This morning I happened to be particularly busy, lots of “to do” jobs, some deadlines, challenges to consider and a few calls from clients expected. Then the office phone rang.
It wasn’t the client I was expecting; it was Bob from a local stationery supplier.
Bob was impressive, I mean good, real, genuine and his call worked.
The odd thing is that I normally give cold callers a Paul Archer bark as soon as I get the “Is that Mr Archer?” or the ubiquitous “Is it convenient to call?”
No, Bob was notable because he’d done his homework before calling me. He knew my name, and was happy to call me by my first name Paul, after all this is the 21st Century not the late Victorian age. He knew I was local and had a need to buy stationery and he figured I was looking for good prices from this commodity.
In other words he’d done some qualifying. Afterwards I asked him how he did this. He said simple. He looked up my name under training organisations using yell.com, got my first name, Googled me, checked out my Facebook page and 123people.com and within 2 minutes he knew quite a lot about me. Scary eh?
But the cleverest thing about Bob’s technique was his ability to get into my shoes and appreciate that his call was going to interrupt me, stop me from doing what I was doing before he called. He therefore got to the point quickly and effectively. I liked that. And his close was exceptional.
“Is it a good time to talk further now Paul or shall we schedule another call for later.” I asked him to phone back later that day, which he did and for which he had my full attention.
His hook was carefully thought out, prepared and relevant to my expected needs.
“We’ve got some cracking deals on stationery for local businesses like yours Paul”
And the best bit was he got straight to the point. No “how are you” or “is it ok to call you Paul”, no, he just got to the point, gave me a fab sound bite or hook, spoke clearly, not too fast with an enthusiastic tone.
He was clear as to his goal for the call. He wanted me to head over to the local store in Cheltenham, I guess they’re drumming up walk in trade from local small businesses and the value of the discount voucher he promised me made my eyes water.
So when I asked about the cracking deals, he told me about one but kept to his guns and carried on persuading me to head to the store saying the deals were exclusively available there and I’d need to head over to benefit from them.
So if you’re in the business of making calls to customers, just follow Bob’s strategy.
- Do brief research on your customer to make sure they are a fit
- Perk up your voice and get excited
- Get straight to the point, no tricks or “how are you’s”
- Use a sound bite that bites and tailor this to your customer’s needs
- Stick to your guns and know what you want to get from the call and ask for this. Then shut up.
- Overcome the objection by reasserting what you want
- Appreciate that the person you’re calling is busy and you’ve interrupted them. Imagine how they feel.
Well done Bob, you got my business.