Most of the sales psychology I use and teach is based on giving me control of the conversation during my prospecting calls. I want that control.
Now I know that many see the idea of “controlling” the prospecting call as a bad thing. They see it as a dominant, manipulative, bullying approach. I believe that anyone who thinks that is misreading my intent for wanting control of the conversation.
Here’s why. My base assumption is that I owe my prospects an outstanding experience of being called on by me. They, however, owe me nothing. They do not owe me a quality experience, and they certainly do not owe me an explanation of any kind. They didn’t create the interaction. I did. The fact that I initiated the call and interrupted their day is why I am responsible for bringing the conversation plan.
Prospects rarely have a plan for being called on. What they do have is a series of knee-jerk, robotic defense mechanisms and scripted responses designed specifically to push away rude and arrogant sales people who came to the sales call unprepared, and who are not going to respect them or their time.
Keep in mind, most people have 3 keys fears about salespeople when they are called on.
1 – They are going to waste time
2 – They are going to waste money
3 – They are going to have to be rude to get rid of us
Those three fears fuel their defense mechanisms. They will lead to a confrontational conversation, based on misleading each other.
A proper conversation plan makes the opposite assumptions. It assumes that being direct and honest are better. It does NOT assume that the purpose of the call is to make a sale. It is respectful of their time.
I make every cold call knowing that my plan is a better plan. It will lead to finding a fit or not finding a fit quicker. It will be based on respecting them and respecting their time. It will be based on telling the truth, and it will negate two of the three primal fears, Time and Rudeness.
This is done by creating a small illusion. The illusion I create is the perception that they have control of the call, when in fact I am leading them through a streamlined and quality interaction by tripping certain psychological levers. My intent in tripping those is to have a more efficient call.
The correct positioning allows for the correct process to be in place. The correct positioning is based on the following assumptions:
– I am calling to get an appointment, not to discuss a product or service.
– I am looking for a fit, not to make sale.
– I have a better plan than they do for determining if there’s a logical next step.
– It is MY responsibility to manage this call to make sure it is respectful of time and effective.
Take ownership of the call. That’s the reason to control it.