Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"I'm just calling to check in ..."

This is surely one of the most ineffective (translate: lame) openers you could use. But does that stop most salespeople? Unfortunately, no.

"If you're like most people, you've used this opener at some point in your sales career," says Colleen Francis of Engage Selling. "What you may not realize is that this little sentence can quickly reduce your credibility with your prospect. Are you really calling just to check in or check up? If so, either you've got a lot more time on your hands than I do, or else it's time to seriously consider a career change!"

Francis gives this advice for creating a more effective opening:

First, start by removing the word 'just' - it makes you sound unimportant, and your call seem like an afterthought.

Replace it with something like: "The last time we spoke, you ..." By taking the customer back to the last time you spoke, you remind them of your relationship, and prove that you are carrying through on what you were asked or promised to do.

Nothing builds rapport better than a promise kept. Rapport leads to trust, and trust leads to loyal customers.

Give this tip a try this week and see the impact on your calls.

Sales trainer Colleen Francis is president of Engage Selling Solutions and a contributor to Top Dog Sales Secrets.
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