In this issue, I’ll be breaking down the 2 most crucial things you should do at the very beginning of a sales call.
The call with a prospect is like a first date, you want to make a good impression since it could be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
When you make a strong connection upfront, it sets up the rest of the call in a much smoother way and increases the chances the prospect will want to continue in the sales process.
Because humans like doing business with other humans they like.
But most people get caught up with memorizing weird sales scripts or overthinking obscure techniques for trying to trick people into buying.
Put away the bag of tricks and the robotic sales scripts.
The 2 most important things you need to do when starting a sales call is building rapport and establishing authority.
Best part? It takes less than 5 minutes.
I was terrible at sales calls when I first started – nervous, unprepared, dreaming about the outcome of a sale before I even met the person.
On my very first sales call I panicked so bad I ended it halfway through.
Hundreds of calls later I can confidently say I start every single one the same way now.
It’s like a natural habit and it eliminates all the “pre call” anxiety.
You won’t know how much you want to work with someone until you get to the meat of the call, but if they are a great match you can bet that you’re setting yourself up for the best possible outcome by creating a strong connection.
Knowing this also gives you the confidence and understanding that you won’t connect well with everyone, and that’s okay.
By the end of this issue you’ll be able to:
Instantly build rapport with your prospects
Establish authority and lead with confidence
Understand why connecting as a human is key
Like Making New Friends
Take a second and think back to the first time you met some of the closest people in your life.
Could be friends, co-workers, your next door neighbor.
I’d be willing to bet 99% of the conversation started with something like:
“Hey, how are you?”
“Where are you from?”
“What’re you into?”
They almost never (hopefully) start with you saying something like:
“I’m trying to decide if I want to be friends with you or not, I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions now.”
It’s just not how we approach establishing relationships with people.
Business relationships are the same.
Yes it’s true that when hopping on a discovery call, you’re about to go through the process of discovering whether or not there’s a good fit.
But it’s also true that you’re about to kick off a potentially long relationship.
Your prospect knows what type of call they’re in for – they booked it.
They know they’re about to be sold to.
So how do you help them get past that part?
By connecting on a human level through rapport.
Build Rapport In Less Than 3 Minutes
First thing’s first, make sure you’re a few minutes early and your video is turned on (if it’s a video call).
People will naturally connect better with you if they can see your face. If they have their camera off either:
Stick it out anyway. You should get used to having your camera on as much as possible regardless.
At least get through these first 5 minutes, then let them know you’ll join them with your video off.
As soon as they connect, thank them for hopping on and go straight into rapport as naturally as you would in real life.
“I really appreciate you hopping on today, where you calling in from?”
Easy – gets the conversation started and gets the ball rolling.
If you already know where they’re from, simply go with something like:
“Thanks for hopping on the call with me today, how’s everything on your end?”
It really is that simple. This allows them to forget that 10 seconds ago they were probably thinking “Oh god here we go, another sales call.”
Using open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a yes/no gives them the freedom to answer as much as they want.
Some may keep it short, others might open up. You’re picking up on all this so you can gauge how they’re feeling about the call early.
Regardless of the flow, keep it short.
At the end of the day this is a business conversation so you want to be respectful of both their time and yours.
Establish Authority and Lead the Call
Transitioning to the meat of the call is where you set the authority.
After a few minutes of chatting, just go with something simple:
“Alright, let’s get into it.”
It might feel awkward or slightly rude but it’s not.
People naturally like to be led, especially if they understand you’re the one “hosting” the call.
They’ll appreciate it and it comes off professional.
Then just lightly summarize what you’ll be going over and end with asking them if it’s cool to proceed.
“We’ll be going through……etc etc, sound good to you?”
Then wait for them to confirm.
This simple transition shows 3 things:
You’re taking control of the call
You’re clear on the objective of the call
You’re ready to listen and seek their input
The more you practice, the more you’ll get used to naturally transitioning the conversation with authority.
People generally have a lot of respect for people who can lead conversations, and in business it shows that you also mean business.
It can sometimes seem a little trivial to map out a quick conversation in detail like this, especially since they happen so naturally in your personal life.
But it’s important to be aware of those nuances and recognize that relationship building is the same whether it’s personal or professional.
You’d be surprised how often people choose who they work with based on connection rather than experience or price.
People want to work with people they like.
And the only way to really get a good sense of that is through conversation.
Open casual and build some rapport
Transition with authority and lay out the call
Confirm they’re good with what’s on the agenda
It could be the difference between moving forward or not.
That’s it for today.
PS. Your confidence on sales calls is significantly magnified when you’re confident in your offers. If you’re still struggling to get crystal clear on your best business offers, consider checking out The One Hour Offer here.