I was working with an inside sales team. They have incoming sales calls all day, with quite a few customers who are very “to-the-point,” overly straight-forward, and sometimes even a little gruff or brusk.
For instance a prospect might call and exclaim,
“Hey, I need pricing and availability of part number: 102X190.”
Too often, because these prospects are so direct and so specific, the sales team is caught off guard. With speed and efficiency, sales reps locate the requested part — and blurt out the pricing and availability.
And what happens next?
The prospect says, “Thanks a lot. Let me get back to you….”
And usually… no sale happens!
Speediness Can Kill the Sale
Here’s what I advise my sales teams to do.
Sloooooow down — find out what your customer needs before you give them what they want. When a prospect calls and requests information on a product — you need to buy some time. This will give you the opportunity to start an interaction and begin creating some rapport:
“While I move over to my computer (or get to that particular screen) and look that product number up, let me ask you…
- Who am I speaking with and where are you calling from?
- What’s prompting the call?”
- What are you looking to accomplish?”
Build customer rapport
Don’t be so quick to “spit out” your pricing and availability. Even if it means having to walk over to your desk or fiddling with a sluggish computer — use this time to your advantage. Building rapport is a crucial step in the selling process. It gives you the opportunity to discover some basic needs of the customer. By finding out what your customer values, you are able to move the needle — and close more sales!
Isn’t that what selling is all about?