How to get the most out of your sales calls? In a recent video How to get customers as a freight broker, we covered the categories of questions to ask shippers. Qualifying, operational, challenge, consequence and solution oriented questions. They're the road map to every prospecting call. But, what we haven't discussed, is how you effectively get anything out of asking them. Stick with us as we dig into the tips and tricks to getting the most of your sales calls.
What goes into prospecting call? Or any conversation for that matter. 1 person speaks and the other person responds to what was said, right? This is how you establish basic rapport. Not entirely. If you're a fan of our channel you've heard us repeat the old cliché, God gave you two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. And that's exactly what you'll learn today. The types and the strategies you can use to turn listening into your super power.
The two types we'll discuss are listening to understand and listening to respond. The majority of new sales people are just listening to respond. Hell most of the people you talk to on a daily basis will fall into this category from time to time.
What does this mean? Listening to respond? It means that instead of actually paying attention to what someone is saying, you already know what you're going to say next. So you're just waiting for your turn to talk at the person. Who very well may be doing the same thing. The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it's taken place.
The best sales calls or conversations that have the most impact are when both parties have the objective to understand each other. Sharing facts, opinions, stories and what they feel about them. When you are listening to understand each other rather than just forcing the features of your company down their throat. We handle, FTL, LTL, Intermodal, White Glove, Air, last mile, have the newest software the best service and have been in business the longest…. Everyone has been on the end of a sales pitch like this at one time or another.
This is the most common hurdle for brokers and sales people in their first few months. They've never made a cold call and are full of nerves and anxiety. Veterans refer to this as the 300 lb phone. We work ourselves up so emotionally that it becomes terrifying to start making your calls. And then when you finally get up the courage to make the call, we're wound so tight that we're barely paying attention to what's being said to us, and we can't wait until the other person stops talking so we can interject with all the facts and features our company is so proud of. That's exactly what we're going to work on.
So how can you start developing the habit of listening to understand? How can you get the most out of your sales calls? You do it by becoming a better listener. One that's goal is to understand their prospect, and to listen or pickup the things your customer might not have actually said. Are they rushed, frustrated, happy, irritated? These are all emotions that can tell you a lot about your prospect's state of mind. Think about it, how great are you at engaging in a conversation with someone you just met when you're frustrated with something? How about when your happy? Which call should you spend a little more time on? Which should you politely exit after a little back and forth? These things appear simple, that's why they're so easy to forget. Especially when you have a dozen other things going on around you. And your expected to make dozens of calls a day.
Be honest, how many times are you listening to someone and you space out, thinking about a tv show, your grocery list, the fight you had with your partner, whatever? Try these few tips, minimize distractions for yourself. Don't scroll through Instagram or social media while you're making your prospecting calls. Or have browsers open you know you'll be tempted to scroll through. Don’t multi-task. I know this is a difficult one, but it's why we recommend only making your prospecting calls when you're prospecting. Doing your lead generation separately. The same goes with your emails. If you're working through your emails while your prospecting, you're not going to engage in a very good conversation.
Never interrupt a prospect. For one, just because you think you know what they're going to say, doesn't mean they will. You'll be surprised to learn something knew by waiting until they're finished. Repeat back key points that they've just made. So, you're having a lot of issues with trucks making their appts? Hmm. About 20-30 full truck loads a week. You're other brokers don't ever give you a heads up when a trucks running late.. Hmmm. This technique is also referred to as mirroring and is very effective at building trust. Pro tip, mirroring can also be accomplished by mimicking the rate of speech and emotional tone. Speaking faster or slower and changing your pitch based on what you're hearing.
Now that you've actively listened to what they've said, you can respond to their actual needs that you should have uncovered. Not just responding with what you had originally intended to say. And that is the difference between someone that is just repeating a sales pitch and someone taking a prospect through a needs analysis. The key is in the listening. Not the speaking. And that's how to get the most out of your sales calls.