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With all of the hype around social selling, AI, and lead generation, it is easy to overlook the old-standby method – the telephone. When used as part of a wider content and social selling strategy, telephone prospecting is still a great way to engage leads and secure meetings. You have your prospect’s complete attention when you get them on the phone, and you are able to get more information than you can through almost any other channel. However, telephone prospecting is also one of the more difficult ways to build your funnel, so it is important that you prospect the right way. Here are some of the habits you need to adopt to succeed.

1.     Script Your Introduction

It’s hard to get through to your prospect on the phone, and so it’s critical to get your brand’s story straight when you do. If you get cold-call fright and forget all of your key messages as soon as someone responds on the other end of the line, it is a good idea to use a script. You need to clearly explain your offer and the reason for your call within the first 30 seconds, so write down your first few points. While it may seem unnatural to read a script on the phone, you will feel more confident knowing that you won’t forget what to say, and it will help you memorize your key points so that you can go off-script in the future.

2.     Remember to Ask Questions

While it is a good practice to script the first few seconds of the call, it is absolutely not a good practice to script your entire call. You need to ask questions to be successful with telephone prospecting. Is your prospect in the role or department that deals with these decisions? What are your prospect’s pain points? You need this information to be successful in your sale, and you will not get the answers if you are talking the whole time.

3.     Be Persistent

Don’t be discouraged if you hear “no” on your phone call; most sales calls do not succeed on the first try. The number of calls you should make will vary depending on your industry, product, and organization, so there is no set rule. Be persistent in your calls, and try to get new information from each one. On your first call you should try to discover whether you have reached the right contact. Perhaps on your second call you should aim to discover the prospect’s pain point.

4.     Schedule the Meeting While Still On the Phone

The harsh truth is that many prospects will tell you what you want to hear. They may agree to a meeting while on the phone with you, but avoid responding to your scheduling requests. To avoid this scenario, book the meeting while you are still on the phone. Find a time that works for everyone, and wait until they have accepted the meeting invite. This practice will push your booked meeting numbers up drastically.

Don’t be afraid of the phone. Adopting these habits will ensure that your calls are productive and your meetings get booked.

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