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The Right Way to Open a Closing Call

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How do you open your closing presentation calls?  Have you scripted out the best opening, or do you wing it?  Do you let your prospect take the lead, by asking if this is still a good time for them, or do you confidently and enthusiastically assume the opening and set the pace for the rest of the call?  The way you open your closing call often determines how the presentation will go, and many sales reps set themselves up for stalls by opening a closing call weakly.  Here’s the right way and the wrong way to open your closing calls:

The Wrong Opening #1:

“Oh hi, this is _______ _______ with _________, and we had an appointment right now to go over the presentation, is this still a good time for you?”

Now I know that it seems to make sense to check in with your prospect before just launching into your presentation, but giving them an out right at the beginning isn’t the way to go.  When you use the opening I recommend below, if the time isn’t right for your prospect they’ll let you know.  But don’t open your call by giving them an out…

The Wrong Opening #2:

“Oh hi, this is _______ _______ with _________, and I was just checking in with you to see if you needed anything today?”

Although this may immediately sound weak to you (and it is), you’d be shocked by how many calls I listen to that sound just this way!  This kind of opening might as well be restated as, “Ah, you wouldn’t want to buy anything today, would you?”  Once again, the cure is to script out an assumptive opening that offers them a choice of products or specials as you’ll read below.

The Wrong Opening #3:

“Hi, this is _______ _______ with _________, how are you today?”

Nothing telegraphs a sales call more than those four overused words: “How are you today?”  Be different!  Be engaging!  Use an opening that signals that you’re different and that what they’re going to experience with you is more than just a worn out sales pitch…

The Right Opening #1:

“Hi _________, this is _______ _______ with ________, how’s your Friday going?

[Listen and react accordingly]

_________, I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you today because I have some updates that you’ll be particularly interested in.  I’m sure you’re in front of a computer, so do me a favor and go to….”

Once again, if this isn’t a good time for your prospect (but it should be because you did send out reminder emails, right?), then they will tell you.  But the power of this opening is that you are opening with some exciting news, you’re directing them into the presentation and you’re taking control of the call.  And that’s what you should always be doing.

The Right Opening #2:

“Hi _________, this is _______ _______ with ________, how’s your Friday going?

Great!  _________, I’m glad I reached you today, and after you hear about some of the specials we have going on today, you’ll be glad I called.  Now the last time we spoke you told me you were (heavy users of/always on the look-out for/usually in need of…), and the good news is that today we have (X at $…..) and they are flying out the door.  How many of these could I ship out to you today?”

Assumptive, assumptive, assumptive.  Now, are they always going to buy?  Of course not!  But when you assume the sale and lead in with a couple of specials that you know they could be interested in, and then when you ask for an order like that, those prospects who might be interested in what you have will likely take the bait and either order or begin asking you buying questions.  And that’s what you’re looking for, right?

The Right Opening #3:

“Hi _________, this is _______ _______ with ________, how’s your Friday going?”

Again, throw away the old, tired opening of “How are you today?” and replace it with a different and engaging opening that anchors your prospect into the day and actually gets them thinking about how their Friday (or Monday, or Tuesday, etc.,) is actually going.  I’ve already added it to the above two openings, and you can see how much better they flow.  By using it, you’ll be building a lot more rapport by asking this, and I encourage you to try it and see for yourself how effective it is.

When you combine these openings with the requalifying scripts I wrote about earlier, you’ll have the most effective and comprehensive opening possible.  And it’s this type of opening that will give you the edge over your competition and get you further into a qualified presentation.  And that will equal more closed sales.

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