Like most other sales processes, ours begins with an initial connect call, which is primarily about establishing a relationship with a lead.
The sooner you make this call the better, because that’s when the lead is in the middle of asking questions and trying to figure out what to do to solve a problem.
Your goal should be to ask your own questions and provide simple answers to the lead while collecting information on the company’s budget, authority, need, and time (BANT), as well as its goals, plans, and challenges (GPC).
A typical connect call lasts about 20 minutes and must result in acquiring this information before you can move to the next step. However, as the name implies, it’s also important to establish a connection as well as to challenge the lead’s thinking so that the lead exits the call feeling as if he or she spoke with an expert.
Here are some scripts of how that often plays out for Hüify’s sales staff when they are calling on prospects that range from new leads to past customers. You can use these as jumping-off points for your own connect calls.
4 Templates for Common Connect Call Scenarios
1) Inbound lead requesting a consultation or demo
Hi Norman, this is Josh with Hüify. (PAUSE. They will usually be surprised and comment about how fast it was that you called them.) Haha, well I saw that you had some questions and I was in between meetings, so I thought I could help answer them. (PAUSE. Let them start talking).
2) Inbound leads (general)
Hey, Norman! (PAUSE) It’s Josh (PAUSE) from Hüify. (PAUSE. Listen for recognition of your company name here.) Did I catch you at a bad time? I was calling because I saw you downloaded ________ and I wanted to see if it was helpful. Is your company planning to ________? I spent a little time on your website before calling you. Do you mind if I give you a ________ tip?
3) Target account
Hey, Norman! (PAUSE) It’s Josh (PAUSE) from Hüify (PAUSE). I saw the blog article that you wrote about ________. I really enjoyed it. (Continue conversation about this commonality.) Can I give you one small suggestion? At the bottom of the article, there isn’t a clear next step. Have you thought about what the next logical step would be for the reader if they wanted to follow up with you to ask more questions about this topic?
4) Existing or former client
Hi, Norman, how are things going with you? It’s been a few months since we ________, and I wanted to see how ________ has been performing. Now that we have the foundation set up, it might make sense to have a discussion about how ________. Do you want to schedule some time to discuss? I can point out some suggestions for ________. When’s a good time to chat? I’m available during ________ next week.
Next Steps: Make a Decision
Listen carefully to the prospect’s responses, paying close attention to their tone and subtext so that you come to understand their current state of mind. This is an early turning point in the process, and depending on how the conversation unfolds, you’ll need to make a decision about what strategy to pursue moving forward.
- Use gentle questioning to gather information about their business.
- Based on their answers, share a tip to build trust
- Share a positioning statement
- Based on fit, decide if you should move forward, and book the exploratory call
If the prospect seems to be more reserved:
- Leverage an inbound tip to build trust
- Use a positioning statement to create value
- Listen to determine if your statement and tips are resonating and moving the prospect into a more open frame of mind. If the prospect is in a closed frame of mind, send him or her some free resources (a good blog article or ebook) and politely exit the call.
How to Close the Call
Every call should move the sales process forward, so if there’s a fit, ask for more time. Here’s a script you can try:
“My next suggestion would be to schedule what we call an exploratory call. I can offer some additional tips on [something the lead values] and share what we have seen working for others who are trying to … [reference goals or pains mentioned during the call]. I’m also interested in hearing more about [goals x, y and z] that you mentioned earlier. Perhaps we can talk a little more about whether there might be a t between our companies.”
Wrap It Up
Say something like: “Great, how does [day] at [time] sound?”
Once the call is booked, don’t hang up just yet. The moments immediately after booking an exploratory meeting can be a great time to have further conversation and gather additional information. Here is one way to introduce that conversation: “So that I’m a little more prepared for our call next week, would you mind if I asked you a question or two?”
Regardless of what you learn afterward, it’s important to wrap up the connect call by scheduling another call and assigning the prospect some homework to complete before moving forward. It doesn’t necessarily matter what the homework is, as the goal is to set the stage for the exploratory call by requiring that the lead buy in before it ever begins.
Once you have established that buy-in, it’s time to look for deeper insight into both the company as a whole and the individual interests of the people likely to be involved in future calls.
Editor’s note: This post was excerpted from A Closing Culture and has been republished here with permission.