It happened just now. Phone rang at our office and I picked it up. It was a guy who read my latest book and wanted to know how to handle a situation/objection he was getting. Call went like this:
Me: "... how can I help you?"
Caller: "I just read your book (no hello, or nice to actually speak with you, nothing) and I'm getting an objection I don't know how to handle. Ah, let me just tell you my pitch. Mr. Prospect, my name is... and I'm calling with... and briefly what I do is... blah, blah, blah...
"Blah, blah, blah... "
Seriously? Just pitch, pitch, pitch at me? Unfortunately, yes, and that's how most sales reps do it these days...
In fact three of the current clients I'm working with right now are having the exact same problem: As soon as their sales reps get someone on the phone, they spew their pitch all over them, hardly taking a breath, not connecting at all, and not even attempting to build rapport.
It's no wonder people hate getting phone calls and why sales reps and teams are so frustrated.
What ever happened to the give and take of conversation? Has texting and emailing made real communicating obsolete? If so, then inside sales is in big trouble...
Luckily, there is an easy fix: Just imagine how you would act, what you would say, and how respectful you would be if you were face to face with someone. You certainly wouldn't just dive into a monologue, would you? Of course not.
So, your assignment this week is to re-write your pitch to include some rapport building questions. Practice hitting your MUTE button to give your prospect a chance to fully respond to your questions. Try asking someone how they are and actually listening to, and responding to, what they say. Don't just use it as a segway into your pitch...
One more thing: I know what some of you are thinking: "But Mike, most prospects don't have time for me and can't wait to get me off the phone. I have to pitch really hard in the beginning just to have a chance to get my story in... "
Two answers to that:
1: Guess what? Most prospects you talk to aren't qualified and aren't buying anyway. So, if you attempt to connect with them and they aren't interested, thank them and Move On.
2: Even those prospects who might be interested are turned off by your desperate pitching approach, so Stop It!
Treat people with respect, be genuinely interested in them, make a connection, and then engage in a give and take while pitching/qualifying and seeing how/if you can help them.
Bottom line: Stop pitching and start connecting with and respecting your prospects. You'll be happier-and they'll be happier-and you will be more successful.