What do you see when you first look at the image to your right?
As you may already know, some of us are predisposed to see a younger woman when we first look at the image, while others have a tendency to first see an older woman.
Similarly, when receiving unexpected sales calls many (if not most) people are "predisposed" to think the calls are neither important nor worthwhile.
Therefore, when making outbound prospecting calls, leaving voice mail messages, or sending business development emails, it's important to maintain a keen awareness of this "predisposition" and recognize that we only have a few seconds to make a positive impression on our audience.
As a good first step, we should be prepared with a strong introductory statement or subject line.
Let's start with our outbound call/voice-mail introduction. As noted in an earlier issue, the objective is to craft an opening statement that begins with the following ten words: "Hello, my name is ______ ________, and I'm calling because…"
But here's the challenge… the word that will follow the word "because" can NOT be one of the following: "I," "we," or "our." In other words, our opening "I'm calling because…" statement must be about them rather than about us.
Here are three options that solve the challenge for completing our opening statement with a statement that is about "them" and that might help us develop more new business in less time:
A good approach — Industry-specific: "I'm calling because of the current economy's impact on widget companies such as yours, in particuar making it more difficult to develop new business opportunities. Would you like to discuss how we've helped others in your industry solve this problem?"
A better approach — Company specific: "I'm calling because of the recent article in our local trade journal which indicated your widget company has just hired several sales people. Would you like to discuss how we have helped others in your industry enjoy faster ramp-up times by…"
An even better approach — I've been referred: "I'm calling because your colleague "So-and-So" suggested we might be in an ideal position to help you enhance your business development effort…"
The same options are easily transferrable to email subject line content — if our subject line clearly expresses WIIFT (What's In It For Them), then people will be more inclined to open our email.
comment | top of page