While listening to recorded sales calls in preparation for a training program, I heard these call endings over and over:
“Well, keep us in mind, OK?”
“Here’s my number in case you need anything … ”
Really now, what do you think prospects are doing when we say these things?
(Hint: They are not scrambling for a pen.)
When I’m the prospect, I really do feel quite guilty (okay, maybe only slightly guilty … all right, not even the least bit of remorse) when I respond with an “Okay, I will keep you in mind.”
These call-ending phrases make liars out of prospects.
Face it. They have no intention of “keeping us in mind,” let alone writing down our number.
These phrases don’t accomplish anything positive, and give no reason for the listener to ever want to consider “keeping you in mind” or calling you.
But you can and should salvage something from these calls. Here’s what you should do and say instead.
1) Determine if there would ever be potential for a sale.
A money and time-wasting mistake is hanging on to prospects when there’s no shred of evidence that the person ever intends to buy. These types of “prospects” typically get recycled through your CRM over and over again.
You peruse the notes, and get that aching pang in your stomach recalling your last dead-end call. And since there’s nothing leading you to believe they’re any better of a prospect today, you simply page through to the next prospect, postponing the inevitable. Or you call and experience either rejection or yet another put-off.
What to do instead?
Find out for sure if they have the potential to buy. Ask.
Here’s an example of what you might say:
“Ben, under what circumstances would you ever see yourself considering another provider?”
Notice the wording here. It’s a question that not only asks if they ever would use someone else, but inquires after the circumstances that would surround such a decision. If your prospect answers your question with a specific scenario, then you have an opportunity to pick up on that remark and continue questioning.
On the other hand, if they say, “Look, you’re wasting your time buddy. Quit calling me,” write them off and move on. And feel good about it, since you obtained a decision.
When you continue to recycle contacts who will never buy from you, you’re simply rescheduling the next brush-off. Don’t do that.
Your most precious commodity is time. Protect it with all you have, since you’ll never get it back.
2) Proactively give the buyer something to think about.
To reiterate, “Keep us is mind” is a worthless phrase.
If you truly want someone to keep you in mind, give them a reason. And tie it into a problem they might experience — a problem you could solve.
That might prompt them to not only think of you, but better yet, to call you.
Let’s say a sales rep knows she can help a company lower their property taxes, but they either don’t see the need at this point, or don’t believe her. She might end the call with:
“I still feel we can help you. Here’s something to consider: When you review your property tax itemization, take a look at the specific valuation and charges for your out-of-state properties. If you feel those taxes are high, keep in mind we are specialists on the tax laws in every state, and know the best way to challenge, and eventually lower the bill. I’ll send you an email with my contact info in it, so keep it in your tax file, and give me a call then if you feel it would help.”
Don’t make liars out of people. Determine if there will ever be potential for a sale. If not, move them out of your system and look at that as a victory. If there is, give them examples of situations to look for, and associate them with the problem you can solve. When they do experience these problems, they just might think of you.
Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Smart Calling Online and is republished here with permission.