Let me tell you about one of the best prospectors I ever met. His name is Josef, and he is fearless when he is making prospecting calls. His resilience and tenacity in securing meetings was awesome. Josef worked for a company that sold high tech equipment to pharmacies. The equipment can be a substantial investment, but the pay-offs in extra revenue and in time saved can be substantial.
As part of their approach, the salespeople make phone calls to pharmacies to see if they can generate enough interest for the pharmacy owner to agree to a meeting. With many independent pharmacies, the owner and the pharmacist are one and the same.
Time is at a premium in a busy pharmacy, and this often means that prospecting calls are met with the “I’m too busy to talk!” rebuttal. This is actually music to the salesperson’s ears, since their products are better suited to pharmacies dispensing a large number of prescriptions. Therein lays the dilemma. They want to speak to busy pharmacists, but the busy pharmacists are too busy to speak to them.
We helped the sales team develop and implement opening statements, qualifying templates, and value propositions to garner interest to want to hear more. They worked very well once the salesperson was able to get past the “No time to talk” obstacle. We developed a couple ways to get around this, and they were fairly successful. The best come-back of all, though, was executed by Josef, and I just happened to be listening to a call for coaching purposes when he used it.
Josef’s territory included New York City. As you can imagine, pharmacies in New York tend to be quite busy. He was calling in to one of the prospects he had researched, and asked for Mr. Jones (not his real name), the pharmacy owner.
The following exchange took place:
“Yes, can I help you?”
“Mr. Jones, this is Josef from <xxxxxxxx>.”
Click. Dial tone.
Josef looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. I asked him what he was going to do, and he said he was going to call back. Which is exactly what he did. He called and asked for Mr. Jones again.
The second exchange was exactly the same as the first – a hang up.
Josef’s reaction was exactly the same as well. He shrugged and said: “Oh well, third time lucky!”
With that, he dialled again and asked for Mr. Jones yet again. This is what happened:
“Yes, can I help you?”
“Mr. Jones, this is Josef again. Obviously you must have had a good reason for hanging up on me, do you mind if I ask what it was?”
There was a pause, and Mr. Jones barked out: “Look – what is it you want – I’m extremely busy.”
In a calm, measured voice, Josef said: “Actually, I’m calling you to give you your life back.”
“What the heck do you mean by that?”
Josef looked across at me and winked before continuing: “Obviously you are a very busy person – I wouldn’t be calling you if you weren’t. I’ve talked with a lot of pharmacists over the past couple of years, and one of the biggest complaints that they have is they are working ALL the time, and they have no life. Would you agree with that?”
“Well – that’s why I’m calling. To give you your life back.”
Brilliant. They got into a dialogue, the pharmacist agreed to meet Josef, and it all culminated in the pharmacist investing in the equipment.
What Josef did was incredibly well executed. He understood the overall life changing value of what he was selling, and he wasn’t afraid to use it to generate enough interest in taking things to the next step.
Too many salespeople try to sell using features and specifications alone. But it’s emotion that spurs people into action. Do you know what emotional triggers to use when communicating the value of your products and services? Do you know the challenges your potential customers are facing? Do you know what will impact them to the degree that they will take action on your proposal?
Don’t just sell products – change people’s lives! They will become customers for life.
Try it – it works!