In a world filled with various methods to reach prospects, the follow-up call remains the gold standard for setting appointments.
Repeatedly, we’ve witnessed that calls can consistently outperform cold emails.
However, the key to success lies in having the right process and approach when making follow-up calls. This distinction can make all the difference between making 200 calls and securing zero appointments or making 200 calls and securing five appointments.
So, having the right approach is crucial. In this article, I’ll guide you on how to make a follow-up call that gets sales meetings. Check it out:
1. Nail the first 17 seconds.
Think of your first 17 seconds on a follow-up call as similar to a first date. Just as first impressions matter in dating, those initial moments are make-or-break in sales. Much of the decision hinges on whether the prospect wants to engage with you. If you stumble through these initial seconds, it becomes exceptionally challenging to regain control of the conversation. Therefore, meticulously plan what you’ll say in those critical opening seconds instead of improvising. A well-crafted script for the start of the call sets a positive tone for the rest of the conversation.
2. Your tone sets the tone.
The tonality you employ during sales conversations is of paramount importance. Over my 20 years of experience as a sales trainer, I’ve observed a distinctive change in the way salespeople communicate when talking to personal contacts versus prospects or customers. When speaking with family or friends, they converse naturally. However, when addressing a prospect or customer, their tone becomes exaggeratedly salesy, with heightened intonation, volume, intensity, and excitement. Prospects pick up on this, and it can deter them. To break through barriers effectively, maintain a natural and non-salesy tone on your follow-up calls, as if you were speaking to someone you know well.
3. They can’t hurt you.
It’s crucial to understand that your prospects cannot harm you. They are individuals somewhere in the world, and your interaction is akin to playing a video game. There’s no direct impact on you; they won’t even remember you in a few minutes. You have a genuine opportunity to profit from this conversation. Despite this, many of us get nervous, fearing rejection and the potential for hurt feelings. Remember that there is no physical harm involved; it’s one of the safest things you can do. Rather than treating it as a life-and-death situation, approach prospecting calls with confidence.
4. Lead with your best value.
A common mistake among salespeople is saving their best material for later in the conversation. Instead, place your most valuable information at the beginning, when the prospect is still deciding whether to continue listening. Craft your follow-up call script to ensure that the most compelling content is delivered upfront. Waiting until the end risks annoying the prospect, potentially leading to them hanging up. Always present your best information early on in the follow-up call, as there may not be a later opportunity.
5. Get them talking.
Data consistently shows that the more a prospect talks during a sales call, the higher the likelihood of securing an appointment and closing the sale. Once they start talking, refrain from interrupting with your best information. This is the moment to encourage them to share their challenges, objectives, goals, and what they’re seeking. Ask follow-up questions and delve deeper to gain a comprehensive understanding of their needs.
6. Make the meeting attractive.
One of the biggest challenges in sales is making a prospect want to schedule a meeting. Generally, the goal of a prospecting call is to secure a meeting, and people aren’t naturally inclined to meet with salespeople. Consider timeshares as an extreme example—they offer a free vacation to entice people to attend a one-hour sales pitch. That’s how unattractive meetings with salespeople can be. Whether you’re selling software, real estate, or anything else, you must make the meeting appealing. Avoid phrases like, “I’d love to learn more about what you’re doing and show you our products.” Instead, package the meeting as an opportunity to share valuable insights or examples of how they can achieve their goals. Make the next step, typically a meeting, more enticing to increase the likelihood of a positive response.
7. Find the balance between calm and pushy.
A crucial aspect of follow-up calls is striking the right balance between being calm and assertive. While maintaining a calm demeanor is vital to avoid overwhelming the prospect, you must also be assertive enough to guide them to the next step. Achieving this balance is essential for success in prospecting calls.
So there you have it. Now you know how to make a follow-up call that gets sales meetings. You can use this model for your own follow-up calls from now on. Which of these ideas did you find most useful for crafting your own call scripts? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below to join the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.