Conversations are a critical component to any sale yet it can also be the most challenging for some. What do I say? How do I start a conversation? Am I saying the right things? Those are all often challenges sales leaders hear from their own sales professionals.
Often times, sales professionals fall in the trap of vomiting out features and benefits, they talk more than they listen or feel uncomfortable asking difficult questions about money. In this week’s sales roundup, we’re focusing on improving sales conversations, whether it’s nailing the first 30 seconds of a cold call, creating a compelling pitch, or better qualification.
Nail The Cold Call
For those who believe that cold calling is dead, you can’t be more wrong. Although the effectiveness of people answering their phones has dramatically dropped, the phone still holds weight for starting meaningful conversations.
In Predictable Revenue’s latest article on How to Nail The First 30 Seconds of The Cold Call: In Conversation With Rex Biberston, they found being unprepared for the first few seconds is where it starts falling apart. This reflects what veteran sales leader and lead generation consultant Rex Biberston has found as the states, “The beginning of a cold call is all about getting permission. That’s where everyone screws up.”
Biberston goes on to say “The beginning of effective cold calling is, in fact, getting used to making cold calls. Practice makes perfect, as they say.” He advocates for balancing pre-call research and volume of calls with his example of pulling up Google news, LinkedIn and the company website so that you’re selling to the person and the company. Asking questions is also a critical component for discuss the buyer’s pain. Once pain is uncovered, the sales professional can ask questions to further understand their challenges and qualify to have a further conversation or demo.
Have Conversations With Qualified Decision-Makers
When you’re engaging with the right people, specifically qualified decision-makers, this will immediately help improve the way you have sales conversations. In Ken Krogue’s latest Forbes article, A Selling Secret: Have Better Conversations, he outlines two ways to have better conversations:
- Increase your skill through sales training, product training and industry knowledge
- Have conversations with qualified decision makers in new ways
Ken argues that the qualification model of BANT which some organizations still use today screams “pressure sales” and “manipulation.” And that, although elements of BANT are still valid, the order of them is the challenge.
The Greatest Sales Pitch
The perfect pitch can be a gateway to a compelling strategic story that makes your potential buyer think differently. In Andy Raskin’s article, The Greatest Sales Pitch I’ve Seen All Year. It’s Drift’s and It’s Brilliant. Here’s Why., he dives into 5 elements of a great pitch by Drift CEO David Cancel that has “transformed the company into something more like a movement.”
Here are the five elements of Drift’s strategic narrative:
- Start with a big, undeniable change that creates stakes
- Name the enemy
- Tease the “Promised Land”
- Position capabilities as “magic” for slaying “monsters”
- Present your best evidence
Question for you as you wrap up your week: What element of the sales conversation are you looking to improve? As you strive to improve your sales conversations, immerse yourself in these three ways you can improve how you engage with potential buyers.