Whether you’re selling Managed Print Services in the field, or virtually from a tele-sales position, your ability to start Managed Print sales cycles over the phone is key to your success.
Yes, we fully support the benefits of face-to-face meetings and believe wholeheartedly in the power of social connections, but the age-old concept of “dialing for dollars” remains a core prospecting activity for top performers.
To date, we’ve had over 3,000 MPS sales professionals through our Peak Performance MPS Sales Training program and the prospecting module is consistently a favorite topic. To help you be more successful with your initial approach over the phone, here are some tried and true best practices to consider:
- Rehearse your talk track before you call - Simply practicing what you plan to say will ensure that your delivery is smooth and professional.
- Be brief and to the point - The ideal opening value proposition statement after your greeting should be no longer than 30 seconds. Often referred to as the “hook”, the quicker and more compelling you can make your opening statement the more successful you are likely to be.
- Write down key points you want to mention - Having your key points written down to reference as you speak will ensure that you deliver important messages within the initial conversation.
- Call before and after business hours - Reaching business leaders during the day can be a daunting task amidst screens and voicemail. Calling during off hours will increase your chances of connecting live.
- Beware of voicemail - Many top performers will avoid leaving voicemail if they can and instead will hit zero and ask the receptionist to speak with someone else such as the person’s executive assistant or another key influencer.
- Speak in a confident business tone - Communication research suggests that the tone we use over the phone is up to seven times more important than the words we use. In many cases you may be saying the right things but in a tone that doesn’t sound convincing enough to the receiver.
- Avoid slang and industry jargon - Remember that the people you’re calling are not in the Managed Print business! Most customers won’t stop to clarify what terms mean, so you may be the only one that understands what you’re saying.
- Utilize credible and relevant statistics - Elite performers have a readily available list of impactful statistics that will relate specifically to the prospect’s type of business from third party sources. Citing credible statistics will also seem less “salesy” and be more believable or consultative in nature.
- Customize your talk track - Make sure you adjust your approach to be relevant to the specific person, position and company you are calling. A one size fits all – for example “we can save you 30%” – may not be as effective for all audiences.
- Activities, activities, activities - In addition to skill and preparation, there is no replacement for a high activity level of outbound calls increasing your chances of making more connections and creating more sales prospects.
Do you have phone prospecting ideas that work for you? Tell us about it, we’re always looking for ways to help LMI dealers grow their businesses and their profits!