The Sales Bridge
It is one of the most difficult parts of sales.
You have that new customer on the phone for the first time and despite the fact that you are well prepared, you realize that you are talking too much and you wonder what the customer is doing and thinking. Is he about to hang up? Is she tapping her fingers and wondering how long this monologue is going to go on.
You desperately need to get to the Sales Bridge.
The ideal conversation with the prospect is one where they are talking and you are listening. Perhaps they are discussing their needs, their business situation, and all of the other juicy things that allow you to sit back, listen, and think about which tool you will pull out of the sales tool box. Or maybe they are talking about their weekend, the weather, or something you two have in common. The point is, they are engaged.
That’s what’s on the other side of the Sales Bridge. Your job, on that first call, is to get to that point as fast and as smoothly as possible.
This wonderful outcome happens when you have prepared yourself through pre-call research and then carefully crafted an opening statement that ends by your asking the customer a question.
The amount of time from when you start talking to when you stop talking should be kept to a minimum. The best of the best can make that happen within 30 seconds. Often, it’s like flying a kite: You have to help it along by letting the string out and then pulling to support its flight. But eventually, if you’re lucky (and good), you will soon be admiring your work.
As my father told me at the onset of my sales career, “Son, you will learn nothing with your mouth open.”
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.