We all use the telephone. But are you using it to build your business?
The technique of using the telephone can be used with warm leads, or people you know, or cold leads, those you don’t know. It depends on you.
You may want to jump right in and start calling your friends and family. Or perhaps you are more cautious and you may only want to use the phone for 3 way calls or to invite your prospects to a meeting. No matter which of these scenarios fits your personality, the techniques you should implement are the same. If your goal is to use the phone as a prospecting tool, then you need to have a clear understanding of how best to use it.
Here are two tips that will help your recruiting efforts when using the telephone.
1. Make it a habit to call new prospects daily.
If you’re not calling new prospects on a daily basis and adding new members to your team, then you’re missing out on an important opportunity to grow your business! You also won’t be staying in practice with this valuable tool.
2. Begin building rapport right from the start of your phone call.
In order to be successful over the phone, you need to build rapport with each and every one of your prospects.
This is something that very few network marketers do, especially when they’re new to the process of calling prospects. Building rapport simply means that you’re making a real connection with the person you’re speaking with and it can truly make or break your phone call.
If you’re new to Network Marketing, you may be just so happy when someone agrees to talk with you that you start pitching your business immediately. You may have scripts that you read from regarding the features and benefits of your business or product. If so, you probably even throw in some information on the amazing compensation plan that your company has.
Let me caution you before you do this.
It is imperative that you BUILD RAPPORT FIRST before pitching your business opportunity.
In fact, when you’re new to the process, it is very important that you simply build rapport, without pitching your business opportunity. You simply want to gauge your prospect’s openness and interest in finding out more.
Remember, if they express interest, then you want to invite them to find out more by speaking with someone in your organization in person or on the phone, attending a meeting or by watching a video, visiting a website or reading a brochure.
This was discussed in our Recruiting Prospects Blog.
But first things first.
Building rapport over the phone is something that is really very simple.
It all begins by asking open-ended questions and then remaining quiet as you listen to what your prospect has to say.
So, what is an open-ended question?
Open-ended questions can’t be answered easily with one word such as yes, no, or maybe.
Open-ended questions, compared to close-ended, stimulate conversation and allow you to learn more about your prospect. When you are able to get a prospect talking openly about their personal life, their dreams and goals, you are building a relationship and rapport with them.
Typically, that starts with an open-ended question.
And that relationship will help increase your success in recruiting a whole lot more.
When you start to build rapport in a conversation, don’t think about what your next line is going to be or what your script wants you to say. Just listen to how your prospect answers and respond to what they say.
You can learn more about this on our Listening Skills Blog.
For instance, once you’ve gotten past your initial greetings on a telephone call, you might want to refer to an upcoming Holiday, current event or the weather, such as “What do you have planned for the upcoming weekend?”
A couple questions are enough.
Once additional rapport is built, then you should ask something related to the benefits of your product or service, such as “What’s one of the challenges of …” or “What are you doing to help with…” You can fill in the blank.
That’s an open-ended question.
Compared to “Do you have a challenge with…” or “Do you need help with….”
Typically, these questions would be answered with a yes or no, so they won’t stimulate additional conversation.
Can you tell the difference?
Now, remember once you ask it, pause and listen for their answer.
Be comfortable with a moment or two of silence.
They may be thinking about how they want to respond.
Give them the time to answer you.
Then, once they do, you can respond to what they’ve said.
They will give you specific clues about their needs that will allow you to engage them in conversation about how you might help them.
The key is to ask a series of several questions to get them to open up a bit.
This will give you a more in depth understanding of their situation and how to best approach them.
Here are several more open ended questions that are very useful to engage prospects:
How would an extra income stream change your life?
If money wasn’t so tight, what opportunities would that open up for you and your family?
Remember to have a pen and paper handy and take notes.
You don’t want to miss anything important that your Prospect tells you.
You are listening for their problems or pain so that you can present your business opportunity as a way of easing that pain.
Right now, you may be thinking:
I can’t do that; I’d feel too awkward or silly trying that.
Well, here’s a Success Tip:
Do the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable!
The more you practice, the better your skills are. There is an old proverb that has been traced back to the 1550s-1560s, that you might have heard before; Practice makes Perfect.
Anything that’s new for you may feel a little awkward or different at first. That’s to be expected. However, the more you make calls, the more you practice, the more comfortable and effective you will become on the phone.
It is a remarkable business building tool, and the skills you develop speaking with prospects on the phone will have a direct affect on the growth of your business. For practice, you may want to try these open ended questioning techniques on friends or family a few times without even trying to tell them about your opportunity, just to get the hang of it.
The great thing about doing this is you’ll get some real experience, feel more comfortable with the process and actually find out more about the people that you’ve spoken with. This will be extremely valuable later on when you actually approach them about your opportunity.
You also want to find common ground with your prospects. When they say something that you can relate to, reply and let them know how it relates to your life. For example, if you’re a parent and the prospect mentions how many children they have, you can reply with the number of children you have. If they talk to you about a recent vacation, mention a place where you have traveled. This is NOT about one-upmanship. It’s about establishing a relationship and building rapport.
That’s because Network Marketing is all about relationships.
People are much more likely to join your Networking business if they like you and can relate to you.
Don’t fool yourself. People CAN tell the difference between someone who is just rattling off a script and someone who is genuine. If you have ever answered your phone and listened to a person read from a script, it is very obvious, “very canned” and annoying. You might have even politely hung up.
The art of building rapport requires some practice but once you get good at it, you will see your phone prospecting results dramatically increase and your business will grow!
Remember when using the phone ALWAYS SMILE…it comes across in your voice !