Meanwhile, lower-performing ones talk for 68 – 72% of the time.
The problem is that talking too much doesn’t allow you to learn by listening: fortunately, preparation can help you here.
If you have some interesting questions prepared for your prospect it’s not going to be too long before you can seamlessly introduce your proposition, and be able to do so on their most relevant concerns.
2. Was that a pitch or a glitch?
Your opening call is about setting the stage for later in the sales pipeline, gleaning information and setting up a time to discuss things in more details.
This is top-line stuff so leave the pitch alone. The same study referred to above found that:
Anything more than a two-minute company overview greatly decreased the chance of a successful call
Sales people achieving the best results spend nearly 40% less time discussing technical topics and product features
3. Don’t lose the cues
You may have agreed a time for the call – but not every day pans out as we expect.
The simple fact is, it’s not always a good time to talk. Listen carefully for signs that your prospect sounds harassed, stressed or simply disinterested.
Acknowledge this, offer to rearrange and shine that halo.
4. Controlling or consulting?
The most successful sales professionals act as consultants rather than salespeople.
They understand a prospect’s needs and demonstrate, through social proof, exactly how they can add value to a specific business.
They remove ambiguity by focusing on what matters to the prospect – and then the path is clear to take things to the next stage.
Keep your presentation focused on the added value rather than the features and keep details to a minimum, trying instead to create a compelling story that is easier to buy into.
Successful sales conversation starters
If you take nothing else away here are the secrets to successful sales starters:
Develop trust and build rapport
Listen, responding and resist that urge to pitch
Tell stories not lists of benefits
Be prepared, ride that anxiety wave, avoid these mistakes and set those appointments.
Watch your sales grow
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