One of the hardest things to tell a salesperson is to not sell, but that’s exactly what you need to do when conducting an “Are We A Fit Call”.
The primary goal of any AWAF is to establish if there is a fit, not to sell (yet). It’s easy to get carried away with your usual sales pitch, as you would with an inbound lead, but outbound prospects should follow a different process. Prospects take more time and may not have the advantage of knowing who you are or what their pain is.
Here are three tips for your AWAF calls:
1) Have a plan. It’s essential to have a plan for your call, even if it’s just a rough outline of some basic questions. It will give your conversation a direction and help you determine if there is a need for what you offer. Having some questions prepared in advance will also help you structure your call to find out some key factors:
- Are you speaking with a relevant decision maker or influencer, or is it someone with no authority or relevance? “Can you please tell how you’re involved with ____?”
- What is their current process? “How are you currently handling ____?”
- Is there pain? Is there a need or urgency for what you offer? “If you could fix ____, where would that fall on your list of priorities?”
- Is there a decision-making process or project yet – or not? If there IS one, what’s the timing of it? If there is NOT one, how would it get started? “Have you and your team discussed this, if and when it’ll be a priority? Who’d be involved in figuring that out or implementing it?”
- Have a best next step to suggest. “Usually teams like to see a demo next. At it, who should attend, so you can see it and decide in one go whether there’s something here or not?”
2) Connect with your prospect. Take a couple minutes to build some rapport with your prospect. It will give you some common ground and make the conversation flow. Even if it’s just talking about something as basic as the weather it will help you build a connection. For example: what are you authentically curious to learn about them as a person or their work? Or do you have something going on you can share with them that is interesting?
3) LISTEN! – AWAFs are all about listening. You won’t be able to find out if there is a fit if you are doing all the talking. Ask insightful questions and listen to their answers.
If you are new to AWAFs – the best way to learn is to shadow an Account Executive or more senior salesperson. Pay attention to the types of questions they ask and any techniques they use to get the prospect talking. Training on doing an effective AWAF is also one of the training pieces included as a part of our Outsourcing Service.
Completing an effective AWAF will be saving time in the long run for both you and the prospect – you don’t want to try selling to someone who has no need or fit for your product…focus on Customer Success!
Remember, you are trying to help them find a solution and add value. If you feel like there isn’t a fit it’s okay to let them know and move on. Once you nail your AWAF call process you will be able to even further specialize your sales team and focus on getting the right calls to your Account Executives.