First, I do want to send a big “thank you” out to Paul Roy of Answer365, and the Chamber, for the lovely luncheon meeting on Friday. It was great to have the opportunity to talk about “phonework” with such a great group of active and energized professionals.
Claudina was at the meeting on Friday. She’s still doing well on the phone with more appointments booked this past week. Pitch #1 is working for her, so she’s not sure she’s ready to experiment with a new approach, but the samples will be here for her should she ever need them.
And from the feedback I’m receiving, other people are making use of this information as well. Yeah! I’m so pleased that this little experiment is producing results. I’d be interested in following this same approach with other phone challenges. If you’ve got something specific you’d like me to address, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Just click on “comment” at the bottom of this blog.
Okay, on to Pitch # 3. It is what I call the educational pitch. You use it when you are building your client base for a product or service that is new, unusual or complex, and requires a more in-depth conversation with a prospect.
The first step is getting the prospect involved in the conversation right away. To do this you ask two close-ended questions. It goes something like this:
Claudina: “Hi Susan Brown, this is Claudina Whisken calling. I’ve been directed to you as the VP of Human Relations at ABC Company. Is that correct?”
Susan Brown: “Yes.”
Claudina: “Great. Well the reason for my call today is to make sure you are familiar with my company, Thomas International, and what we do. Does that company name ring a bell with you at all?”
Susan Brown: “No, it doesn’t.”
Claudina: “Well then I’m glad I called …”
So – no matter of her certainty about Susan Brown’s title, or her knowledge of the company, Claudina will ask these two close-ended questions because, in answering them, the prospect is brought into conversation – and this gives Claudina more time to fully discuss Thomas International.
Now Claudina can give a detailed pitch but must still keep it no longer than 30 seconds. It might sound like this:
Claudina: “Well then I’m glad I called. Thomas International has been working with HR executives for over 25 years. In a nutshell, we enable you to recruit, retain, develop and manage people, at every level of your company, more effectively. We do this through our unique and time-tested objective management systems and work-based assessment tools. We can help you identify work styles and motivation needs, measure mental agility and assess job suitability – to name just a few of the ways we are useful.
“I’m wondering – what are the biggest challenges you are currently facing and how might Thomas International help?”
This last question is an open-ended question. In answering it, the prospect will provide Claudina with some information and, whether they become a client immediately or not – Claudina will have a better understanding of this prospect and their needs.
Also by using the word “might” the prospect does not feel pushed to answer – they don’t hear “sales”; they do hear “possibilities”.
The power of this approach – when you reach a prospect at a moment of need you will inspire an amazing dialogue and most likely welcome a new client.
This approach does demand that you are able to have a very-focused conversation for as long as it takes; that you be prepared to answer a wealth of questions – or if you can’t, that you can find the answers quickly.
It is an approach that quickly educates your target market and builds your client base on a very firm foundation.
So that’s my look at three distinct types of “cold calls”. I have a few thoughts about what I’ll discuss next week but, as I mentioned earlier, I’m open to suggestion. Let me know your thoughts!
Happy dialing everyone! TPL