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How To Call Leads Effectively
By Dawn Roberts
When it comes to calling prospects, the telephone becomes a three hundred and fifty pound weight for some individuals. I'm going to share some secrets with you that will rid you of your apprehension to pick up that phone!
If your home business relies on you calling leads and prospects, I guarantee you that your success or failure is directly in keeping with your ability or reluctance to pick up the phone!
If you've read many of my ramblings, you've already realized that I take everything down to its simplest form. Calling leads is no different. If you look at your phone with fear or trepidation, you may build a mediocre business. However, you'll never reach the heights of success you're capable. It's really that simple.
Well, fear not! Follow these simple and straight forward tips to overcome your phone-phobia!
Grab yourself a pen and some paper and write down the purpose of calling your prospect. If your initial contact is to make an appointment for a presentation, write that down. If your purpose is to sell them your product, write that down. You must be aware and mindful of your purpose.
Write down a 45 second commercial about your product or service. When I say, commercial, I don't mean 45 seconds of fluff and hype. Make it an informative teaser that will lead your prospect to your purpose.
Write down your own 45 second testimonial about why you started your own business and how your product or service has changed your life.
Be aware and be prepared for objections. If you know what the typical objections are, write them down and then address them on paper. That way, you'll be able to deal with them when they arise. For example, if you know a common objection is "I don't have time", write down how your product or service saves time. You'll then be able to say "And that's exactly why you need ....."
Now that you have the bare bones of your "script", write out your outline of what you're going to say. However, don't be rigid about it. This is supposed to be an outline, not something you'll regurgitate verbatim each time you call a prospect.
Practice with anyone and everyone who will stand still long enough for you! Ask them to respond to you the way they would if it were a complete stranger calling them. Ask them to come up with objections. This is role playing and it is most definitely one of the best tools you can use to become comfortable with calling your leads.
Telephone posture is extremely important. People feed off your posture. You must be professional and have a smile on your face while on the phone. As strange as it may seem, smiles do travel through phone lines. If you sit up straight in your chair, put a smile on your face while being mindful of your purpose, I guarantee your success will at least double!
Ask questions that will elicit positive responses. Doing so, puts your prospect in a naturally receptive frame of mind. Calling a lead is not meant to be a monologue. Include them in the conversation. Get to know them and their hot buttons. What this means is if your business sells safe and educational children's toys at wholesale prices, find out if your prospect is a mother or grandmother of young children. Ask them if they're concerned with their child's education and safety. Ask them if they've ever wanted to give their child a toy they knew would help with their child's development and wouldn't cost an arm and a leg.
Be thankful for immediate No's! Personally, I'm happy when someone says No right off the bat. That simply gives me more time to spend with the receptive individuals. Don't waste your time trying to convert the No's. Thank them for their time, hang up the phone and say, Next!
Here's a big secret for those who are calling prospects to set up presentation appointments! If your lead ever says to you, "This doesn't sound like it's for me", you've said too much and haven't kept your purpose in mind. If what you have to offer requires a presentation in order for the individual to understand, do not try to explain it on your initial call. It's impossible to explain something that takes 15 or 20 minutes to present. Your purpose is to set the appointment - that's it! If they ask you to explain it, tell them you're on your way out the door but you'd love to schedule a better time to tell them everything you have to offer!
Again, if you're calling to set up presentation appointments, confirm the appointment by email or call and leave a reminder message before the actual appointment. Ask your prospect to contact you if he or she is unable to attend.
Finally, if your prospect is not responding in the manner you'd like (i.e. being rude, belligerent or argumentative), cut the conversation off by saying, "I'm sorry, this doesn't seem to be something you're interested in at the moment. Thank you for your time." Remember, you are not at the mercy of your prospects and you should never have to tolerate someone's rudeness or lack of respect.
I hope that you've realized by now that calling prospects, when done properly, is not an intimidating task at all. It will become quite relaxing and you'll have a lot of fun talking to people from different parts of the country!
Good luck and don't forget to smile!
About the Author:
The author, Dawn Roberts, is the creator of http://www.Ideas-For-Home-Businesses.com - your complete home business resource. IFHB will help you from the planning stage, straight through to marketing your ideas for home businesses! Learn how you can start, maintain and propel a phenomenally successful home based business!