Sure - - it is highly probable that some of your prospecting calls generate leads because “you were at the right place at the right time”. However, there are many other factors involved. I thought I would share what I consider some necessary steps in generating a G.R.E.A.T. Lead.
Get ready – do your research. In the meetings industry, it can go a long way to solidifying the relationship going forward when you have put in the time in advance (i.e. I was on your website and saw that your last annual meeting was in Vancouver – how did that event go?)
React. Be in the moment – listen to what the contact is saying and be ready to respond. Tune in to their personalities so that the conversation is as productive as possible (i.e. If they are the type of person who provides – although informative – short and sweet answers, don’t drone on for 20 minutes before you actually include them in the conversation).
Earn respect (and give it). You may not be talking to the decision-maker on the first call. The influencer or “gatekeeper” to the decision-maker is just as important to have conversations with in the beginning, as well as throughout the process. Asking for their input and assistance may be the difference to getting the introduction to the decision-maker in the first place.
Address Objections. One of our Sales Trainers, Colleen Francis, has taught us the following model: Stop – Acknowledge – Ask. You may uncover that the reason for the objection is not as big as they think, and you may get the business anyway. Stop and hear the objection – Acknowledge that you heard what they are saying – Ask questions to clarify. It gets them talking. It doesn’t work every time, but it shows you respect their position.
Take the time – secure commitment, send the information, thank them for their valuable time and trace the follow-up. Make sure that you trace it for when they want to hear from you.
Other than that – remember that confidence is probably the most important thing of all. Believe that you have the right to ask for the information, because if you waver, it gives them an 'out'.
Ádh mór ort! (That's how they say "good luck" in Ireland!)