First step : Connect
Connecting is the first step of the call. It requires 4 actions for you to do.
Action 1 : Greet / High-Mileage Rapport
Action 2 : Summary of Events / Leverage Preparation
Action 3 : Dual Purpose and Check
Action 4 : Transition to Needs
Greet / High-Mileage Rapport
Rapport is a part of human relationship. The most important thing about rapport is that it has to feel authentic and genuine. There are 2 types of rapport – personal and business rapport.
One of the best ways to build rapport is to ask a rapport question or make a statement that invites a response. Ask questions relating to the client. Business rapport can be anything related to a business topic that is not directly connected to the objective of your call. Topics could be an article in the press which may relates to the customer.
Rapport can extend beyond words and gestures to actions, whether it is a tennis game with a customer, dinner or tickets to a show. Actions speak louder than words. So demonstrate your interest in your customer to strength rapport with things like sending a birthday card or find ways to do things you don’t get paid for. Don’t be too eager to cut rapport short.
Summary of Events/Leverage Preparation
Tbe transition out of rapport is easy. Summarize the events that led to a meeting. Once you have summarized how you got there, immediately describe what you did to prepare. By positioning your preparation, you earn points and respect from your customers and you may even earn more time.
Dual Purpose and Check
You must state the purpose of your call to clarify why you make the call and to make sure you and your customer are on the same page. The call has 2 purposes :
1) You are customer focused – you are there to learn more about your customer’s needs
2) Clarify reason for meeting with potential benefits to the customer
Rather than describing your purpose with a comment such as “I’m here to discuss our product … say something like, I’m here to learn more about your objectivies. Your words tell whether you are product-focused or customer-focused. Use your words to venture on a probing path to learn more about your customer.
Once you clarified your purpose, immediately ask for feedback to make sure you are meeting your customer’s expectiations for the call and to identify any other areas that the customer cares about that should be included. When you ask for feedback, you learn how in sync you are with your customer’s objectives and you get buy-in, which increases their receptivity. Sometimes, it is also necessary to credentialize your organization and/or yourself.
Transition to Needs
To transition out of opening, you have to ask a few questions – priorities.
If you show you are prepared and interested to learn about the customer’s needs, the number of customers who will refuse to talk about them will be few and far between.
How does this sound? How does that match up with what you are thinking?
Most customers are unable to resist giving their view.