If you close sales or do sales presentations over the phone, then you might be wondering what the best way to open the closing call is. Inside sales, as you may know, offers lots of advantages, one of them being that you can use a sales script that is proven and effective. Obviously, you want to memorize and internalize the script, so you don’t sound like a robot, but once you do, you’ll be able to deliver a consistent sales presentation, or closing call, over and over again.
And this brings us to today’s sales blog: what is the best-practice opening for your sales presentation or closing call? To answer this, let first look at what not to do:
Believe it or not, many sales reps open their sales presentation or closing calls with this weak opening:
“Oh hi, this is _______ _______ with _________, and we had an appointment right now to go over the presentation. Is this still a good time for you?”
Now I know that it seems polite to check in with your prospect before just launching into your presentation (which you’d never want to do anyway) but giving them an out right at the beginning isn’t the way to go. Don’t worry-once you use the opening below, if they don’t have the time, they will let you know.
Before we get to the openings, let me remind you that you’ll first want to get a feel for how they are doing, and you’ll want to build a little rapport. You can use either of the following (or use your favorite opening that works well for you now):
“How is your Wednesday going so far?” or
“How’s your morning going?”
Either of these is better than the old and tired, “How are you today?”
By the way, once you do ask how they are, make sure and listen and react accordingly! Listen for how they sound-are they in a rush? Happy or upset to hear from you? Open and willing?
Use this feedback to adjust the pacing of your presentation. Also, make sure and respond and interact with them here. If they ask you how you’re doing, make sure and acknowledge this and thank them for asking you. And don’t be so quick here to jump into your pitch. Take a minute or two and connect.
After you do this, use an opening that is assumptive and shows that you’re excited to meet with them today. Try either of these sales opening lines:
“_________, I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you today because I have some updates that you’ll be interested in. I’m sure you’re in front of a computer, so do me a favor and go to… “
“I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you today. I’m sure you’ve gone through the (email/website/information) I sent you and you probably have a few questions. What did you want to ask me before we get started?”
This last presentation opening is powerful because it immediately gets your prospect to reveal what questions they have, how interested they are (you’ll know by the quality of their questions), and it gives them a chance to interact with you. This is much better than having you just pitch at them and do a features and benefits dump.
If you think these closes or presentation opening statements are too basic or won’t work, then think again. Compare them with what you’re using now and commit to trying them for week. You’ll be surprised how much easier your closing calls and sales presentations will go.
As you’ll see, the more prepared you are for your sales presentations and closes you are, the more confident and successful you’ll be.