"You never get a second chance at a first impression". That's the first law of successful sales, and it's the key to the early stages of pipeline development. Your first call to a prospect is all about relationship building, discovery and setting the "hook". Your mission is not to close the sale, it's to get an appointment.
Here is your "to-do" list for your first call with a sales lead:
Ideally, contact your lead via phone or in person
Tell them who you are and what you do to solve their problems
Ask them about their biggest challenge(s)
Establish preliminary qualification (are they in the ball-park?)
Encourage a business level discussion before getting into the details
Find out who will be the decision maker, or whether there will be multiple decision makers in a team approach
Try (hard) to get the decision maker(s) involved early
Establish interest in further discussion
Make an appointment now, set a specific date and time
Here are some helpful tips for making your first call a success:
At the beginning, apologize for interrupting their work, but tell them why it will be worth their while to talk for a couple of minutes
Be personable but professional, not “salesy”
Ask questions, wait for answers
Don’t do all of the talking
Don’t “wimp out” on getting the appointment. This is the main goal.
Download our strategy brief, How to Capture Leads and Close Sales, to ensure your company’s success with this step-by-step guide for moving a lead through the buyer’s journey.