Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Inbound Leads: Making Your First Impression

by Trish Bertuzzi on Thu, Jul 24, 2008

We all know that we only have one chance to make a first impression and that is especially true in a sales situation. If you are lucky enough to receive an inbound lead...don't blow it.

I recently read a great posting by Keith Rosen on the Sales and Sales Management Blog. Here are 3 excerpts that got me thinking:

Many salespeople spend much of their time during a sales call attempting to educate the prospect about their product, service and industry. They think it will stimulate interest and increase the odds of earning a new client. In many cases, this is the same strategy that compromises their opportunity to create a relationship with that prospect.

A sales call is not the time prove how much you know. It's the time to find out what you don't know about the prospect and what the prospect doesn't know about you. It is not your knowledge that sells, but how effectively you customize your knowledge to meet each of your prospects' specific needs.

And finally:

Start your conversation by asking certain questions. Questions will enable you to uncover the relevant information to provide and identify the prospect's objective and expectation of the meeting. Begin your meeting with the following questions. "What are your expectations of our meeting today?" Just so I don't sound repetitive, what do you already know about ...?" Then, based on the information you receive, you can craft your presentation.

Wow....great stuff.

We spend a lot of time with Inside Sales teams at technology companies and the "show up and throw up" syndrome is just as bad over the phone as it is in person. Companies spend hours crafting the right outbound message and process but do they take the same care with their inbound process? Not always.

Here are 3 quick tips that will ensure you maximize your inbound inquiry conversion.

  1. Collect information about each inbound inquiry so you know whether or not they fit your Ideal Customer Profile. This will give you a leg up on your pre-call planning and also create a sense for their probability to purchase.

  2. Your 1st question should be "Was there a compelling event that caused you to visit our our white paper?" Wouldn't it be great if right off the bat you know whether or not they were looking for a solution or just collecting information?

  3. Taking Keith's advice, your 2nd question should be "What do you already know about us and what information are you most interested in?" This sets the direction for the rest of the call.

In summary, an inbound lead is a blessing. Bring your "A" game to the qualification table.

What other great questions do you use to get a prospect talking?

Topics: sales process, sales tips, inside sales tips, lead qualification

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