One of these four statistics is false. Which one is it?
- Our brains can store the same amount of data as 4000 iPhones with 256GB storage.
- Walking through a door is likely to make you forget what you were supposed to do.
- We remember about a third of what we hear.
- Short term memory lasts between 20-30 seconds.
Our memory is so important to us in our personal lives for recall, recollection and expression. As small business owners we also need to use our memory every day for important details but it may be likely that in 6 months you will have forgotten those important details. There is something you can do to improve the likelihood of retaining information so that you build strong rapport with your prospects increasing the chance of sales success so read on to find out. For those of you that are wondering, we actually remember a fifth of what we hear making written notes even more important, and making the false fact number three.
Top tip #1: Put a date in your calendar to contact the prospect.
Research data by CallHippo taken from 13,750 calls over a 24-week period finds that Wednesday and Thursday are the best days for successfully making contact on the first attempt. With a 46% difference between successful contact on a Wednesday and a Monday. They also found 4-5pm being the optimum time to call and 11am-12pm being the next best time to call. The Insider reports that the average person in the UK starts work between 8-9am and finishes by 5pm. With this in mind, most people have finished their morning tasks by 11am and are preparing to wind down for the day by around 4pm. Thus, making these the perfect windows to call.
Top tip #2: Write down as much information as you can recall.
As soon as the call has finished it’s worth sitting down and doing post call notes while it’s still fresh in your memory. As humans we’re not designed to remember every detail of our lives as time goes by, in 1885 Hermann Ebbinghaus theorised this as the forgetting curve. There are a few key pieces of information you’ll want to include in your post call report. Things like the prospects details (company name, contact name, telephone number and source of lead) the date and time you contacted them and call summary.
How you format the call summary will depend on your working style, some work better with short bullet points, others prefer detailed sentences. What’s important is noting down as much as you can remember before you forget. The more you note down from your conversation the more information you’ll have to build on when making follow up contact. You can find our handy Post Call Report template that we’ve created to aid you in this exercise at The Sales Mindset website.
Top tip #3: Record personal information about the prospect.
An underused but effective sales tool is getting to know your prospect on a personal level and building rapport. This is a tactic not generally employed by big businesses because it requires taking a little extra time on your call that could be used calling another prospect. As a small business owner, you can use this to your advantage. You don’t need to know their life story, it can be something as simple as what team they follow, a family member’s birthday or an upcoming event.
Simply spending a couple of minutes getting to know them will often prove fruitful later down the line as it enables you to build a personal connection thus making you more memorable to your prospect. Moving forward it can help you add value to follow up communications by asking them about the birthday or the event or whatever it is you got to know about them. So, to be sure note this part of the call down in your post call notes too.
Top tip #4: Plan your next step with the prospect.
Whether you’re calling a suspect or a prospect, if you wish to progress with your sale it’s imperative to agree a definitive next step. This could be a range of things from sending them a proposal to planning a follow up call or scheduling a meeting and then following through on your agreement. This will show that your genuine about doing business with them.
Top tip #5: Review your own performance.
When the call is finished, and you’ve completed your post call notes it’s worth taking a step back and objectively assessing your performance. This is yet another reason why post call notes are so important. They will be useful when analysing your performance. You can use these to build on what went right, and work on anything that didn’t go as well to strengthen and ultimately grow your business. You should also periodically review your performance over time. This will be invaluable in gaining insight into what your next steps are from a business perspective.
For many small businesses across a wide range of industries sales calls are an integral part of their sales strategy. So, when it comes to making them calls having an organised approach and the right attitude will pay dividends in the long run. Be prepared, take notes, build rapport, secure the next step and review your performance. By integrating these tips into your sales process, it will enable your business to not only survive, but thrive and grow too.
If you need help understanding more about post call reporting download my template for FREE now.
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