track the questions you ask and the ones you receive on your calls. This will reveal where you’re being shut down or don’t have a response. Instead of allowing dozens of deals to stall because you didn’t have an answer for your prospect, make a note of what questions you ask that get a lot of engagement and which questions you’re asked that you don’t have a ready answer for.

Finally – and perhaps most important – smile on the phone! It increases the resonance of your voice, and your prospects can absolutely tell that you’re loving the opportunity to serve them!

I – Improvable:  To improve this system, Joe says to review a sample of your calls each week with a teammate. Listen to how your clients respond to your questions and determine which ones are getting you the most traction.

We can always do a better job at using our prospects’ favorite word – their own names!

And finally, constantly look at how you can establish rapport faster with your potential client through your pre-call research and honest interest in solving their problems.

M – Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of this system, Joe says to measure how many times you’ve improved your tactics, questions, and tone. Instead of simply tracking the lagging indicator of closed deals, tracking how rapidly you pivot will reveal how seriously you’re taking the impact you can make in your initial calls.

Serving your prospects isn’t exactly a secret, but few salespeople know it’s the key to success on the first call, or the hundredth.

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