3 easy recommendations for improving your batting average with cold (or warm) calls.

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Don’t “wing-it!”

That’s what most sales people do.  They wing-it.  They know they need to make some sales calls to follow-up on leads.  So they grab their list and they call- hoping for the best.

Don’t do that!

Here are 3 things you should do in order to make successful telephone sales calls.

1- Determine your objective: I believe your objective should be one or more of the following.

  • To qualify a lead or prospect (determine if they are the decision-maker and if they have any chance of buying your product or service)
  • Carry them further down the decision-making path
  • Uncover pain and determine needs
  • Set an appointment
  • Close a sale
  • Or, determine when is the next time you need to contact them again

2- Create a decision tree: A decision tree is a very useful diagram of all the possibilities you might expect to occur during your call.  If you draw it out with boxes, arrows and words, you will be better prepared to handle every situation that might occur during the call.  And when the prospect throws you a curve ball, then you need to add it to your decision tree for the next call.  Think about what answers and questions you should have in your “response arsenal”.  Drill ’em with your co-workers.  Test ’em out.  Try new ones.

The idea is to constantly improve your decision tree until it’s rock solid.  Then you’ll be prepared for every call you make.  And that preparation will make you more confident.  Prospects can “hear” confidence.  It exudes over telephone lines.  Seriously!  A decision tree will improve your telephone skills exponentially.

3- Record what happened: In carrying prospects down the path to make a decision about you and your company, you must build rapport and a relationship.  The best way to do that is to have a great memory (or at least appear to have a great memory).

Prospects want to feel important.  They don’t want to feel like just another piece of meat.  And besides, most prospects get tons of calls… but only once.  Rarely do they ever hear from the same caller again.

By jotting down some notes about your past conversation, you’ll be able to speak relevantly.  You could say, “Hi Jim.  Last time we spoke you had a cold.  Are you all better?  Great!  I’m just following up to see….”  Really!  That works!  Take the time to jot down notes and use the information in your next call.

Try all that and let me know how you do!

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