How often do you put off making sales calls because you already “know” they aren’t going to be fun?
If you start with that mindset, you have already failed.
There are a few key factors that will determine how effective your sales conversations will go. It’s not about scripts or some magical skill, but rather putting your intentions around the call framework and how you show up mentally. Today I will give you the secret sauce to a natural, smooth, and fun sales call.
(click here to listen to this podcast or the play button below)
Should I have a sales script?
I get asked quite often for my opinion on sales scripts. Some people love them, others ate them. I am in the middle. Here’s what I believe:
- Sales script:
- Pros: Formula to follow, flow of ideas, don’t have to think or invent on the fly
- Cons: Often unnatural to speak, conversations don’t follow scripts, eliminates authentic style
- No sales script:
- Pros: Allows for personal style, more natural conversations, freedom for conversations to be organic
- Cons: Winging it, calls get out of control, hard to learn all the components at once
What I use myself and with teams are called frameworks which allow you to follow guidelines, have the flexibility to be unique, and give you the opportunity to self evaluate and be evaluated objectively.
Check out the Sales Call Rubric: Advanced Sales Call Script Template and Evaluation Tool. And I think the music I used was pretty cool too…
Frameworks also allow you to see the specific areas to address and grab those small conversion points over time. Every percentage adds up, but if you don’t know what levers to pull, you resort to guessing.
In my previous post on sales pre-call planning, I showed you the 4 steps to setting yourself up technically for success:
- Research and understand your markets and types of customers
- Build insights that will give them a ah-ha
- Develop awesome questions that will help them frame the problem
- Have multiple commitment objectives
Today, I will give you the other half of the equation which will give you that unfair competitive advantage and start making sales calls fun.
Making sales calls fun is all about helping people buy from you
How often do you have someone tell you they are “just shopping around” or“will think about it, but maybe in six months” or “I just want to know the price?”
When you rock out a sales call the right way by being prepared and having the right mindset, you increase the chance that someone will feel the urgency and make things happen TODAY. It is all about how you help them come to their own conclusions. Not just what you say, but how you say it. Follow these tips:
Sales Tip #1 – Have the right energy
Before you go into any call, set your intentions to be totally present. Eliminate distractions and get your head where it needs to be. Drop any scarcity mentality you have and be authentic as fast as possible. Your energy as you immediately start actually helps the chance of the sale immensely. It also gives you call control right away and allows you to direct the conversation. Maintain the right energy throughout and you will be in good shape. Also, note that I am not talking about a fake energy where you sound a little too excited. I mean use YOUR best energy and your true self. Use that energy to dictate the pace and flow.
Sales Tip #2 – Be genuinely curious and dig deeper
I showed you last time how to build questions for your call, but more important than just the questions is HOW you ask them! When I listen to calls, I often can hear the rep just going through their list of questions just to get through them. When you ask questions, be insatiably curious about the person on the other side of the call. Ask and mean it! Then when they answer, look for key words and write them down. Then ask for the meaning behind that answer and if you can, dig even deeper still. If you can move your questions from level 1 to 2 and then to 3, you will help the frame the problem more effectively and make your solution have much more impact.
Sales Tip #3 – Resist the urge to solve – give the right insight at the right time
This ties in with tip #2 but is really important. I know that you have a wonderful solution and pitch, but if you jump in too soon, you may miss the mark. Wait until you have asked the right questions and have a complete understanding of your customer. More importantly, they should have come to the conclusion of their entire need. From there, you can present your insights and offer in a way that is more likely to resonate with them and be meaningful. This is how you create REAL urgency.
Sales Tip #4 – Learn to connect with anyone
I remember years ago doing all of those personality tests and trying to figure out which quadrant I was in. Am I a blue, a wolf, a ENFP, or any of the other categories that explain me?
And knowing that we naturally connect with people like us, it made sense that I naturally only connected with 25 to 50 percent of the people I spoke with. The goal was to then be able to connect and build rapport with any personality type. I had to constantly remind myself to ask and learn about others because, honestly, I didn’t get why people didn’t think like me. A quote I had in my office was:
“What irritates us most about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves” – Carl Jung
So the key to rapport is to not just rely on those who you naturally connect with, but to learn how to better understand those you don’t “get.” Look for others who do well with the groups you don’t and ask for help. Observe, ask questions, and learn to connect.
Sales Tip #5 – Ask for commitment the right way
Do you ever feel nervous asking people to commit to something? Well, most likely they can feel your nervousness too. Gaining commitment is not about “closing,” but rather is the natural evolution of a good sales conversation. If all the other parts have lined up, then it should be exciting for everyone to move forward. Your customer should be ready to buy and your next step is simply moving them forward. The real test is whether you are ASKING for commitment or STATING the commitment and dictating the process. What I mean by that is this…
When I hear someone who has a weak ask, it is usually along the lines of, “Well is it okay if we…” or “Would you be able to…?” or “Let me know when you have free time…” These all demonstrate that you aren’t confident in your offer or how the conversation went and are in a position of weak control.
A strong ask is where you say something along the lines of, “Okay, so this is great. Our next step is to do THIS, and then we will do THIS to make sure that blah blah blah. Let’s do that in the next day or so, how does tomorrowat (time) or Friday at (time) work for you?”
Do you see the difference? Remember that YOU know the process, not them. Bonus: on the podcast audio for this post I share a personal story that demonstrates this exactly.
Additionally, you should have multiple commitment objectives prepared in case they aren’t ready for the primary commitment. “Okay, if that is too soon, then our next step would be to do this. Will you…?”Having a strong ask and multiple objectives will blast your conversions through the roof and feel way less “salesy.”
Sales Tip #6 – Get into a conversational flow
You know when you walk down the street, someone walks towards you, and then you do that weird little dance of which side to choose? And it’s a bit awkward? Well, that is what it sounds like sometimes when I hear people doing sales calls and I am guilty of it myself too!
Those weird interruptions, awkward pauses, and inconsistent speaking.
When you get into sales flow, it ends up simply being just two humans talking. That’s it. Speak to others like you are sitting on your couch solving problems together.
And remember when we talked about the fluency effect? Use simple words to make sure that your audience stays on the same page as you and that you maintain a real conversation. It’s all about not being a “salesy weirdo.”
Overall, just remember that everything hinges on your ability to connect with others and do meaningful work. Forget about scripts, but use a framework so you can intelligently move conversations forward in the right way. Your energy, curiosity, and confidence will do more for you than the most complex sales presentation ever will. Put it to the test!
Again, get access to my Sales Call Rubric tool here.
Remember to like and share this post. Also, leave a comment below on how you work to connect with people you talk to each day!