Selling Skills

What to say after “hello” – Prospect for Success!

A few months ago I read an article about how awful it would be if the right to use mobile phones on airplanes became a reality. The author’s reasoning was this: Only old people still use a phone as a talking device and a lot of them are hard of hearing. Could there be a worse combo on an airplane than having to listen to a conversation about convalescence? 

Good for a laugh, I think the writer got it wrong. Though I admit that I have considered the phone an interruption to my day, I also know that there is nothing like a skype call when you can hear and see the other human being. It’s like breaking bread together, almost.  And a phone call, when you can hear the other person’s tone, inflection, pauses and they hear yours, and you can catch nuances that are impossible by email or text (even with a slew of emoticons) and mitigate conflict, and efficiently and effectively collaborate, well, it’s not just old people who should be using the phone. We all can benefit from picking up the phone and yes, it may require more time than crafting an email (and maybe not!) but live-speak is a business accelerator, not an interruption.
The biggest challenge is that we’re out of practice! We don’t know what to say when we get the chance to say it.
Your LinkedIn contact emails back, “Sure, call me Tuesday afternoon.” 
Or you phone a prospect who seemed interested when you met at the trade show/sales blitz/networking event and instead of getting him, you get his voice message. Or, you get him.
Now what?
What will you say? Will you fumble around and lose the opportunity to make your best impression? Will you be prepared to enable the best business conversation? What can you say that will connect/re-connect the two of you?
Here is the thing: Prepare! This isn’t brain surgery and the same situations (with a few small twists) occur again and again and again.
SpeakerSue’s advice:
  • Talk less.
  • Listen more.
  • Be prepared with thoughtful questions that encourage conversation about what matters most to them.
  • Don’t ever plan an elevator pitch.
  • Plan a conversation starter that focuses on your prospect not your product.
  • Enable the best business conversation and your voice message just may get returned.

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