We see people flocking to airports despite warnings that holiday travel may worsen the COVID-19 surge (and assurance that such restrictions won’t recur in 2021!). Neither Twitter nor Facebook has been able to do much to stop the spread of fake news. The elevated levels of distrust are widespread. This particularly affects salespeople whose entire job hinges on whether prospects trust them.
The level of trust during the need discovery call dictates the first experience (and the consequent relationship) of the prospect with your company.
Here, we look at how conversational intelligence can help your reps effectively engage prospects in a collaborative effort to discover and begin solving their problems.
1. The role of empathy in getting your prospects to open up
Some reps get into selling mode pretty quickly, especially right after the prospect begins to trust them.
If people like you and you have a rapport with them, it’s a good foundation to start building trust. And without empathy, gaining a prospect's trust is difficult.
Empathy is about understanding the feelings of the speaker and sharing those feelings. But it’s not easy to build empathy at the scale of a sales team, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.
The easiest way to get started with empathy, however, is to ask prospects about their well-being and encourage them to share the complete depth of their problems with you.
Think about it – whom would you trust more?
someone who doesn't attempt to understand how your problems affect you, only talks about their product, and quickly closes the call
someone who genuinely wants to know how they can help you solve your problems and add value to your life/company
If the prospect trusts you, they will participate actively in the sales process. It ensures that the rest of the sales cycle becomes a partnership, rather than a one-way pitch about selling a product.
2. The role of voice in calming the listener
Ever heard late-night radio jockeys?
They use a very soft register of the voice, their tone is reassuring, and they select low-tempo music to play at night. All of this is meant to calm the brains of their listeners physically.
Here’s how this is helpful on a need discovery call:
- By nature, any sales call has some amount of tension and anxiety built into it. After all, you are asking your prospects to give you their hard-earned money. Unless you are good friends with the prospect, you are a stranger to them, who may or may not be trustworthy. So, most prospects will have their guard up on the first call.
- One of the more essential skills is the ability to lower the inherent anxiety and put the prospect at ease. This way, you can get them not to be dismissive of what you have to say.
- If you can modulate your voice to a low register and match that with an appropriate tone in your speech, it can make prospects trust you. Prospects will look forward to calls with you if you listen well and sound inviting – not pushy and commanding. With the right amount of practice, you can hone this skill over time.
3. Asking questions at the right time and in the right way
Humans are wired to be consistent in their opinions and conduct. If they have said yes multiple times in succession, they possibly didn't mean one (or more) of those yesses.
This means the prospect might unintentionally give you false information or at least something that could potentially cause a dispute later in the sales cycle.
To ensure this never happens, switch to questions that elicit a “no” response. Use them to clarify your assumptions about things they have not been open about.
Generating NO-oriented questions is easy too. Simply flip any of your YES-generating questions. Here are some examples:
It is equally important to ask open-ended questions that elicit detailed answers. This will help you get a better understanding of your prospect's needs.
How to use conversational intelligence on a need discovery call
Every prospect is different. Your reps must be well-informed about their industry, possible challenges, the buying stage they are at, and choose appropriate talking points.
That’s a lot of work.
Now, imagine a technology that does all this hard work for your sales reps. That’s what Salesken does.
Salesken is a conversational intelligence tool that helps sales reps have more effective sales calls with the help of real-time cues.
Salesken draws information from multiple sources - your CRM databases, speech, the Internet, manually fed data, best practices used by top reps - and makes it available for sales reps as relevant talking points, questions, and emotion signals during calls.
With time, the more intuitive Salesken gets, the more it can increase your reps' productivity.