SALES TIPS FROM STRONG CLOSER READERS
Touch Base Calls That Move the Sale Forward in Times of Stress
If you’re like me, when you’re having a slow day you get on the phone to “touch base” with a few prospects and current customers just to make sure they haven’t forgotten about you. I’m talking about the ones where you don’t really have anything to talk about, but you want to stay in touch.
I used to start these conversations about the same way I would if I were calling an old friend: “Hi. I haven’t spoken to you for a while. How are things going?”
Some other openers I would use from time to time were like these: “I was just going through my files and ran across your name, so I thought I would give you call.” Or “I just had a moment to catch up on my calling, so I wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing.”
I found that “touch base” call openers like these don’t work very well. And they work even less well now, when everyone is worried about their health and their families and everything else that is so disrupted.
Your prospect is probably working from home now, and still needs to plan on buying things. So it is OK to call so long as you keep the focus on the customer’s know needs, not just keeping in touch.
So before I call someone to just keep in touch, I try to come up with a specific topic to talk about; not necessarily about the product I am currently trying to sell, but some topic that will get the prospect or customer to have a meaningful conversation with me.
“When we last spoke, you mentioned that you were working on setting up that new manufacturing line (something that is important to the customer but has nothing to do with the products you sell), and I recall you were concerned about getting it going on schedule. I was just thinking about you and I wondered how that worked out?”
Depending on what we talked about last time, I might ask about a business matter or something personal like how the person’s kid is doing in Little League. Whatever we talk about, I’m trying to show that I care about this person as an individual.
As soon as we have gone through this opening topic, I feel I have earned the right to move on to talking about my sale. Most of the time, though, the customer brings up the pending sale before I even get to it.
S. Woodham, Batavia, NY