When meeting in person with a prospect for the first time, the first 4 seconds is EVERYTHING!!!
In business, rapport is yet another crucial piece of the puzzle of success. It is a strategy where you share common interests, build trust, whilst establishing or developing a friendship.
Yeah, we salespeople are energetic, positive, enthusiastic, and outgoing type. But this does not mean that every prospect will like us right off the bat. That’s why we need to develop this skill to become someone who has a knack for connecting with clients even over the phone. The key is to establish trust, and create a sense of understanding while talking to our clients. Building rapport creates a common bond in order for us take a lead in our conversation. We’d be able to easily persuade our prospects to the direction that we want.
You might argue that this is somewhat innate or a natural gift – it’s either you’re born to be someone who can build rapport with any people or you cannot. This ain’t true. You can develop this skill naturally, nurture and even improve it, just as you can with any other skill.
So what is this rapid rapport system, and how can you apply it in your cold calling strategy? We’ll discuss more about it in this chapter.
The Rapid Rapport System
Polish Your Communication Skills
Remember, your communication skills are a huge factor. Your ability to communicate effectively with your prospect is critical. You must know how to effectively convey your thoughts via phone. It also depends on how you execute your selling techniques and your desire to achieve your goal – to close the deal.
Research Your Prospect Before the Sales Call
Investing some time to research about your prospect is a good practice. Try to learn about your prospect’s priorities, goals, even objectives. By doing so, you can personalize your sales pitch to your prospect, and you’ll have higher chances of capturing his interest. And hopefully, you’d be able to close the deal.
Start by checking his and/or company’s website and social media profiles (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, etc.). You should also check the company’s press and media, financial statement, Angelist, Product Hunt, Crunchbase, or Yelp profiles.
You might want to check your prospect’s competitors. By doing so, you’d be able to see and understand your client’s challenges and goals. The key here is to identify what your client does well, and then use it as a source of compliments. And if you found some areas where your client’s competitor(s) are doing better, provide some suggestions for growth opportunity that your offering can provide.
List down all important information and keep an eye out for mutual friends or acquaintances that you can use as your reference on your call. Look for areas of opportunities that align your product offering with your client’s needs. It’s a sure fire conversation starter, believe me. Not only that, it will also give an impression to your client that you did your homework which is proven to motivate a person to help you in return.
Find Common Ground
In business, sales, or marketing, you have to remember the following:
– your client or prospect has various options when choosing a business partner, product, or service
– your prospect is more likely to deal with someone they have a connection with.
That’s why it’s important for us to develop positive relationships with our future and our existing clients.
Remember, “customer or client relations” is the catalyst for success. No wonder, we do business with someone or a company we like and trust. Finding common ground, is the easiest thing to achieve this. How?
First tip is to make them feel valued. Yeah, professionalism is important, but it’s as important to take some time to talk with customers; to ask them how their business is doing, and comment on important things that are happening around in his industry.
Tip number 2 is to listen to your client. Never forget – your main priority is to get to know them. Pick up on your client’s interests and business priorities. Then, establish commonalities to spice up the conversation and allow it develop into something beyond business. And before you know it, you already established a good relationship with your client.
Finally, be sincere. Don’t be someone who agrees to almost about everything. Your client can tell or feel if he’s being taken for a ride. Be the real you. Remember, hard work, perseverance, integrity, and passion got your business to where it is today. Allow this to come through in your sales call, and you’d be able to build a positive relationship with your client before you know it.
Get and Stay Motivated!
Motivate yourself before calling your client is a good strategy to adopt. Just so you know, it takes the first few minutes of your sales call to get focused, so make use of your sales arsenal onset of the call to increases your chances of closing the deal. Talking to your client in a professional manner really helps, but don’t forget to have a little fun or read some sales motivation quotes before you call your prospect – this can help you get energized.
Intimately Understand What You’re Selling
Avoid missing the sale by intimately understanding your product. As a sales professional or as a seller, you must know all the ins and outs of your product, so you can answer all the questions from your prospect about your product or service.
Make sure to outline all the features and product information or review them beforehand. This will make you feel more relaxed and comfortable while talking to your prospect and you would be able to answer all your client’s questions in a jiffy.
Suspend Your Ego – Be Emphatic
To make that sale you must suspend your ego and show empathy to your prospect. You need to validate them unconditionally for who they are as a person – listen and make your conversation about what your client or what he’s going to gain from your product or service.
You need to understand them by putting yourself in their shoes (perceptual positions technique). You need to know what makes them tick, their likes, needs, wants, problems, by asking open-ended questions.
There are many ways for you to get the payment over the phone. But the most popular is via asking for credit card information over the phone. The second best option is to direct them to a website where they can pay online using their credit card, debit card, Paypal, or any other option.
Whatever you choose, make sure that you won’t make your “lead” won’t get cold feet and pull out.
In my experience, getting the payment as soon as possible is the way to go. Why? By getting their money right off the bat, you’re making them commit.
Yeah, some will prefer to pay online, simply because they don’t want to provide their credit card information over the phone. If that’s the case, then sending them an online receipt or directing them to your payment page will allow them to enter their payment information themselves.
While there’s no fool-proof method of payment collection over the phone, these tips will increase your chance of success:
Let’s say you had an agreement that the buyer will pay as soon as he received your ASO report. Following up after providing your service, can help avoid non-payment. It’s a good practice to ask for feedback regarding your online invoice or payment page. You may also ask if your prospect has any other concerns about the invoice, due date, or the service that you have provided.
Always Be Prepared
Gather as much information about your prospect’s made payments and debts as you can.
Make sure that you document everything including your conversations, even his feedback, just in case there will be any disputes.
When getting paid over the phone, be positive and sound cheery, so he would respond better. But take note, be in control. If the buyer detects that you’re under pressure, he may try to haggle and ask for a better deal.
Let’s say your buyer already paid you 50% upfront upon acquiring your services and forgot to pay you in full on the date that you have agreed upon. Simply follow up, and determine the reason for non-payment and listen to his reasons or excuses. You can easily tell when he is being sincere or just being phoney with you. But whatever it is, focus on getting the payment and avoid any confrontations.
If your prospect gets abusive for any reason at all. Try to get out of that situation to let them cool down. You may suggest, calling him back at another time. The key here is to listen to what he is or is not telling you. You’ll know when things are not going your way. When that happens, keep your dialogue constructive, and let him feel that he’s making headway.
Offer Custom Plans or Better options
We discussed this earlier. Tailoring your service plans to fit your prospect’s needs means is a good practice. If that’s the case, you need to discuss the cost of that custom plan to your prospect. You may also offer an incentive base price to motivate him to take action. It can be a discount, buy one take one or rebates. You may also offer free samples, product trials, or free plan upgrades.
Let’s say you’re offering a 500$ app store optimization service to your client. You can say that since this is going to be the first time you’re going to work for him if he agreed to commit, he’ll get 50% off on his next app.
You know, a well and executed incentive program can yield better results. You might want to try different incentives and strategies to determine what works best for you and your business
Over the phone, provide a brief summary of what has been discussed, including the payment options and when your buyer is going to pay. You may ask the buyer to email or call you back to confirm a payment has been sent. Or, proactively call or email him once you have received the payment.
Please remember to keep the lines between you and your prospect open. There will be non-payments or late payments situations down the road, that’s why you always have keep the conversation open. You need to learn more about his situation and strategize to get the payment.
“How much can you afford to pay this week”?
“Do you need more time, to collect the money so you’d be able to pay?”
This way you can help your prospect pay you up without paying extra or any interest.
The Helping Approach
When creating an effective sales pitch, think of these scenarios first:
How do you feel, when you were greeted by a smile in these given situations:
– You walked into a shopping centre and you were greeted by a customer service representative
– You walk into a shopping centre and you were greeted by an insurance agent
Most likely, you’ll get two opposite reactions.
In the first given scenario, you’ll feel good, because he’s there to help or answer any queries you may have.
While in the second, you might run away because for the fact that the intention behind the greeting was he wanted to sell you something.
An irresistible sales pitch is where do not intend to sell. It is where you create a scenario that, yeah you’re selling, but it appears that you’re offering your prospect a service or a product that can help him or the company in various ways.
In this approach, you focus more on their problems instead of being pushy and desperate to sell your product or service. Remember, you don’t want to sound desperate, this is a big No No. Make it appear that you don’t care at all if they or not – you’re just there to present your product because you know that they will benefit from it. One thing to remember also, is that you need to give your prospect his own space to make his buying decisions. No need to rush, and do not try too hard.
Pro tip: Freebies! We’re not talking about material stuff here or gifts, here. Let’s say you are offering app store optimization services, you can give them some suggestions on how to improve their app icons or screenshots.
Focus on Your Prospects
Always focus on your prospects. Make sure not to make them feel like they are just an audience to your presentation. Treat your sales pitch more like a casual conversation.
Knowing your prospect’s name and the company is not enough. Take some time to research about your prospect’s pains, problems, competitors, or simply put yourself in their shoes. Do not approach them as if you’re the salesman. Instead, act as a solution advisor who understands their problems and pain points.
For me, a good sales pitch in cold call selling should be a natural conversation. That’s why I always make it a point that I engage my prospects by asking relevant questions. I ask about their needs or their problems. By probing, I make them feel that my product/service is important as it can help them address their issues (production, financial, etc.). I am not just the one talking – I let them talk, I listen, so I’d get the best information straight from my prospect.
Plan, Customize, Organize Your Pitch
Determine how your product or service can address your prospect’s needs. Then, choose the best product or service, so it would be more beneficial to him. Finally, tailor your pitch to your prospect and organize it into a logical flow: Prospect’s Needs/Problems > Agitate > Then Solve
Anticipate & Address any objections
I always anticipate objections from my buyer/prospect. It’s part of being a sales professional. When this happens, I make sure that I always respectfully address each of them. Experience is the key here. And since I have encountered tons them often, I know how to handle any objection. Mostly, it’s about the cost, their needs, and timing. Before I make my sales pitch, I see to it that I have answers to all the possible objections that I have anticipated or crossed my mind.
Insert actionable “CTAs” call-to-actions
And since my sales pitch is more like a conversation, there’s a need for that epic “closing call to action”. In my case, this comes out naturally. You may include “mini CTAs” across your sales pitch, it’s your call.
Ask for Referrals
Whether you close the deal or not, always ask for referrals! The more referrals you’ll get, the better! You need to set aside your shyness or squeamishness and make it habit to ask for referrals from your prospects. Build and grow your business mate! These referrals can get you more potential clients. Asking for referrals is not hard to do – it’s a small effort but it gives a great reward.
You may customize my script:
“I am really happy that you’re satisfied with my work. I’d appreciate it if you’d refer me to anyone else you know who would be interested in my: (service, product, offering).