How to Deliver Your USP on the Phone

Oct 25, 2012 14:36:25 PM

The telephone is still an essential tool in any sales and lead generation campaign, despite the rise of digital. Without it we can’t do our jobs; it’s as simple as that. Show me a sales person who doesn’t use the phone and I will show you a sales person who doesn’t hit their target. OK, maybe that is a touch harsh but you get the point.

Whilst the phone is a fantastic tool for business it does have its limitations i.e. distractions. While you’re on the phone the other person in the call can easily be side-tracked by: email; other team members; the office dog; essentially, anything that isn’t you.

The fact is you need to get their attention quickly; and hold it. The only way to do this is to get to the point, and that means getting your USP in play sooner rather than later.

However, doing this efficiently within a limited time window is difficult. It’s a skill that is practised and refined time and again here at MarketMakers because, in real terms, it can make a big difference to a campaign’s performance.

Open with honesty and transparency

Start by setting the benchmark for the call openly and honestly. For example, take the opportunity to thank them for speaking with you and ask if they have time to talk. It allows you to raise the bar in terms of presenting yourself in a professional capacity. This will help you to build rapport early by openly appreciating that their time is precious.

Let them know where you are calling from – don’t hide your company name, it can backfire. If you work for an award-winning organisation then add this to your introduction.

It is not uncommon to receive your first objection at this point. If you do, just be polite and ask why they may not be interested. Don’t hound them, as this can leave a negative sentiment of your company behind.

Convert your features to benefits

Great, so you have the green light to continue the conversation. Now is the time to introduce how your product/service will benefit the prospect. Sometimes the simplest solutions – time saving, revenue growing, cost reducing – work best to grab people’s attention.

To help with this, make sure you do some research on the company and the person you are talking to. Before starting the call bring their website up. If you have access to LinkedIn, try looking the prospect up and learn more about their professional background.

This will help you to align your call with them and give you vital information on the pain points they might be experiencing.

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Listen to their needs

If, at any point, they wish to speak; let them. Being quiet and just listening can build as much rapport as anything else. But don’t switch off – make notes and use this time wisely. Acknowledge what they say and then use this to further demonstrate how your offer aligns with their needs.

Test close

Assuming no one has ended the call and it appears you are both a natural fit, then ask if they have any objections.

This may lead to a more detailed conversation or a second appointment later, either on the phone or in person. Regardless of the outcome, you will have learnt a lot about the prospect and their company, leaving you in a stronger position for the future, or the next stage of the sales process.

Just remember to “smile when you dial” and “don’t groan when you phone”. I know it sounds cliché but it is true, the recipient of your call will pick up any negativity.

In summary: be open, honest, polite, and succinct

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