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The Key to Outbound Selling is Keeping Prospects on the Phone

March 27, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Outbound calling as a sales tool is anything but an easy task. Thanks to rules and regulations today, businesses are often limited regarding who they can call. Even when they have permission, outbound sales personnel often find that it’s an uphill battle to get a prospect on the phone and keep him or her on the phone. As a result, every advantage salespeople can muster up helps improve conversion rates.

According to Adam Slutskin, SVP of sales for LabTech Software and guest blogging for the Web site MSP Mentor, outbound call length is a critical metric, since the longer the call, the better the chances of a sale.

“The truth is that the longer you keep a prospective client on the phone, the better your chances are of being able to really communicate your value,” he wrote. “So, what’s the trick to keeping the conversation going long enough for your reps to get the message across?”

Experts say making an initial connection with the prospect is the key to raising his or her interest. This is where social media and sales enablement tools can come in handy for finding commonalities. Some of the questions you can ask and answer about the prospect before you pick up the call include, “Are you from the same hometown?” “Do you have a mutual business connection?” “Do you root for the same sports team?” “Have you been in their position at a previous job?” and “Do you share an alumni status?”

Once you’ve established a connection, blogged Slutskin, it’s time to sell your role as the answer to their needs.

“Share how you’ve helped a similar customer, and point out all the ways your solution is better suited than a competitor’s offer,” he wrote. “Make it all about them — focus on their pain points and how you can solve them faster.”

Too many sales people make the mistake of backing into a call, focusing on who they are and what they would like to sell. Outbound prospects are going to be naturally wary: after all, they believe that if they needed something, they would have called you. The ability to be able to induce a prospect to start talking to you – even if it’s completely off-topic – raises the chances that this will be the beginning of a meaningful customer relationship that will eventually bear fruit.

“When you’re concentrating on making a connection, and you’re focused on solving their issues first, you’ll keep prospects engaged,” wrote Slutskin. “Be confident and respectful, and don’t hesitate to have some fun. Prospective clients are looking to make a connection with a company that they trust, and being your insightful self will help them do just that.”

And just like that, a cold outbound call becomes a warm outbound call, which raises its chances of becoming a sale. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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