Have you heard the saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care?”
Now is the time that we should be keeping that mantra in mind as we proactively use these next weeks to reach out to people and set the stage for helping them, strengthening our relationship with them, building trust, and earning the right for business in the future, whether that’s short term or long term.
Now Is the Time to Call, Not Email
It’s a simple approach and phone calls are needed, not emails. The mass emails are fine, but we need to do personal outreach. Rest assured, there will be a payoff for using that personal touch.
The last few weeks, I have been coaching people on this approach I’m going to lay out for you, and people are seeing success. My team is doing it. I’ve had one person tell me that they closed new business in this one conversation, even though that wasn’t their main objective. Another person said it opened up an opportunity that allowed them to bring in a new client within the next few days. It works. And at the risk of it seeming so simple that you dismiss it, I’m going to lay this out for you.
Who Should You Call?
I’ll use me making a phone call as an example and explain the framework as I go for how to start these conversations. While I’m doing this, please think about existing clients that you can be calling to follow this approach and earn the right for securing future business and possibly referrals. Some possible candidates for a call include stalled prospects, leads that haven’t even become a full prospect yet, and your centers of influence (COIs). So, think about that as I go through this.
A Sample Conversation
“Hello, Robert. It’s Nancy Bleeke with Sales Pro Insider.”
Then you need to pause. They’ll typically reciprocate. And then your next words are these:
“I was thinking about you and _____”
Then you’re going to fill in something specific that you know about them. It shouldn’t be about business; it should be about a human connection, something personal.
“So, I was thinking about you and how you’re going to be taking a trip to Italy this year. What’s the status of that?”
“I was thinking about you, and that you have school-aged children. How is it being at home?”
“I was thinking about you and knowing that you’re nearing retirement and wondering what your thoughts are on that right now?”
Then we have to pause and let them talk.
If we’re making a statement without following it with a question, that’s okay because most people will still talk. In fact, somebody said that when they used this approach, the woman spoke for 6 minutes to build off of that first statement. And if they don’t start talking, you can follow it up with something like this:
“Well, how’s that going for you?”
“What’s the status of that?”
Once you get through that first personal connection where you’re demonstrating this is about them personally, and is not a mass phone call to everyone, then you can get into explaining the purpose of the call. And it’s simply this:
“The reason for my call is first, to see _____”
Fill that in with a question along these lines:
“How you are doing?”
“What your thoughts about what’s been in the news lately?”
“How you’re feeling about what’s going on in the world right now?”
“And I want to answer any questions you might have.”
Then be quiet.
Set the Agenda
You’re setting the agenda to not be just about business. You’re not seeing if they need any product, or if they made a decision about whether you should work together, etc. Instead what you’re doing is keeping it more, I’m checking in on you. This is a wellness check. This is a lifeline to make sure that you’re doing okay.
It’s Okay Not to Talk Business
Then based on their answer, you can pivot and go to where you need to. If they don’t take it to business, if they don’t take it to your service or your product — that’s okay because that will come later. You can make this conversation just about showing them that you care —because then in the future, they’re going to care how much you know.
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