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Reflecting Back to Improve Outbound Sales

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Outbound sales can be challenging for many reasons. Each person we call and each conversation we have is unique and you never know what direction things are going to go. With that being what it is, one thing we can do to grow and improve is to embrace a concept of reflection after each call we make.

After a cold call ends, we can reflect on how the call went in an attempt to identify what happened and what could have done better.  This is helpful due to the fact that many different scenarios tend to recur again and again.  If we can consciously reflect on what happened on the previous call and identify what we could have done better, then we can improve our ability to handle similar scenarios that occur on future calls.

One area to focus our refection is in the area of objections as they are likely to occur on every cold call.  Here are three steps to take while reflecting on objections

1.  Reflect on the Objection

Reflect back during outbound sales on the objections the prospect had during the call.  If there is one that brought the call to end, you should try to identify what exactly it was. Once you identify the objections, were those objections that you anticipated or were prepared for? If not, it may be good to start thinking about them and work toward being prepared for them next time they come up.

2. Reflect on the Response

Reflect on how you responded to the objections you faced and how the prospect responded to your objection responses. Assess if the there might have been responses that could have been delivered that might have kept the call going.  .

3. Strategize Moving Forward

Strategize how best to handle objections on future calls.  If we already had a responses scripted, this step may involve adjusting or tweaking our plan.  If there are new objections encountered, this step could involve building responses for the new objections moving forward.

By stopping to look back after each call during outbound sales, we will can greatly increase our ability to be prepared for all of the different directions that calls go moving forward.

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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros to improve outbound sales.

Michael Halper
Author & Sales Trainer

How to Make Outbound Calls

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Identifying how to make outbound calls can often be challenging when working in a sales role. Below are six steps to help with improving in this area regardless and can help anyone regardless of skill level and experience.

1.    Focus on your core value

To improve outbound sales, it is critical to clearly identify the core value that you have to offer the prospects you will be calling.  Not only is this important as it should be ingrained in your cold call script and objections responses, but also having a clear awareness around the value that you have to offer can also improve your mental state while cold calling.

2.    Identify the ideal prospect

You need to clearly identify what your ideal prospect looks like.  What segment of the market that do you fit best with, we cannot and should not try to sell to everybody.  By identifying what this segment looks like in terms of geography, size, industry, and contact title can help to create a laser focus for the prospects that you should spend your valuable time on when figuring out how to make outbound calls.

3.    Identify differentiation

There is competition that you face on every deal.  Even if there is no direct competition, you still compete against the prospect’s option to do nothing.  Figuring out how you differ from the competition is critical when trying to figure out how to make outbound calls.

4.    Develop a call script

You could just wing when performing outbound sales or you can develop some sort of cold call script or plan.  This could be as detailed as a script that we read word for word or it could be something that is more of an outline with key points.  Having a document that has your thoughts organized can greatly improve your probability for successful calls.

5.    Prepare for objections

You will face objections on every cold call when the prospect will try to end the call.  The better prepared you are to deal with these, the more success that you will have when improving our knowledge around how to make outbound calls.

6.    Reflect back to improve moving forward

You can reflect back after a call ends to evaluate what took place to improve moving forward.  You can look back at questions that could have been asked, look back at objections that the prospect delivered, and identify what could have been done better.  Going through this routine after each call can greatly improve your success on future calls.

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Launch Pad Solutions provides cold call training helping individuals to figure out how to make outbound calls.

Four Tips to Improve Tonality during Outbound Sales

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

During outbound sales, our tonality in terms of how we say what we say can have a significant impact since the prospect cannot see us.  With that being what it is, here are four ways to improve our tonality and voice while selling over the phone.

1.  Smile when you dial

Whether we are aware of this or not, our internal feelings can easily be displayed to others through our tonality when we speak. And if we are not enjoying making the cold calls that we are making or are nervous, it can likely be heard on the other end of the phone and this could establish a poor start to a cold call.

On the other side of this, if we are excited about what we are doing and thoroughly enjoy it, the person that we are talking to over the phone can pick up on this and can be more receptive to us when cold calling.

The problem here is, how often do we really get thrilled about or enjoy making cold calls?  One very easy tactic to use here to make it sound like we are happy and enjoying what we are doing even if we are not is to actually grin or smile while talking on the phone and making calls.  This simple body language change will actually make change and improve your tonality and can improve your conversations with prospects and gatekeepers.

2.  Display confidence

One very effective way to improve your impression during outbound sales is to sound confident in your voice.  It is very understandable to not be confident when cold calling as the prospect often has more power since they can ultimately chose whether to talk with us or not.

But if we stop to realize that we have value to offer in the products we sell, in the company we represent, and in ourselves as a true sales professional, we can begin to have more confidence internally and that can come through externally in our tonality.

3.  Communicate with curiosity

If we communicate with a tonality that has a bit of curiosity during outbound sales, we can often decrease the guard of prospects and gatekeepers. This can involve having a frame or tone that expresses that we don’t know exactly whom we need to talk to and we could use help being pointed in the right direction.

4.  Sound like You Don’t Need the Deal

To really improve the way you sound while performing outbound sales is to sound like you don’t need the deal.  The two extremes for the impression that we could make are a sales person that hasn’t sold anything for a while and the other extreme is a sales person that has a line of prospects that are ready to purchase.  There is a tremendous difference between these two impressions that a prospect could have and the tonality that we use could influence which one we make.

The best way to sound like we don’t need the deal during outbound sales is to present ourselves in the same way that we would if we have already hit and exceeded our sales targets.  If we carry ourselves like we are above plan and in a very comfortable position in terms of sales and pipeline, this will come through in our tonality and create a more positive impression with the prospect.  We will always know how badly we want and need the deal, but if we at least act like we don’t necessarily need the deal, not only might we present ourselves as very confident to the prospect, but if we do that long enough we may actually begin to trick ourselves to start to create real confidence that does not need to be faked.

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Launch Pad Solutions provides cold call training to help with outbound sales.