FirstCalling methodology is comprised of three key components referred to as the three P’s. They are:
- Purpose – will determine the focus of the call.
- Preparation – will determine the quality of the call.
- Promise – will determine the final outcome of the call.
Purpose. If you do not first define your purpose in making the call, you will not achieve a positive outcome. I have found an ideal way to approach this exercise is to begin with a blank notepad in front of me, and if possible, in a room with others that are involved in the same sales/marketing effort. Write down your individual answers to the following questions on your notepad:
- Why am I contacting this person?
- What do I want to achieve by the end of the conversation?
- How will I measure my success/failure at the conclusion of this activity?
If you are doing this as a group exercise, share your answers with each other. In most situations the answers vary quite a bit from person to person.
Step One: Agree on why you are contacting this person. Why is he or she the one that you have chosen to present your Academy Award presentation to? Is it their title, their role within the company or who they are connected to. If your answer is that they were the only contact that you had the name or phone number for don’t even make the call. At least don’t make the call until you have reviewed the second component in FirstCalling -Preparation. We will cover this critical area in the next post.
Once you have come to an acceptable answer as to why you are contacting this person, write it down in a clear, simple statement. Challenge youself on the reason to enable your confidence to begin at this stage. Once you are confident and comfortable with why you are contacting them, the rest will flow more comfortably.
Step Two: Your answer to the first question will drive the answer to the second question. Write down what you want to achieve by the end of the conversation. I have talked to salesmakers that feel that they met their goal when the prospect answered the phone! What do you want to occur by the end of the conversation?
- Schedule the date and time in their calendar for the next meeting?
- Get the name and contact information of the person that you are being referred to?
- Acknowledge that they have a need for your product/service?
- Place an order?
Whatever your desired outcome, you must be able to articulate what it is, have it clearly established in your mind before you begin the contact process. Please write it down.
Step 3: Score your performance. I believe that if you are in sales you love to keep score. As compared to other fields such as H/R or Finance, salesmakers have an easy time of keeping score. You win or lose. You are hitting quota or you are not. I have not found anything in between those two. You must be willing to measure your results to improve your performance over time.
“An absolute truth is if you are not measuring your performance today, you are losing. If you are winning you know the score every day.”
Once you have the answers to these questions resolved and written down, you are well on your way to a successful outcome. Understand that you will need to repeat this process anew for every new campaign or project. Do not fall into the trap of using yesterday’s game plan and goals for today’s challenges.
The next step is Preparation. It is this area that has evolved the most over the last several years. It is preparation that is the core of your future success, and now that you have established your purpose, you will be able to accomplish desired results much easier. If you are struggling with differentiation, then you will get some answers in Preparation.
JG, Thanks for the post and the scenario provided. Here are some initial thoughts based on what you have provided.
1. I am going to assume that you are calling the prospect with the primary purpose of getting their email address. If that is the case, I would recommend that you use one of the tools I have reviewed to obtain the email addresses in advance of these calls. If your prospects are in the US, Jigsaw.com is the best in the market. Any time you actually make contact with a prospective client for the first time, it is a valuable opportunity to engage. I would advise that it is not “wasted” on asking for an email address so that you can send the evaluation to them. This will require that you design an effective and action-oriented email. I am glad to read that you have the ability to track the activity and conversion of the email itself. Because you have the emails in hand prior to any calling, you can scale your outreach dramatically and then make your FirstCall to the person that has filled out the form.
2. Now that you are FirstCalling them because they have reviewed your info and responded, the response to your effort should result in a more pleasant discussion because they have invited you to connect. If you incorporate a section of your email or form that allows them to indicate the preferred date/time to follow-up, then you are able to respond with a meeting request rather than a phone call or email. You will be amazed how much higher the acceptance rate is to a meeting request that they indicated would be preferred than to a phone call. My experience is that you should see at least a doubling of the number of appointments.
3. You are on your own for your presentation but you sound like you have that part nailed down.
Consider my thoughts and let me know how things develop. I hope to hear from you again.