My team and I train and coach a lot of salespeople and sales managers. Lately, there is no mistaking the two most popular requests for help:

  1. Getting Through
  2. Dealing with Stalled and Postponed Deals

Last week’s clip dealt with some of the stalls and put-offs driven by the economic crisis so we’ll discuss getting through in this article.

It is a lot more difficult to address getting through in a short article than it is in a book or through training and coaching but I’ll give it a shot. Following are the 10 Keys to Getting Through and Getting Heard:

  1. Never leave anything more than your name and phone number in a voice mail message if you haven’t yet had a first conversation with your prospect.  No details!
  2. You must sound like someone they would choose to speak with.  Friendly over professional!
  3. You must get their attention in the first 10 seconds of the call. A positioning statement as described in the chapter on Getting to 2nd Base in Baseline Selling is called for here.
  4. You must engage them in the 2nd 10 seconds of the call. No presentations!
  5. You must identify an issue that they would like to solve. Ask lots of questions!
  6. If they have an issue that you can solve, you must close for an appointment.  No stalls and put-offs!
  7. They don’t care who you work for or what you sell.  Stop telling them!
  8. Don’t leave a voice mail message until you have made 5-6 attempts at various times to reach your prospect. Don’t get lazy!
  9. If you were good enough to get your prospect on the phone, don’t screw it up and get sent down to the wrong person.  Do whatever it takes to stay with that individual. Hold your ground!
  10. The conversation should never take more than 5 minutes.  This is not the sales call!