by Art Sobczak
A question I’m hearing a lot during this current situation (I won’t call it by its C-word name) is, “Should I be prospecting right now?”
Well, for most businesses, the answer is, “Only if you want to stay in business after we pull out of this thing.”
I understand that entire industries have been decimated. Jobs have been lost.
But others are thriving and crushing it.
And the ones in the middle… the ones that have slowed down but are still operating… what they are doing today, right now, will determine where they are six months after things begin to normalize.
The question for sales pros then is, “How do I do it? What do I say?”
That is what we are covering right now in my special Sales Stimulus Training that sales pros worldwide are taking advantage of.
In yesterday’s live training we reviewed the Opening Statement module (which also included voice mail) and I shared ideas for what can go into your prospecting voice mails and call openings.
I’ll give some of those to you right now.
Before I do, please know that all of this is predicated on doing the groundwork first (which we cover in the Smart Calling College training course that is part of the Stimulus Training).
That includes doing your research and intel-gathering before your call (the
Smart Calling Intel Engine is perfect for that), identifying the Possible Value Proposition for your prospect, setting your Primary and Secondary Objectives, and then putting together your messaging using the proven templates.
To customize your prospecting for our current situation I suggest modifying what you’d typically use with any of the following:
The “Unusual” Opening
“Hi, Mike, Pat Seller with Info Services. First, I know it might seem unusual to be getting a call from someone right now talking about _____, but actually what we’re seeing is businesses in the _____ industry preparing for…”
“I know it might seem unusual to be getting a call from someone right now talking about getting more store traffic when they aren’t even open, but actually what we’re seeing is that the really forward-thinking boutiques are preparing for when things loosen up, people can finally get out of the house, and how they will be one of the first places people will want to go…”
The “Two Paths” Opening
After introducing yourself and the company…
“In speaking with other (their title/type of company) I’m hearing two distinct paths that are being taken: some are completely suspending looking at anything until this all blows over, or, they are positioning themselves to hit the ground running as it relates to their opportunity to …”
Then you’d fill in with the impending future desired result that you can help with.
–“Be in a good inventory position to handle what likely will be a sudden demand…”
-“Quickly mobilize on the new niches that will be created in your industry…”
-“Have staff trained and ready to respond to the inevitable rush of business…”
Then continue with,
“If you fall into the second group, we have some information available that could help to…”
The “Things Have Changed” Opening
This one does a little Ninja mind trick as it states the value of what you sell and piques curiosity, but then reverses course and says that’s not why you are calling because of course things have changed. You are just calling to provide information today.
“I know that most people—and budgets– are in lockdown right now, and if we weren’t in the current situation I’d be calling you to see if we could meet regarding how we work with_______, helping them to_______. Well, our business has changed, like yours, and what we’re doing now is providing ideas to______.”
Then you would continue with some information that would be of timely value today.
Financial advisors could say, “… help you to interpret some of the fine print in the CARE Act, specific to your industry that a lot of businesses are overlooking…”
IT providers could say, “… help your staff with some of the important database maintenance that usually gets deferred but now they have time to perform…”
But First… Get Personal
Very importantly, because prospecting today is more of a longer-term game than an immediate get the sale or meeting, we want to connect on a personal level.
I’ve always found that sales reps were pretty evenly split on the “How are you today” small talking at the beginning of the call. Well, again, everything has changed. I strongly suggest you do ask how they are. And mean it.
And share of yourself.