The Sales Talk Track: How to Improve Communication with Prospects
What is a sales call talk track? It is a checklist with a specific purpose. That purpose is to help you out when you speak to prospects. A talk track ensures that you gather crucial information during your calls. That information is a salesperson’s secret weapon to getting more sales. Some people think talk tracks are best for reps with little sales experience. Or, for people who are selling to a type of prospect they’ve never sold to before. This is true. But it can also help seasoned salespeople as much. Why? Because salespeople need to improve how they manage and qualify their sales process. One of the keys to this is gathering solid information. That information should relate to possible sales risks and negative issues.
This is why a customer-centered qualifying approach is so important. A salesperson begins at the top of the checklist. This is where the most important categories are. He or she works their way down the checklist during the call. There are three things that salesperson needs to have at the end of each call:
-The prospect’s positive support.
-Confirmation that the prospect’s budget is big enough to support a transaction.
-A date and time set to continue the conversation.
These three factors are important to qualifying each opportunity that a salesperson has.
Here are the best ways to improve your sales talk track. The better the talk track, the better communication you will have with your prospects.
1) Cut out jargon and technical words from your conversations.
What does “jargon” mean? It is certain words or phrases that only get used by people in a certain industry or group. This makes the words hard for other people to comprehend.
It is a huge mistake to assume that your prospects will understand your terminology. This is why it’s best to speak in a simple and direct manner at all times. When this gets brought up, salespeople often say the following. “It’s okay. My prospects almost always understand what I’m saying.” Or, they might say this instead. “No. I need to continue talking like this. It makes me sound more professional.”
Sure, the prospect might understand what you are saying. But it is likely he or she will find the jargon unnecessary. Or, he or she may interpret it as not being relevant to the conversation. That is why it is better to be safe and avoid speaking jargon. It almost always does more harm than good.
For example, say you’re referring to a client’s website. Do not use a term such as “traffic analysis.” Instead, say: “the number of people visiting your website.”
2) Select the most important subject matter to speak about first.
Sales pitches often fail when there is too much information. It’s easy to understand why salespeople often make this mistake. They want to include as many benefits in as little time as possible. This means doing away with opening lines such as this. “let me tell you all about Company X. We specialize in doing the following five things…” Instead, you should focus on zeroing in on one piece of information. That information should be what subject matter you think your prospect cares about. What’s the worst that can happen? You make a mild miscalculation and the information you state isn’t relevant to your prospect. Then you move on to what you think is the next most important piece of information.
Focus on your elevator pitches. These pique your prospect’s curiosity. Your pitch should be like a great trailer for a movie. This means it should do two things:
-Grab the prospect’s attention.
-Reference the big picture in a simple manner.
The best movie trailers do not need to go over many details about the film’s plot. They leave the audience curious and wanting more. The same should apply to your openings with prospects. This means you may want to choose the best factor that gives your company an edge over the competition.
3) It’s okay to sound enthusiastic and sometimes use hyperboles.
What does “hyperbole” mean? It is a mild exaggeration that everyone recognizes as not being literal. For example, here are two hyperbolic phrases that people often use. “The best!!” or “the greatest!” Now, a salesperson cannot go overboard in using hyperboles. The last things you want to do is exaggerate to the point that you’re lying about what your product can do. But a little enthusiasm goes a long way. It is infectious and is likely to make you’re prospect also enthusiastic.
Too many salespeople sound like boring robots. This is for one of two reasons. Reason one: they’re tired or lazy and going through the motions. Reason two: they’re too afraid to go off script for one second or they lack confidence. Either way, having enthusiasm is a key action toward improving the results of your talk track. So, in the future, don’t say: “Our team of engineers can assist you.” Say the following. “We’ve got the best engineers on the planet and they’re ready to solve your problem fast.” This means you are not using hyperbole to persuade the prospect. You are applying it to convey your enthusiasm about your company’s services.
4) All your pitches should end with you asking a question.
The talk track must always focus on the prospect. It can never be about you. You’ve got to keep the conversation going by asking the right questions. This means doing all you can to avoid questions where the prospect responds with “yes” or “no.” For example, try to cut out questions such as these:
“Does that make sense for you?”
“Is this possibility something that you’d like to consider?”
Asking questions like these will make your prospect feel like he or she is taking a quiz in high school. Instead, you could ask something like this:
“Many of our clients enjoy doing marketing research. Do you have any marketing employees who also love the research aspect?”
This question is less aggressive. It makes you have a natural conversation instead of seeming like you’re begging for the sale.
5) View the conversations with your prospects as a learning experience.
Say you have the mentality that all conversations that don’t lead to a sale are a waste of time. That means you’re going to waste a lot of time every single day. Reprogram your mind to view every second of your job as a training period. You are figuring out what works and what doesn’t on a daily basis. With this mentality, you will improve as a salesperson over time.
For example, if a prospect rejects you but you don’t understand why, you can ask. You could say:
“I don’t understand. Would you mind repeating that?”
“I am not following you here. How does X lead to Y without having to do Z?”
Prospects are often experts at their craft. The more they talk, the more that you will learn. You’ll have a better understanding of their industry. This is a valuable shortcut that will lead you to more sales in the long-run.
6) Ask your prospects questions that they are not expecting.
This is one of the best ways to ensure that your prospects stay engaged in the conversations. One of the best unexpected questions to ask is one that relates to the prospect’s industry.
Here is an example. Say your prospect works in the automobile industry. You have already asked many of the usual, scripted questions that you’re supposed to. You can now ask a question such as:
“The price of oil and gas seems to alway be going up and down. How does your company stay so calm and sane during all pf these drastic price fluctuations?”
The prospect will feel flattered that you asked and happy to respond. Why? Because your question was genuine. Asking questions like these can be a game-changer for salespeople. They build rapport and convey that you care about the prospect’s well-being. They also help you learn more about your prospect’s industries. You can use that information to your advantage in the future.
7) Ask your prospects about their vendor-relationships.
Most prospects have worked with a large number of vendors over the years. Take advantage of this. How? By finding out about how relationships are going with their specific vendors. This will help you figure out how your prospect likes to conduct business. This is valuable information that will help lead you to a sale. Here are some examples of vendor-related questions that you can ask:
“Are you enjoying working with your current vendors?”
“What’s one of the best vendor relationships you’ve have in the span of your career?”
“What main qualities do you look for in vendors?”
“When’s the last time a vendor treated you with disrespect? What did they do wrong?”
Questions like these will give you valuable information about how your prospects think. You’ll have a better idea of how to work with them to solve potential issues in the future.
Use the seven tips in this article to improve the results of your talk track. Will you see changes overnight? It is doubtful. But stay consistent. Over time, you will begin to reap the rewards of better communication with your prospects. You may even experience the biggest reward of all. Increased revenue to put in your pocket and take home. For more sales strategies, check out BillionsInTheBank.com.