Buyers are increasingly reluctant to take sales calls, and when they do, they expect a high-value conversation. This means, most reps start calls from a significant disadvantage when they commit these three common mistakes within the first five minutes.
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Buyers are increasingly reluctant to take sales calls, and when they do, they expect a high-value conversation. This means, most reps start calls from a significant disadvantage when they commit these three common mistakes within the first five minutes. sales
Mistake Number #1
An easy one, but reps make this mistake over and over again - being late to start the meeting. I’m not sure when starting the meeting a few minutes late became acceptable, but as the meeting host you should be starting the call a few minutes before the scheduled start time. Starting late, even if just a few minutes, sets a precendent that it's okay to waste the buyers time.
Avoiding this mistake starts with basic time management, and here are two quick tactics:
- Have your calendar send you reminder notifications before scheduled calls, you can even set it up to send multiple notifications, one at 15, 10, and 5 minutes before.
- Make it a habit to end calls 3-4 minutes early. If you regularly have back to back calls, this will give you time to start your next call on time. Also, prospects love getting off calls a bit early so they too have a few minutes before their next call.
Mistake Number #2
One we’re all aware of, but yet most of us still do - starting with a low value conversation. An example of a low value conversation is talking about the weather, we all do it. It's an easy habit to slip into and seems like an easy conversation starter, but it wastes limited and precious time.
Avoid this mistake by conducting pre-call research to find something interesting related to their industry, company, or professional career. If you can relate your observation to the conversation at hand, even better.
Mistake Number 3
A fundamental aspect of every productive meeting is establishing an agenda, but not just any agenda, it must be a mutual agenda. Without an agenda, who knows whether you’re covering topics important to the buyer and without a defined outcome, who knows whether or not this is a productive call.
Agendas are missed because normally the conversation starts off informally about some unrelated topic. Then when it comes time to transition to a business conversation, an agenda feels like a forced formality. That’s why you need to have a transition from the rapport building about their industry, company, or role to the agenda.
Here is an example transitioning from talking about someone’s career to setting an agenda:
I could talk all day about career development, it’s an exciting topic, but because we’re paid the big bucks, I suppose we should jump in - are you still good for the 30 minutes we have scheduled?
This is a great agenday, because it weaves in a time check to confirm everyone is still available for the scheduled alotted time.
Next, you need to set up a mutual agenda by asking what's important to them.
Before I set a brief agenda, I’d love to hear what’s most important for you to get out of our time together…
Once you've uncovered what's important to the buyer, set your agenda and weave in the things they want to cover to make it mutually benefical. For example, let's say they want to learn about platform functionality and pricing.
Great, let’s first talk about your current sales team and sales process. Then I’ll share about OverQuota platform functionality and where I feel it could help you. If there’s a good fit, let’s save time to talk through pricing and schedule next steps. is that fair?
Use a call plan to eliminate these common mistakes. A call plan is a documented call outline with the questions you want to ask and the talk tracks you need to deliver. Think of it as your guide. If you’d rather use technology instead of a static word doc or pen and paper - check out OverQuota.