On a B2B teleprospecting call, it can be difficult to predict how the prospect will receive the initial cold call. It is important to listen to the prospect and adjust the flow of the conversation based on the level of interest. Teleprospecting agents must adjust their tactics to accommodate a variety of situations. Below are a few tips:
- The prospect welcomes the call with interest. Don’t we wish every call was like this? In this situation, the agent should aim to understand the prospect environment, pains and challenges. Probing for more information to understand the business is key as this intelligence allows the agent to know which solution(s) should be highlighted. Once the agent can visualize what the business has and what it may need, he/she can proceed with offering the relevant value proposition. At this point, the agent should know the environmental information and can proceed with the qualifying questions, such as budget and timeframe.
- The prospect has a “lukewarm” interest level. In this instance, the agent has limited time to prove value, and should get straight to the purpose of the call. We recommend asking just a couple of open-ended probing questions to gain an understanding of the contact situation, needs or hurdles; and then a relevant value proposition may be positioned. At that point, it is up to the agent to understand if there is a defined need and a way to help the prospect. If there is, then he/she can proceed with gathering additional pertinent environmental information, as well as further qualifying the defined need.
- The prospect expresses no interest. Specifically with cold calling initiatives, this can be a common initial reaction. In this case, what works the best is to get the prospect to reveal why there is no interest – using a customer service approach can help to accomplish this. If the agent understands why the prospect initial reaction was not favorable, then he/she is more likely to determine how to position value so that the prospect considers moving forward with the conversation. In other words, what offer or valuable information could we present that would entice them to talk further? Once the interest is piqued, the agent may continue with the conversation flow as appropriate.
Calls don’t always go as planned, which is why it is important for agents to be trained on a call guide, rather than a script. The agents must always be open to adjusting the conversation based on the reaction they get from the prospect. Listening is key!