During a conversation last week with a colleague and friend, we discussed the difference of our intention versus our impression when speaking with new prospects.
Most sales people have good intentions when they make a cold call to a new prospect. Their goal is to open the call in a positive manner and to establish immediate rapport with their contact so they can move the conversation forward and get an appointment.
So, they start the dialogue with, “Hi, how are you today?”
In most cases, the prospect mutters something like, “Fine” and then asks how we are doing to which we reply with some personal information about how our day is going, what we did on the weekend, or some other extraneous or irrelevant information.
Unfortunately, this approach seldom gives the person we are calling the impression we intended.
You see, as soon as you utter the words, “Hi, how are you today?” your prospect automatically thinks “sales call” and they go on the defensive and start looking for ways to quickly end the call.
Your intention was good; however, the impression you created wasn’t positive.
It is much more effective to launch into the reason for your call instead of wasting your time with trivial conversation. Your prospects are busy. They don’t want to engage in meaningless conversation.
There are other situations when your intention was good but it didn’t make a positive impression including:
- Giving your customer ALL the details about your product to ensure they had all the information they needed to make an educated buying decision.
- Contacting your prospect too frequently without adding any form of value to the sales equation
- Telling jokes or using humor to create a bond
- Calling a customer to “check in” or “touch base”
I could go on but I trust you get the idea.
In today’s ultra-competitive business world, you need to make sure that your intention is making the desired impression with both new prospects and existing customers.