On Tuesday of this past week I picked up the phone to check in with Claudina. It is one thing to volunteer to be my guinea pig and another to have your name peppered throughout my blog for two weeks. The possibility existed that she might want to call a halt to this experiment.
But, much to my delight, she’d used Sample Pitch #1 the day before – and booked four appointments! And it wasn’t even designed to get her appointments! She is thrilled – as am I. You can read her thoughts in the comments section of last week’s entry.
I now present you with the second sample pitch – the one that focuses on getting the appointment. Again, keeping in mind that I’m working with only surface knowledge of Claudina’s company, Thomas International, here’s how I’d design that pitch:
Hello Susan Smith. This is Claudina Whisken and the purpose of my call today is to introduce myself and my company. I’m the Maritime Director of Thomas International, a leading global supplier of on-demand behavioural and aptitude assessment applications. We work with HR executives helping them to identify and retain ideal employees, always saving them both time and money.
Our approach is unique and what I’m hoping to do is meet with you for 20 to 30 minutes and provide you with a quick overview of our services and how you and I might work together. I’m actually in your neighbourhood for meetings several times this month. Would either Tuesday or Friday of next week work with your schedule? Or would the following week be better?”
The advantages of this approach are:
1)It starts with the phrase “the purpose of my call today is”. I know I harp on this a lot, but it is so vital, especially if your pitch, like this one, requires the maximum time limit of 30 seconds. Beginning this way indicates to your audience that you have prepared for this call – that you respect their time and you are not going to waste it.
2) Words like “hope” and “might” are very powerful on the phone in a cold call situation. In this pitch, they tell Claudina’s audience that she is not a pushy salesperson. That her genuine intention is simply to share information she believes has value for them.
3)Finally, it is crucial to make getting together as easy as possible. By using the phrase “in the neighbourhood” Claudina creates a relaxed atmosphere around the meeting, supporting the idea that she is not a pushy salesperson. And by offering options for when the meeting can take place, Claudina lets the prospect know she’s willing to work with them, to do what’s best for them.
The disadvantages to this approach are:
1)It does take up the full 30 seconds. On the phone that’s a long time to hold the attention of someone who doesn’t know you and wasn’t expecting your call. For this to work, Claudina will have to deliver it with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
2)When you focus a call on only asking for a meeting, you run the risk of losing the interest of a prospect and not being able to recover it easily. If they are someone who does not schedule meetings without more details first, they might simply say “No thanks, I’m not interested” and end the call. You are left without permission to send them information and no valid reason to call them back.
This is actually a pitch I use a lot with great success. And of course, the face-to-face meeting is a perfect way to begin building a relationship with a potential customer. But I’m sure there are other pros and cons to this approach that I haven’t listed here. I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.
Next week, Claudina will allow me to create a third and final pitch for her, the one that involves using the phone to begin educating her target market.
Happy dialing everyone! TPL