For some of us, the idea of having phone calls with leads can be anxiety-inducing, and even if you have been doing it for a while you could still wonder whether you are “doing it right”.
There are two common traps we have the tendency to fall into:
1- We feel that the goal of the call is to convince our potential client of something: book the session, buy wall art, etc;
2 -As a result of the above, we often overwhelm with words the person on the other end of the phone.
If any of this sounds a bit like you, there are 3 steps you can take to immediately improve your approach, and these take us back to the idea that growing a business means building relationships (more on this HERE).
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PERSON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PHONE
Before asking about the colour of their nursery, how they want to display their images, spaces for wall art, try to answer this question: “What is more important to your prospect when buying what you sell?”.
Knowing what is important to them will help you understand what to focus your conversation on, and also establish whether they are a good fit (see below).
Let me clarify with an example.
Baby’s mum and dad are both originally from France. Their families and friends, including baby’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc are all there.
This might even be the biggest motivation for booking a session: to have photographs they can share with their family and friends abroad to feel closer to them.
Now imagine you spending most of your phone call talking about wall art for their home, while your competitor (having discovered what’s important to the client) chose to focus on extras like additional personalised USBs they could send home, digital slideshows or even albums and other products delivered to the grandparents.
Who do you think they would instantly love?
Who would make them more excited?
And who do you think would be more likely to get not only the booking, but a bigger sale in the end?
Now, the easiest way to understand what is important to your leads is to simply ask them.
“Over the years I have learned that parents have different ways of thinking about their session, some envision beautiful wall art they can show to family and friends, some are doing it to create memories for the baby and so on… can you tell me more about what is important to you?”
Of course, you don’t need to use these exact words. Make it yours, and you will see how easy it is to connect with your people once you have the answer, as opposed to trying to sell your clients something without knowing exactly what they are looking for.
ESTABLISH WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE A GOOD FIT
Going back to our previous example, you might be thinking “Well I don’t want to sell digitals, so they would not be my ideal client anyway”.
Great, it would be even more important for you to discover that information and let the client know that you might not be the right person for them.
If you have ever worked with someone that really was not your client, you’ll understand how important this is.
SET BOUNDARIES AND CLARIFY WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
We all hate chasing clients, and clients hate being chased.
Before ending the call, define exactly what is going to happen. Here are a couple of scenarios you might find useful:
- “I’ll speak to my partner and let you know”
“That’s perfect, I will email you now and then try to call you next Tuesday.
Can I please ask you to email me back, should you decide not to go ahead? I want to ensure I don’t keep trying to contact you again if you are not interested”
- If the baby has already arrived and you have a very limited time to get the family in the studio.
“Ok, if Wednesday 10:30am works for you I will hold the date for 48 hours to give us time to get you booked in.
I am about to email you a recap of what we have discussed, so you have all the info in writing. I will also send you a second email with the contract, and invoice for your deposit/session fee.
Should I not hear from you within 48 hours I will only contact you once again to let you know I am closing your enquiry and cancelling your reservation.”
When I first started in business I had a 6-page script to follow for my calls. A perfectly designed tool for sales.
And I hated it.
Fast forward to today, I can unequivocally say that the non-scripted approach I have taken after using my perfect script less than 5 times has been an irreplaceable tool to learn who my clients are, what motivates them, what language they use and – ultimately – to make selling a genuine and easy process.