“Make the pre-call research go away, replace it with curiosity-based scripting that you get really, really good at” – Chris Beall in today’s Tip 848
How about you? Do you do pre-call research?
Join the conversation below and learn more about Chris!
Have feedback? Want to share a sales tip? Call or text the Sales Success Hotline: 512-777-1442 or Email: [email protected]
Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Chris Beall, the CEO of ConnectAndSell. For 30 years, Chris has led software start-ups as a founder or developer. He believes the most powerful part of software systems are human beings, and the value key is to let the computer do what it does well to free up human potential. Here he is:
Chris Beall: Here’s a tip for anyone in B2B sales. At some point you’ve got to make cold call, maybe a bunch of them. And if you’ve ever got to do that, it doesn’t matter if you’re a sales development rep or an account executive, you are probably going to do pre-call research. 61% of all sales reps recently surveyed said, “Yeah, they do pre-call research.” Well, stop it. Pre-call research is a waste and it leads you astray.
Why is it a waste? Because 22 out of 23 times on average, your list may be a little riskier than that, but 22 out of 23 times you’re going to end up navigating a phone system or waiting for ringing if you’re lucky enough to have cell phone numbers only and you’re going to end up in voicemail and pre-call research is not going to make somebody return your voicemail. Call you back. It’s just not going to happen.
So secondly, once you’ve wasted all that time, you’ve actually made yourself worse. So say you do 5 minutes of pre-call research for those 22 calls that it’s going to take an order to get one conversation. That’s one hundred plus minutes of research for one conversation, plus all the time dialing and so forth you probably two hours to get a conversation, then you’ve got to update your CRM, so forth, and so on. And when you finally do get somebody your pre-call research is going to tempt you into trying to say something that catches their attention that has to do with them that you found out from publicly available information. And one, you’re probably wrong about what they’re interested in right now. What they’re interested in right now is getting off the phone with their self-image intact. So you’re almost certainly wrong about that because that’s not what you’re going to talk about.
And then secondly, your guess when it’s off by a little, it’s off by a lot. Call me and say, “Hey, I see you went to Arizona State University. “And I’m going to say, “Well, didn’t you notice I also went to the University of Arizona,” and then you’re confused. So your guesses are not going to be relevant to me. I’m not waiting for a salesperson to call me. And nobody is in order to say something about our background or whatever. What we’re looking for is for somebody to get us curious enough to want to actually take a meeting, to invest a little bit of time to hear more.
So work just on curiosity and curiosity has nothing to do with that person, has everything to do with what is interesting that they could be learning in a discovery meeting with you or a colleague that you’re setting meetings for.
So make the pre-call research go away, replace it with curiosity-based scripting that you get really, really good at, that you’re really good at the tone. You’re really good at delivery. And you sincerely believe in the potential value of the meetings with a human being that you’re talking with, even if they never do business with you.
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!