How exactly it should start
Below are some context and insights regarding what the beginning of your calls should look and sound like.
These assume this is your very first scheduled call with a new prospect.
A lot of what you learn here can be applied to other parts of your sales cycles.
Once you complete exchanging some basic pleasantries with your prospect, your first focus is to execute some sort of Up-Front-Contract or agreement to manage expectations of the conversation.
Let's begin to execute your upfront contract, which is made up of:
- Purpose of the call
- Permission to ask questions
- Two outcomes
That looks like the following, in dialogue form:
“Just so I know, do you have a hard stop at 2:30?”
CONTEXT: You want to know how much time you have to conduct this conversation. If it becomes clear that the prospect has less than the allotted time and they realize they have to cut it short, have the confidence to reschedule it.
2. Purpose of the Call (with permission)
“Great. Would it be alright if I shared what I had in mind for today's call and then we can take it from there?"
"So, The purpose of the call, Bob, is to provide one another with some context about our firms and see if there is a potential fit to work together."
CONTEXT: Explaining a very brief purpose of the call helps start off the conversation nicely, ensuring time is not wasted
3. Permission to ask questions
"Naturally, you're most likely going to have a lot of questions about us and what we do, and of course, I'm most likely going to have a lot of questions for you as well to determine if there is even a fit. Would that be ok?"
CONTEXT: Now that you have the prospect's permission to ask questions, this should make you feel a lot more comfortable to ask your prospect questions during the call, allowing you to ask questions you maybe would not have asked otherwise.
4. Two Outcomes
“Great. And for context, there are really one of two outcomes from this call. Either ONE, you feel this is the worst conversation you ever had and feel we're not fit to help you, or TWO, you find this conversation compelling enough to speak further and talk about any next steps. Does that work for you as well?"
CONTEXT: Executing this with extreme language allows the prospect to feel comfortable that it's ok to tell you "no." Doing this enhances the probability of having an open and honest conversation. Using negative language like "worst conversation" also helps get a laugh out of the prospect, reducing resistance.