What is the cost in terms of time and lost opportunities when salespeople “chase” unqualified leads? This was the focus of a vibrant discussion I had this week with my colleague Peter Skakum (http://tangentstrategies.com/).
For me, in addition to the cost, the element of disrespect weighs heavy as well.
Now it’s true that sometimes our best research doesn’t provide perfect clarity on a potential client and we must approach them in order to verify their need for our product or service. When this is the case, it is vital that open-ended questions are asked at the front-end of the process.
Many salespeople hesitate to ask these questions because they think it’s too time consuming. Instead they focus on getting permission to send detailed information, or on organizing a face-to-face meeting, and then spend hours following up, following up, following up.
In other words they double or triple or even quadruple the amount of time expended – by both themselves and the prospect – before they receive the “no” that was available at the beginning.
Experience has taught me that prospects respect you when you respect their most valuable resource – time. Asking great questions and getting to the end response quickly– be it yes or no – is respectful. And it wins you the esteem of that prospect for a long, long time.
One of the most powerful words in this process is “how”. Here’s some examples of this wonderful little word at work:
“How are you currently handling the challenge of …?”
“How do you make decisions about …?”
“How is your budget structured when it comes to …?”
“How is your relationship with …?”
“How do you feel about your …?”
What about you? What are some of your favorite “how” questions? It would be great if you would share them here.
Also Peter and I encourage you to join us for our upcoming workshop – Exceed Your Quota – on March 13 at Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax. I know this to be a powerful experience because I’m one of the students for half the day. I sit there and watch everyone’s “aha” moments happen. It really is fabulous! But don’t take my word for it. Send me a quick comment and I’ll send you the testimonials from our past participants.
For the workshop outline and to register, keep scrolling. All the details are below.
Happy dialing everyone!
PhoneWork: The Art (and Science) of Effective Telephone Communication
**New Dates Takes place three Thursday evenings (February 21 to March 7) at NSCC, Institute of Technology Campus, Halifax
From telephone interviews to conference calls, from customer service to market research, from booking appointments to closing sales, the telephone is an essential business tool. Using it effectively requires specific listening, interviewing and speaking skills. Regardless if you are a business owner, an employee, or someone looking for a new job, this course provides you with everything you need to banish phone fear and become phone fabulous!
All the information, including registration, is here: http://www.nscc.ca/learning_programs/coned/Course.aspx?I=690
Grow Your Business
Wednesday February 27, 10 am until noon, Halifax
This monthly prospecting practice, in conjunction with The Hub Halifax – 1673 Barrington Street, brings together like-minded entrepreneurs who want to perfect their telephone skills. To register click here http://www.thephonelady.ca/rsvp/ Call me at 902-404-3290 or email me for more details.
Exceed Your Quota: Get More Appointments – Close More Sales!
Wednesday March 13, 9 am to 4 pm, Halifax
Peter Skakum of Tangent Strategies joins me for this powerful workshop at Ashburn Golf Club. We’ll show you how to confirm more meetings and leave those meetings with new customers and new orders. Download the course description, learn more details and register here: http://www.thephonelady.ca/registration/