When you’ve got a qualified prospect on the phone, there’s one thing you always want to do before you end the call: Initiate the next step!
Do it right then and there while you still have them on the phone, not by telling them how much you enjoyed speaking with them, not by agreeing to talk again soon (someday), not by sending them a follow up email.
Use the power of right fucking now to get the thing done.
Let’s say you had a quick introductory call and established they’d be a good customer, and now the conversation comes to an end and you want to schedule a follow up.
Too many times sales people say: “I’ll send you an email to schedule our next call later today, suggesting different times. Please have a look and let me know what works best for you, or if none of them work, just suggest a time that’s convenient for you.”
That’s the wrong way to go about it. You’re just starting a game of scheduling ping pong, and a lot of those games end with one side dropping the ball.
If you really want to schedule the next call, do it right then and there with them on the phone. Have them open up their calendar and find a time when you two can talk again and then make sure they put it on their calendar.
At Close.io, we get inquiries from people all the time who have some question about our sales CRM but haven’t yet tried the software themselves. We always qualify these people and if their answers indicate that Close.io is a good fit for them, we get them to start their trial right then and there:
“Hey, I think this is a perfect fit. Let’s get you going with a free 14-day trial right now.” We get them to start their trial while still on the phone with our sales rep or SDR.
Let’s say someone is already on a trial, and we’re on the phone with them and see that they haven’t yet imported their contacts into the system.
We know that’s a crucial step - you can’t get value from Close.io if you don’t have any contacts in there. So that’s what we’ll have them do next.
Our sales reps don’t just say: “Hey, I’ll send you an email with a link that tells you how to get your contacts into Close.io.”
They say: “Let’s get your contacts into the system right now so you can actually experience how much our sales tool can help boost your sales productivity.”
And then our reps help the customer import their contacts into the system while they’re still on the phone.
Because we want them to experience a wow moment.
One of our sales interns guided a prospect through the setup process on the phone. All the way from signing up for our trial to getting their contacts in and starting to use the system.
Once they had imported their contacts, he showed them how easy it is to use Close.io’s search feature to create a list of leads that need to be followed up with.
The prospect saw that and immediately realized how valuable this would be for them and how much time it would save them. They bought right then and there.
The same principle applies to scheduling demos or a webinar. All too often, I hear sales reps say: “I’ll email you a link to the webinar later.”
No, tomorrow the prospect’s inbox is flooded, their to-do list is overflowing, they’ve got a thousand things going on in their life, and they just might forget that they actually wanted to attend your webinar.
So do it right then and there while you’ve still got them on the phone and have their commitment and attention.
The same is true for referrals. I’m on the call with founders all the time, and they often ask me: “Steli, do you know any investors who might be interested in what we’re doing?”
“Yes, I might know a few.”
“Great! I’ll email you some info later and would appreciate if you could forward that intro email to them.”
That’s not the way to go about it. You’ve got my attention right now. I just gave you a yes, so now is the time to capitalize on that momentum. Send me the email right now and have me do the intro for you before we hang up.
Years ago we had a meeting with Paul and I asked him if he’d email an investor. “Sure”, said Paul.
When you ask for something, always be prepared for a yes!
I already had my laptop open, with an incognito browser window on the gmail login screen. I turned my laptop towards him and said: “Can you do it right now?”
PG laughed, logged in and sent the email right then and there.
Could I have emailed him about it later? Yup. Would he still have done it? Probably. But this was important for us and “probably” wasn’t good enough.
“Probably” shouldn’t be good enough for you either, otherwise whatever it is probably isn't worth doing in the first place.
Whenever you have someone on the phone, take an action together before you end the call.
Not only will you get more things done and have fewer things slip through the cracks, but you’ll also end every call with a sense of accomplishment and spend less time following up on silly little things and more time doing things that really create results.
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