How to Close Repeat Business from Inbound Sales Inquiries
“I received an email request from a current client wanting pricing on an upgrade. I sent it over to them but never got the order back. I’ve called and left several messages and emails, but they’ve gone ghost on me. What can I do? I wanted to get that order before the end of the month.”
This is a common mistake inside salespeople make when they get a warm lead or a pricing request from current clients:
They skip mandatory sales steps.
Assuming that they are ready to buy just because they asked for a quote or expressed interest in purchasing your product or service doesn’t mean you should circumvent critical steps in the sales process. Doing so will leave you vulnerable as their attention shifts to other urgent matters that unexpectedly pop-up.
What Should I Have Done Differently?
Instead of responding to their email by sending them a quote, pick up the phone to let them know you’ve received their request and wanted to ask them a few questions first to make sure what you have to offer will be the right fit for what they need.
Start with the right Opening Value Statement.
Here’s an example:
“Hi (Prospect’s Name) it’s (Your Name) with (Your Company) – How are you?
I received your email request for pricing on ________, and I wanted to ask you a few quick questions to make sure what we have to offer would be a good fit for what you’re looking to accomplish. Would that be OK?”
Now that you have gained the prospect’s attention by using a WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) OVS, you can ask your qualifying questions to uncover what problems they are looking to solve with your solution.
“What Qualifying Questions Should I Ask?”
Most sales reps struggle with precisely what to do after they get past the OVS. Take a room of 10 sales reps and ask them what the next step after the opening value statement is, and you will most likely get seven different (or very generic) answers. This is a sign that your sales team is not on the same page.
Try winning any game by having 70% of your team using different playbooks.
When your sales team is not on the same page, the result is lost revenue. And not just lost income once in a while. You’re losing money every day the sales team is not optimized.
To get them on the same page, it helps to give sales teams the baseball analogy.
The baseball analogy in sales works like this:
Every time you are about to pick up the phone, you are in the batter’s box.
Your first objective is to get on Base.
Here are the bases:
- Batter’s box to 1st Base: You’ve piqued interest.
- 1st Base to 2nd, You’re in the Qualifying Zone
- 2nd Base to 3rd, You’re in the Presentation Zone
- 3rd Base to Home Plate, you’re in the Closing Zone.
If you hit a double in baseball, you can not run from home plate across the pitcher’s mound to 2nd Base. You have to go to 1st Base before 2nd.
Even if you hit a home run – even if you hit a grand slam, you still have to touch all the bases in order.
Selling by phone is no different. Even on existing accounts, you want to touch all the bases.
Some prospects will allow you to get to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Homeplate faster than others on a sales call. But you still need to touch all the bases.
When you visualize your sales call in this manner, it’s easier to navigate the sales call with confidence, as long as you know how to get to each step without getting tagged out.
Once you get to 1st Base, ask your SalesBuzz Engagement Questions to open them up and get them to focus on discussing the problems they are looking to solve with your solution.
Once you confirm problem recognition, you’ll be able to “pepper in” additional qualifying questions so that you can identify/verify their role in the decision-making and approval process, timeframe, etc.
Here are the primary essential sales factors you will want to know before sending over a quote.
- Problem Recognition: This is the critical reason behind a purchase. If there’s no problem to solve, there’s no need to pay for a solution. The best sales reps are masters at getting prospects engaged in a conversation that uncovers these issues.
- Purchasing Authority and Process – Who’s involved in making the deal happen, and what are the steps to finalize the deal.
- Timeframe: How soon are they looking to get started/implement.
These are the three (3) critical sales factors that need to be uncovered to increase the likelihood of you winning repeat business.
Handling warm leads this way will increase your win rate while improving your relationship with your client, as you will be viewed as not just a salesperson, but someone that sought first to understand, rather than someone who wanted a quick sale for their end of the month numbers.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company offering on-demand sales training and consulting.