How do you recommend dealing with these 2 situations? Ideally all cold calls are taken when I’m ready to take them – perhaps when I get these calls I don’t talk with them right away – just tell them it’s a bad time and then schedule a follow up call?
And the folks with heavy accents are very difficult for me to deal with – the phone does not help – I’m often dealing with them via email (or even txt) initially and then a face to face meeting usually goes better because I can hear them better in person.
OK – I did the script. This was insanely difficult through the “interpreter” who kept complaining that SHE couldn’t hear me. Ultimately the call was cut off (??) but the client did give a verbal go ahead to a meeting. I will take it to email and see if I can complete. The script felt very long and I felt a frustration from the interpreter and couldn’t tell if the client was getting frustrated or not. I figure this will either reject a cheepo client (he did seem focused on cost above everything else) or get me a decent client.
Dave – One of the tactics you can use is to tell the person that you are in the middle of working on a project (or in a meeting, or some other reason of your choice) and that you’d like to be able to call them back at a more convenient time. If they balk at giving you a phone number, then they are probably not really ready to talk in depth (maybe just price shopping, or doing some initial research). However, if you get their name and number, then you can set up a time when you are at your desk and can talk more comfortably.
This also has the advantage of increasing the number of “touches”; it’s a subtle thing, but you are then becoming a bit more “familiar” to them, each time there is a call, email or other contact; this gradually raises the trust factor and the likelihood that you will be chosen for the project.
Re the issue with heavy accents, and your preference to meet in person – that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with setting up an in-person meeting and using the script in person. Of course, you’ll want to practice the script, so you’re not reading it; perhaps just have some bullet points to refer to.
Whichever way you do this, keep going and it will get easier and more natural. Adapt the script, make it shorter if you like, however try to keep the essential structure that:
1) directs the conversation
2) sets expectations and gets their agreement each step along the way
3) asks the types of questions that help you understand their needs
4) qualifies them (are they serious, do they have funds, are they realistic, etc.)
5) uncovers or reveals the gaps in their understanding so that they are motivated to get your assistance with an initial assessment or Needs and Options Review etc.
6) gives them a clear “next step” or a road map for the process
7) asks them to take the next step
David, as you get used to the psychology behind the call script, it will become second nature for you – a skill that you will keep for the rest of your life. See Eric’s excellent list above for a frame work that you should include and study.
we have a video which you can send which is similar to the call script – this video sets the scene for how you work and promotes the LCC as the next step in a logical and emotional way. I suggest people use both.