A quick question. How much do you guys really prospect on the phone through questions...

9 replies
Hi guys,

I haven't been on this forum for a while, just logged onto today, and read in a number of places people giving advice which reads "spend 20 seconds to a minute on the phone and just get the meeting" and then "sell the product when you have actually set up the meeting".

Now I have no objections to the need to sell the interview on the phone and not the product, and then sell the product when you get to the meeting.

My confusion lies in the fact that surely you have prospect the prospective client properly before you ask for the meeting, and that should take more than 20 seconds. Ie. if you don't ask the right questions and find out if they really need your product and if you can in fact help them, and if they have some form of budget for the product then you will be setting and going to meetings to present to people that have no intention/no budget for your product/service, which is a waste of yours and their valuable time.

So my question is.

How much time should be spent prospecting the client before you ask for the meeting on the phone.
Should you just introduce and ask for the meeting, or spend some time finding out what they need and want ect and then set up the meeting.

Additionally, do you ever mention price on the phone. This is another debated topic. If you mention approx price on the phone, then the propsective client has an indication before the meeting, which sets the tone for it. But if you don't mention price on the phone, you could go through the whole meeting, and at the very end find, he/she likes your offering but the price is far too high for them, again, a waste of yours and their time.

Id really appreciate some solid advice on this matter, because there is quite a bit of conflicting info flying around this subsection of the warrior forum.


Thanks in advance

Sonny.
#guys #phone #prospect #question #questions #quick
  • Profile picture of the author surgematrix
    I am not a big fan of cold contacting. Just as you pointed out on your post, you can setup an appointment via phone and go to the meeting to present your product only to find out your prospect is not interested in your product. I have read on some post that you should not give too much information on the phone, and that your goal is to get the prospect to the meeting. In my opinion, I believe you should let your prospect know your product or service before you get him/her to meeting. Again, I am not a big fan of cold contacting but if you have to do it, I think you should be sure there is interest in what you are trying to sell before you schedule a meeting. This is just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Very very smart question.
    I have no idea if there is a right or wrong way.

    Me? I find out if there is an interest, who needs to be there, find intentions about money, and then book the meeting.

    The vast majority of my prospects are by referral, or have heard of me. So it's a different dynamic.

    Cold calling? I want to know what they are thinking. And I do talk about money before I go, no matter what the source of the lead. My minimum monthly charge is $699 ( I have one package I sell). So I want to make sure that's not an objection waiting to be given.
    Jason Kanigan has a nice sequence to get them to tell you an amount more than what you ask for...and I got much of my language from him. So that's where you should get it.

    John Durham has a wide and deep knowledge of the answers you seek. So I would contact him as well.

    But I have a question for you;

    If the prospect is giving you and OK for money, and you have completely qualified hem, why not just sell them on that call?

    I have to be there because I shoot video, and I do it right after they give me a check. And...I'm going to convert them to prepaying the whole amount up front. I'm better in person.

    But with sufficient training, I could do the whole thing on the phone, I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sonny Am
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Very very smart question.
      I have no idea if there is a right or wrong way.

      Me? I find out if there is an interest, who needs to be there, find intentions about money, and then book the meeting.

      The vast majority of my prospects are by referral, or have heard of me. So it's a different dynamic.

      Cold calling? I want to know what they are thinking. And I do talk about money before I go, no matter what the source of the lead. My minimum monthly charge is $699 ( I have one package I sell). So I want to make sure that's not an objection waiting to be given.
      Jason Kanigan has a nice sequence to get them to tell you an amount more than what you ask for...and I got much of my language from him. So that's where you should get it.

      John Durham has a wide and deep knowledge of the answers you seek. So I would contact him as well.

      But I have a question for you;

      If the prospect is giving you and OK for money, and you have completely qualified hem, why not just sell them on that call?

      I have to be there because I shoot video, and I do it right after they give me a check. And...I'm going to convert them to prepaying the whole amount up front. I'm better in person.

      But with sufficient training, I could do the whole thing on the phone, I think.
      Thanks for this great response.

      I guess the reason why you'd prospect on the phone, identify the pain points as well as the need for the product, and qualify on price, but then go and present in more detail and close in person rather than over the phone is because, closing in person is easier for a non to semi experienced sales person than closing on the phone. And closing in person would yield greater close rates as being there in person adds more credibility and authoirty, especially if they have never heard of your company before.

      However much of that is assumption, and every industry would work differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Your 30 second commercial should differentiate you and get the prospect thinking about what you do. Did any of the pain points listed resonate with the prospect? If not, then they probably qualify out. If one or more does cause a reaction in the prospect, then you can spend a couple minutes finding out a little more about their world. Then you ask for the appointment.

    If you're selling face-to-face, that is how it works.

    If you're selling entirely over the phone, then you'd continue on with your consistent sales process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sonny Am
    Some really interesting responses here.

    It confirms what I was thinking all along, that you need to qualify and determine if there is sufficient desire or pain for the product before you home in and ask for the meeting, or else your just wasting time going to meetings.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    If you are on the phone with the person who can make the decision, AND you have pre qualified them, why not just go ahead and sell them, then and there?

    Saves time, money and you can pass that savings onto the client.

    I believe in cold walking, i believe in cold calling, i don't believe in appointment setting ...
    unless your going after large corporations.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Well... I don't do it like that.

    It only takes about 30 seconds to know if there is an interest, it takes a tad longer to find out if they can afford what you charge. I usually get the sale within only a few minutes. The problem I have is after actually getting the sale, I end up stuck on the phone for another 10 minutes or so answering questions or building the relationship and setting expectations.

    I don't like calling to schedule a meeting. I know a lot of people on here do it, and it isn't a bad way to do it, I just don't like it. The reason I don't like it is that you're calling to basically sell an appointment. They have to say yes, and actually be there and meet with you on whatever date it is. THEN, they have to like the meeting and buy. Some people do very well with that, but I don't. I like to just do it all by phone. It's much easier to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      The reason I don't like it is that you're calling to basically sell an appointment. They have to say yes, and actually be there and meet with you on whatever date it is. THEN, they have to like the meeting and buy. Some people do very well with that, but I don't. I like to just do it all by phone. It's much easier to me.
      I agree completely. You are forcing the prospect to say Yes to a meeting, wait until the day you show up...and then say Yes to your offer.

      If I were going to start from scratch, I would do it that way.

      I'll be honest here, making an appointment and then showing up is more habit than anything else. Although my offer takes some explaining, maybe an hour, it really could be done over the phone.

      My clients (not found by speaking to groups) are local. Very close to get to. Most are from walking in, and dazzling them with my wit.:rolleyes:

      I know if I just forced myself to stick to 100% phone selling, it wouldn't take me but a few sales to convert me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sonny Am
    I think the crux of what I was getting at was a person would be more comfortable handing over say $1000 for the sale if they saw you in person, than if you were just someone over the phone. But judging by the responses here, being able to do the latter, closing on the phone, is possible if you are skilled enough.
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