Many marketers have a hard time mastering the fine art of the conversation. We are so excited when we get our prospect on the phone we tend to flood them with information. We want them to know all about our business, our offering and what we can do to help them reach their goals.

Sure that will give them a lot of details, but how sure are you that they want to know that much that quickly? Truth to be told, they will most likely hang up the phone.

That’s because we used a sales pitch on them. While a sales pitch is useful in guiding the conversation (and some companies insist that you follow the sales pitch verbatim), this rarely works in today’s highly information-dense audience. Our prospects are deluged with information every minute of their day. Adding a zippy telemarketing sales talk will not help matters. This may cause them to resent us, close their ears and their doors and turn your B2B campaign into a failure.

Even if the prospect is willing (and they actually need our service), they will not buy from you because you just flooded their minds with gibberish. There’s got to be a better way.

According to Belinda Summers, the easiest, most production solution is to simply start a conversation. It does not have to be long. It just has to be easy and social enough to compel your audience to listen to you. Remember, you are not telling them all the details yet. You are gauging reaction and feeling them out. For example:

You: Hello, I’m (your name) from (name of your company). Is this a good time to talk?

Prospect: Yes (or No).

You: I see. Well, I’ll make this short. IT companies call us to help increase their visibility in their target markets through offline means. May I know how your company is doing this?

 

This is a good conversation starter for appointment setting. It does not really need to tell everything at the start, but it does set the stage for you and your team to continue the conversation. Ask them the right questions and get the information you need. From what you learn here, you can then craft an effective solution to their problems. Just take it slowly and let the conversation take its course. Build rapport first and establish your relationship with them. The Master of Direct Mail Copywriting Herschel Gordon Lewis always talks about building rapport to create that direct mail dialogue. Building rapport on the phone works the same way.  

Once you have that rapport, it becomes much easier to ask your prospect for more information so you can ask for the sale. Don’t rush the process. B2B lead generation can take several calls or conversations before the final stage is reached.