by Doug Robertson
“Until recently, we’ve been lucky. Because of our brand, we had lots of inbound calls. Today though, that stream is drying up and we have to extract more business from our existing clients. That means we need our sales crew to maximize every interaction – including outbound follow-up calls. But outbound calling is a very different skill set… and we’re anxious. We’re not sure what to do.”- Retail Sales Executive
As a sales training firm, we’re hearing that outbound calling, even cold calling, is becoming more important. And while there are sometimes cultural, operational, or structural factors that make this kind of selling a challenge, often the biggest barrier is skill.
When skill is the issue, training plays a role and there are plenty of excellent training solution providers that can help teach new skills. But beware, not all training solutions are created equally. Only a few solutions build the skills that can truly differentiate your outbound call from those of your competition.
Outbound Calling Skills that Differentiate
If you want your outbound calls to stand out from the rest, here are a few skills that your outbound calling team must know and do:
- Introduce themselves – clearly and slowly – and acknowledge their call was unexpected
- Ask permission to explain why they’re calling
- Immediately position the reason for their call, in terms of its value to their prospect
- Set specific time and outcome expectations and ask for permission to continue the conversation
- Ask two to four open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no”– questions carefully planned and focused on prospects’ specific needs, values, hopes
- Listen closely and actively and play back what they’ve heard using their prospect’s own words
- Position their solution using engaging language
- Ask for the business and when they get it, agree on specific next steps
Bridging the Know/Do Gap Continue reading