WRITTEN BY RUSS DULA:
Do you remember ReRun from What’s Happening? Re-Run, with his friends Roger and Dwayne, dancing in his balloon pants, red suspenders and red cap? I do the Rerun dance after a successful sales call. It’s my way of patting myself on the back and swimming in exaltation. I owe that to myself. It’s because I planted a good seed, I established a great relationship and solidified rapport and I ask for an appointment. Inside sales includes all the feel good buzzwords that are congruent to a carefully mastered script. It is simply, reading the lines on the face of a potential customer without seeing them. It is projecting enough confidence over the phone that not only builds trust, but builds friendships. Inside sales is the result of orchestrating a call that motivates you to run from office to office, cubicle to cubicle proclaiming a “sales close” or an appointment and showing your office mates how well you dance like Rerun.
First, you cannot plant a good sales seed in a parking lot. You are going to need to cultivate it, in good fertile ground, and that starts with good research. Clients always value the investment being made in understanding their needs and aligning a business strategy that delivers. You need to know where a potential client is so you can have a greater grasp on where they want to go. Get to know their current status as you plan to help them achieve their desired status. Study their website, read their news feeds and even take a look at executive biographies.
Next, the fastest way to growing your sales departments reach is not adding to the marketing budget or growing your sales team, but by demanding a smile. I can usually discern the mood of a potential client over the phone, and likewise project confidence, by smiling throughout my introduction. I would even suggest adding a mirror in your space to make sure that smile is firmly planted. You do not have the luxury of a firm handshake or showing off your favorite silk tie from Father’s day, so a pleasant voice with “a smile in it” inspires confidence.
Present your company just as confidently as you present yourself. It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds for a succinct introduction and a few broad questions that can capitalize on a potential clients pain points. On your first phone call, you are not really sure if you have what a client needs, so establish that it isn’t so much of what you have but that you are willing to invest your time and your company’s resources to evaluate if what you have is needed. There is a difference. Make the customer feel that they have many options and choices and that you will provide satisfaction as promised, all you need is to meet with them. That is the objective.
Last, the follow-through has to be as seamless as a Larry Bird free throw. You must be consistent and carry-on to next step the same way every time you approach a potential client. Before you get off that phone, ask for the next step, synchronize calendars, confirm a face-to-face and think about who you want to show that happy dance, Rerun’s dance, right before you make another call.
WRITTEN BY RUSS DULA