I was recently talking with a friend of mine who does phone sales and she told me that her company says they are NOT ALLOWED to ask the prospect on the other end of the line if it is a good time to talk.
CAN YOU IMAGINE?
She tells me her team is getting clobbered and is truly underperforming and that the job is demoralizing (I think she’ll be leaving soon), but her management INSISTS that they should never ask this question.
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So, it’s time for the Vampire article.
VAMPIRES AND SALES? WHAT?
In the time-honored tradition of Vampire-lore, it is well-known that Vampires cannot cross the threshold into your home, until they get invited in. The barrier is considered “sacred” and “holy”.
It is the SAME THING with your prospect’s time! You MUST be invited in before you are allowed to start selling – or you will be left bleeding out of your eyes (the sales equivalent is BEING SHUT DOWN and demoralized).
What does this look like?
On a cold-call. The first thing you ask needs to be “May I Come In?” Here’s an example: Hello! This is Rhonda. I am calling because you recently attended an event. DO YOU HAVE A MINUTE?”
Or some other favorites:
* Is this a good time to talk about that?
* Did I catch you in the middle of something?
* I’m sure I’m interrupting, but could I have just a minute?
You can have fun with how you say it, but you MUST ask.
Once they say “yes”, you are good to go! Chat away!
If they say “no”, be prompt and ask when a better time is!
You have a scheduled call, and you are on time for the call. Just because it is scheduled, does not mean you do not have to ask. You still do!
It looks like this: “Hi John, this is Rhonda from ABC Manufacturing. IS THIS STILL A GOOD TIME TO TALK?”
I promise you that, even though they had scheduled the time, they had something besides YOU on their mind before they picked up the call.
Life happens. It might not be good anymore and barging ahead isn’t going to get you any traction. You want their FULL attention.
If they need to reschedule, simply say “No Problem, let’s put another time on the calendar”. If you are great with them, they will be more attentive and more likely to be friendly to you on that next call. They owe you a little bit (BONUS).
THE OFFICE DROP BY
If you are in a job that requires you “drop by” peoples’ offices, the Vampire rule applies to you!
Even if you are interacting with the receptionist, you MUST ask!
“Hi, I’m James. You aren’t expecting me, but I would like to have a quick chat about your copier. Do you have a minute to talk with me about that now?” (Even if you are trying to get in to see another person, you ask the receptionist if it’s a good time for THEM. You will do the same with the Decision Maker when you are let into the inner sanctum.)
THE OFFICE SCHEDULED VISIT
Yep! Even if you have scheduled a meeting ahead of time and you are entering their office, you want to be invited in to the conversation.
That request can go something like this: “Hi Mr. Jones, thanks for setting up this meeting with me. I was planning to discuss your inventory systems and how we are helping companies like yours. Is that what you were intending to cover today, too?”
You’re in! You have insight about what THEY are thinking and they have given you permission to proceed. OR things have changed since they set the meeting and you may have other opportunities to explore together.
Remember the Vampire Open and Remember to…
Love ’em ALL UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl