Sales people and business people in general know that: the phone is what brings business in but also solicitations. That’s why most of them and especially the decision makers are very reluctant at picking up their work phones. However, that is not only true for that above-cited category of people. In our day-to-day life, phone is the main connector. If you’re in need of a favor, you might want to call the one person who can best give you the favor. Therefore, whether you know the person or not, connecting successfully at this very first call is very important. How to connect from the very first phone call.
One of the big play that comes in-game in relationship is definitely the way you communicate. What you say, and how you say it, will decide whether or not people would like to connect with you. When the relationship is already established, giving the first-time to ask for a favor can be easier than when you call a new contact or an non-yet-established relationship. To better help you here, I will go over the two points separately.
- Connecting from the first call with an established relationship
The challenge here is in not affecting or damaging the already established and hopefully well ongoing relationship. Some people can feel offended when we call them for a service, they might re-evaluate the reason of your friendship. So you want to be careful with that. The best way to deal with is to be straight, straight from the beginning as your friend picks up your phone and letting him know that the outcome of that phone call will definitely have no impact on why you already respect him. That will take the pressure off from your friend. Here is the way to do that:
Hey Jim how are you doing? (of you let him answer before you continue)
Hey Jim I have a question for you (a service to ask you) but please feel comfortable to give me your straight feedback on that. If it something you can help me with great. If not that’s really no big deal, I’ll still enjoy watching my football team take yours down on the run for the Superbowl. (say that last sentence with a smiling voice so the pressure can be taken away).
The benefit behind this is that it will set the tone of the discussion making you both comfortable and free to free your mind on what each other will have to say.
2. Connecting from the first call with an non-yet-established relationship
This is compared to what we call in sales the Cold Call. It means that you never talk to the person before, giving the person a call for the first time and of course the person do not expect your call. Here are the rules you want to follow to make that call a success:
- Know what you want from the call: Prior to your phone call, before your dial the digits, you need to think about what exactly you want to get from that phone call. Do you want the person to go ahead and buy your idea as expressed, do you want him to give you a feedback, to refer you, to meet up with you… Before you call you definitely need to know exactly what is that you want from the person.
- Put yourself in the person shoes: Once you know which outcome you’d like to get from the call, you need to come up with a phone script that will put yourself in the mind of the call receiver. The benefit behind it is to anticipate objections or questions that the person will have that will be need to be answered for a faster response. Remember the person do not know you yet or is connected to you yet, so prior proper preparation definitely prevents poor performance.
- Get yourself together and set up your mind for success: Now that you’re ready to dial the number you need to remember even the phone can transfer people’s feeling and attitude. So remember the basics such smile, and enthusiasm.
- Make the call and drop the names: Once you make the call and hopefully the person picks it up, as you introduce yourself you need to drop connecting names so you can get credibility from the person and give the person a reason to pay attention t what you have to say. Here is how to do it:
Hi Paul, this is Max Speaking. How are you doing today? (let Paul answer before you continue.)
I was just talking with a friend we have in common, John Smith from ABC Company, and he told me so many good things about you and the job you do at XYZ company. I didn’t mean to interrupt, I just have a couple of minutes let me tell you why I am calling. (make a pause and hopefully he will say go ahead or if he is too busy will ask you to call back in few minutes)
With such an introduction, the phone receiver already know who you are and who the two of you know in common. So he will be eager to know why you call, how you know his friends, and of course he would love to know more about you.
- State your value: Once you have within the very first minute someone’s commitment to hear you, what you need to do next is to deliver with great professionalism a high-value proposition. That value proposition is definitely the reason behind you phone call.
- Don’t forget to KISS: Keep It Short and Simple all the time. If you talk too much then the person will get tired or annoyed. What you want to do is to talk a little but to say a lot, driving the discussion to what you want to get out of the phone call.
- Offer a compromise: Don’t be pushy with the person but be directive offering the person a way out that will still benefit you. Make room during the discussion for a choice of two positive answer like:
Would you rather meet on Monday or on Tuesday? I have a meeting in the morning so what will work better for you? 1 pm or 3 pm?
Again, a prior proper preparation prevents poor performance. whether is your friend or a new contact, to make the first call for asking a favor a successful connection, you will need apply skills for not damaging the already established relationship or for taking to the net level the just dialed new number.