How to Create a Good First Impression on a B2B Phone Call

“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis,” wrote Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Clearly, many of us believe this as we make snap judgments about the people we speak with on the phone, deciding in a flash whether we’re going to continue a conversation or bow out.

First impressions are powerful. And if you’re trying to create B2B sales opportunities, you want the first impression you make on a phone sales call to be pleasant, professional and engaging so that your contact is happy to converse with you and you’re able to accomplish your goals.

Prepare for Business to Business Telemarketing Success

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet,” said Bobby Unser, one of only 10 drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three times or more. If you want to be a winner too, prepare for professional, goal-oriented phone calls as follows.

    1. Research

If you’re making a cold call, you are likely reaching out to business people in targeted industries. Do your due diligence to unearth the issues and trends in each industry and how they impact the benefits your products or services provide.

When you’re making a warm call, dig a little deeper. For example, let’s imagine you’re following up with Mary Jones. She provided her contact information and company name, Healthtest, when downloading a white paper from your website. You should:

  • Check out Mary on LinkedIn, and anywhere else there is information about her, to learn about her background and responsibilities
  • Delve into Healthtest’s website to learn about their products, services and markets served

With this knowledge, you can prepare to talk with Mary about how your offerings align with her needs.

    1. Craft Your Opening Statement

Once again, your opening statement will vary depending on whether it’s a warm or cold call.

  • The Warm Call Strategy

If you have a web form which asks people what they’re looking for, you can incorporate this into your opening statement. For example, at 3D2B we might start a conversation in an open way, saying “I received your inquiry into our services and see you’re looking for help with a lead generation program, how can I help you?”

It’s simple. It’s open. It gets the conversation going.

If your web form collects contact and company information only, open the call by thanking the individual for downloading your white paper, attending your webinar or whatever action they took to become a lead. Then say, “May I be of any assistance or do you have any questions that I can help you with?”

  • Cold Call Strategy

When cold calling, you’re operating with less information. You need to start with the basics and make sure you’re speaking with the right person. Then, you might open the conversation by saying, “Are you familiar with (YOUR COMPANY NAME)?” If the contact says “no,” it gives you an opening to explain what your company does and your value proposition — how you can help them.

    1. Distill Your Value Proposition

Whether a cold or a warm call, distill your value proposition before picking up the phone. You may need two or three value propositions per industry as people will be facing different challenges in each. If you know a little more about the individual you’re calling and their company, you can create a more customized value proposition.

So, the key to making a good first impression is three things: preparation, preparation, and preparation. And, never forget to listen more than you talk!