Friday, February 5, 2010

Opening the Sale - Because You'll Never "Close" Without Opening Well

Making contact with a new client can be nerve-wracking - no wonder so many struggle with it! Richard Dickerson at The Brooks Group has noticed this as well, saying, "In working with and coaching salespeople, particularly new ones, or untrained ones, I have noticed many stumbling with how to initiate sales calls. Whether "cold" or scheduled appointments, many have difficulty deciding how to open the sales call. Why not simply be honest and express your intentions?" Read on for his advice.

Your prospect/customer knows you're a salesperson. They are not stupid or naive. Being honest about yourself and your reason for meeting will position you much more favorably. Issue a statement of intention. For example: "Hello. My name is Richard Dickerson with The Brooks Group and the purpose of our appointment is to meet you, get to know you better, share information about our (whatever you sell) and discuss anything you wish to discuss with me." Or, another way, "Hello, I am Richard Dickerson with The Brooks Group and what I would like to accomplish is to meet you, get to know you better, share information about our (whatever you sell) and discuss anything you wish to discuss with me."

You have clearly stated a reason for being there, and most importantly, invited dialogue. Remember, they know you are a salesperson. They are more comfortable if they feel no pressure from you. The phrase "and anything you'd like to discuss with me" takes the pressure off them and you. It discloses your wish to have dialogue - a conversation, not a data dump by you, the salesperson. Prospects feel threatened by monologue. It's inconsiderate and self focused. We have to focus on the prospect, and the prospect has to feel that focus to help develop trust in us.

Also, this is not a script; it is a language or methodology for gaining attention and building trust. Use your own words that exemplify the principle. And remember to keep it simple - least amount of words spoken with conviction and confidence that convey clearly and sincerely your interest in your prospect's or customer's biggest, most pressing concern.

The Brooks Group
is a Sales and Sales Management Screening, Development, and Retention company that has helped more than 2,000 organizations in 500 industries transform their businesses by focusing on building and sustaining top-performing sales, sales management and business development programs. Click here to sign up for The Brooks Group's Free Sales Training Newsletter.

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