The opening of the sales call sets the stage for what is to follow. Having a good opening often determines how well the call is going to go. Let’s look at a few ideas on how to properly open a sales call.
The first thing to keep in mind is where you are in the sales process. If you are making your first call on a prospect, the call is going to be different than if you are making your second or more call.
On the first call with a prospect, you want to begin the process of establishing rapport. The best way to establish rapport is to let the prospect know that you are there to help them. Therefore open your sales call with what would benefit them.
A good way to open your calls is by stating why you are there and what you want to accomplish on the call. Then, ask them what would make the call a success for them.
Here is an example of opening the first call you are making on a prospect:
“Hi Mr./Ms. Prospect. Today in our meeting I would like to begin the process to see if there is a value match between what we provide and your needs. The meeting would be a success for me if we determine whether or not it makes sense for us to proceed to a second step even though we may not know exactly what that looks like. But before we begin that process, let me ask you, what would make the meeting a success for you?”
When you open a call this way you show that you are interested not just in achieving your agenda but anything your prospect may have in mind too. You can adjust this opening for whatever the purpose of your call is.
For example if you were making a presentation proposal for your product or service, you could state: “Today I’m would like to go over with you the solutions I feel will address the needs we have discussed in our past meetings. My intention is that you fully understand what I’m proposing and give the OK to put the solution in place. What would make this meeting a success for you?”
Notice how this is a subtle way of informing them you will be asking for their business. The ideal situation is when your prospect responds: “we want to implement your solution if it addresses all our needs.”
When you are making any sales call after your first call, always remember to ask if anything has changed since the last time you met with them. Asking this question can save you a lot of time if something is different from what you thought it was.
Opening the call the proper way allows you to proceed with your prospect fully understanding what you want to accomplish and with the feeling they are getting what they want out of the meeting as well.