When you’re ramping up prospecting, it can be tricky to figure out the two main bottlenecks to building a repeatable outbound sales machine.
Bottleneck 1: A first major bottleneck in prospecting is finding out who’s even the best first person to talk to at a company (this may or may not be the decision maker).
Bottleneck 2: A second major bottleneck is, once you know the right person, getting them to respond to you.
Our best technique:
We created something at Salesforce.com we named a “Talk To The Right Person Call” or “Mapping Call” (as in your calling in to research and map out the lay of the land). It’s an incredibly simple, effective way to prospect – without the struggle of “cold calls.”
It’s a technique that makes calling on cold prospects simple and enjoyable, and also solves the two challenges above, making it simple to get referred to the right person and have them respond much more often. Kills two birds at once with one call / stone.
While reps use this technique to prospect into cold companies, it is totally different – and a lot easier and more enjoyable – than a cold call (“calling someone who doesn’t expect your call and doesn’t know you”).
Our “Talk To The Right Person” Call makes it easy to call into any company and get these internal referrals. You’ll talk to people who will want to help you rather than want to get rid of you.
9 Steps To A Successful “Mapping Call” a.k.a. “Talk To The Right Person Call”
Through years of practice, we’ve defined a 9-step very repeatable technique…
1. Call high and ask for the president’s executive assistant (at smaller companies this may be a receptionist or office manager). You want someone who knows “who’s who”.
2. Ask permission to talk (such as “did I catch you at a bad time?”) =
3. Tell them honestly why you are calling, and ask for help finding the right person.
4. Let them ask what you do / how you help clients.
5. Ask “Are We A Fit?” questions.
6. Get an internal referral.
7. Keep asking for more names/referrals or qualifying info.
8. The Transfer (+ be prepared if the recipient picks up).
9. Follow up & update Salesforce.com / your salesforce automation (SFA) system.
And all you need is a telephone – no fancy stuff like LinkedIn, Facebook or anything else is needed.
The trick, we find, is that your tone has to be right, in order to have them want to help you…rather than listen to the person try to get you off the phone ASAP. You want to be a ‘lost lamb’, not a bulldog. Think ‘disarming’ or ‘vulnerable’. Turn off that “sales voice” that experienced salespeople have…that kind of overly-confident-for-no-reason voice.
Follow these steps – especially the last note about voice tone – and you’ll be successful in getting great information and referrals from cold accounts 80%+ of the time. And that is success – getting useful information that helps you further qualify or disqualify an account.
Give it a shot!
Try making that kind of call, and let us know how it goes with you (the first is the hardest). Does it work? Do you struggle? What questions do you have about it?