"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

A Persistence tip. The beating heart of telephone sales

This is a short real life story that illustrates persistence when you really do need it. The following, like all my blog posts is my opinion only. An opinion shaped by 30 years on the telephone and running teams. Make your own mind up to see if this works for you.
I have many examples but this one is current. One of the things I hear a lot of is people referring to dials , dialled calls to clients in their lead lists. Dials are nothing. Anyone can do dials. It's conversations and conversions that count. Also the interim figure which is advances from that first call. Forget about dials completely. It's a number not an activity worth recording. Sales is not and never has been a numbers game. We all need to make calls. Making plenty of calls is the process. But you don’t win just by “doing the numbers”. Success is far more subtle. My border terrier could do 400 dials a day. It’s not the metric to measure.
Many conversations, depending on your business, are inbound enquiries as they have been trying to get your company to answer by phone or an emailed enquiry. So it's really not good enough to give up on them too easily.

Saying "19 inbound leads today and spoke to two of them.” Is something I heard from the team of one client last year.

I have my doubts on what happens to the other 17 enquiries ~~ so they get called again, emailed an estimate or left ? I know what happens after one call ! 
They get an email and that's where you can make the biggest mistake on inbound calls.
They should all be called several times in the first day if they contacted you.
The best telephone method and the only one that I promote is Phone-mail-Phone. Starting a relationship with a potential buyer is best done by phone and in that first call you get the who, what, where, and when and followed up by email confirmation and then phoned again to close or make significant advances.

Just guessing what you think they want and quoting is often not good enough. You have to speak to them. Often your questions should be around why they want something. That allows you to make better or different suggestions . These suggestions help the client. When you are helping a client get what they want you are also helping yourself get what you want.🦉


Try really hard to phone everything relevant in your email inbox.

Even if you do feel the need to email as you cannot get them by phone keep trying to get them even when you sent an email. You have good reason to be in hot pursuit on the phone if they made the enquiry. It is permissible for you to keep calling but maybe not badgering to get through -they made an enquiry. You have questions.
The next step :
The best set up for a close is when you get the potential client to agree to call you back. When he does, happy days. When he does not you call him. There is a real technique here that is part the of my coaching that gets this system running like a Swiss watch.
Here is my example. After 30 years with the same father and son medical practice I have had to change to one nearer where I now live. Registering was easy but making that first meeting with a doctor took skill. I was told that once on the system I could call back that same day around 4 pm and make the appointment. Except they then told me they didn't have any for a month and to call back at 8am sharp each day to see about cancellations. This is a regular occurrence for everyone using GP services. 
I did not want an appointment that day I wanted one next week. The process to get through at that time is one I know well. You continually dial from 8am or you never get through. I did this. 60 dials and redials then it answered and cut me off. Another 7 minutes more dialling to get through . 26 minutes continuous dialling. That is the persistence I refer to. They don't know me at all at this stage but then ten minutes later a doctor was phoning me back and our meeting for the next week set up. You don't count the dials just the fact that I made the calls and got the advance.
I am not attempting to be a smart Alec here. This actually happened and went my way ? Why ? Well firstly I had a strong desire to see a doctor as I was in considerable pain
So that made it important to me to get through. That was a lot of dials and no luck. Persistence did pay off. 26 minutes consistently redialling an engaged number.
You will each have similar situations. Problems with your children at school / getting home. Car in a garage/ deliveries at home . You get the picture ? With all these you don't give up and you rarely email. This is my approach to leads and I doubt emailing the surgery would have done me any good at all.  
I would suggest that dud leads with no number or the wrong number be returned. It's not a lead and should be replaced. A lot of figures are based on leads that are issued when KPIs are measured. Make sure you get the dud leads replaced. 
I
When you get to the office and others spend the morning looking at LinkedIn, checking the CRM and doing email ping-pong you are on the phone cranking up the interest with new prospects. You will be at the finish line far quicker than the others. This is like ABC to me, and yes it did take me quite a while to learn  the best way of working but I have it now and have had it for many years.

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