Sounds like a ridiculous concept right? Then why do so many B2B sellers make a similar mistake when calling prospects on the phone?
By far and away the most common issues I find when working with firms who are struggling with making successful outbound prospecting calls are mental barriers. Call aversion isn’t tough to overcome with the right behaviors and the easiest fix of all is “The Wedding Proposal Fix.”
Many firms are simply asking their sales professionals to try and accomplish too much on the first call. To build upon the metaphor in the title it goes something like this:
“Hi there may I speak to Bridgette? Hi Bridgette this is Tom, you don’t know me but I am just a totally awesome guy! I saw you walking down the street today and thought you were really cute so how about we get married?”
You may laugh but the business equivalent of that call can be heard in sales offices across the country on a daily basis! Here’s how you can fix it:
Don’t try to sell on the phone: Not many B2B products and services are "one call closes" anyway so don’t try to sell to answering machines, gatekeepers, and even decision makers on a first call! Why? Read number 2.
Your first goal should simply be to have a conversation: The first and foremost goal of every call is to just have a conversation between two human beings. If you can start out with a conversation with another person many good things can follow. Maybe even marriage but not today! By starting with a realistic and non threatening initial goal it is much easier to pick up the phone and dial.
Be okay with no: All you need to accomplish on a prospecting call is to come to a mutual understanding if there is or is not a potential business fit between your firms worth discussing further. No need for any engagement rings on this call!
Set the appointment or move on: If it looks like there is a potential fit set an appointment to explore the possibility in greater detail. Don’t try to sell the marriage proposal! If there isn’t a fit don’t take it personally, thank the other party for their time, and move on! Make the next dial and repeat the process.
We have an acronym at Sandler : SW3N, which stands for “some will, some won’t, so what, next” It is hard to follow that philosophy when every time you dial the phone you are looking for a spouse!