“What’s the purpose of your call?”
My team hears this question often. So do our clients. Knowing the clear purpose of your contact with a client or prospect is extremely important. In other words, you should know the result / outcome you desire. Every point of contact should have a clear purpose guiding the pre-call preparation, planning, questioning, and next steps.
Therefore, here are a couple of thoughts for you to bear in mind as you schedule meetings.
Think about why you are prospecting in the first place. What is your purpose? We ask this question and receive all kinds of answers. There are three clear purposes to prospecting activities.
Identify who, specifically, you need to be speaking to within the organization.
Ask a couple of qualifying questions to eliminate prospects from “suspects”. You should only be taking meetings with qualified prospects.
Set The Appointment
The ultimate purpose. Set a meeting with a qualified prospect. Moreover, set the meeting with a clear purpose. That is, to discuss how your product or service will give them value (overcome challenges, provide a benefit, etc.).
Bear in mind that not all sales cycles are short. In fact, some of our clients have extremely long sales cycles. Therefore, the purpose of the sales call is NOT “to close”. In general, you want to accomplish several clear results from each sales appointment.
You want to begin to build a relationship with the person. Construct the first portions of the bridge of trust. Rapport and trust are vital.
Using your sales process, ask in depth questions to discover current challenges, needs, desires, data, and more. It is critical that you utilize your sales process to uncover all of the necessary information. It has often been said that the shortest course on selling is to “Ask questions and listen”. Good advice in order to obtain the information you need.
Give the prospect information relevant to their challenges, fears, objections, desires, and needs. Don’t just show up and spout everything you know about your product or service. Tailor your information to the benefits derived by the prospect given the information you’ve uncovered.
For those with a short sales cycle, you may well ask for an order. Others will ask for a follow up appointment. Either way remember this rule: Always ask for a next step. Perhaps the next step is for the prospect to buy. If so, great. If not, make sure you’re gaining agreement around points in your discussion and establishing a concrete next step.
When you think about the purpose of your call, consider what you want to accomplish, what is realistic, your sales cycle, and the outcome / result you’re targeting. Understanding the purpose of your call leads to better and more qualified appointments, less wasted time with suspects, and great conversations with qualified prospects that result in conversion or a concrete next step.
If you fail to understand the purpose of your call, you will be spinning your wheels “learning more about each other’s business”, conducting fruitless 1-2-1 meetings, or negatively influencing your conversion rate with qualified prospects. Always consider the purpose of your call.