Speaking To Clients On The Telephone For The First Time

speaking to clients on the telephone for the first time

When agencies, speaking to clients on the telephone for the first time start asking them questions like “are you reviewing your agency arrangements? or “are you happy with your agency?” or even “what are the issues you need addressing?” before having fixed the meeting date, they are making a big mistake.

Think of it like this. What you’re doing on this phone call is asking them for a date.

When asking for a date, you want to find out whether they are …

1) Interested in you

2) Have the same interests as you

Before asking someone for a date I NEVER used to ask them if they were in an unhappy relationship and considering an alternative ‘provider’. Did YOU? No, of course not. Speaking to clients on the telephone for the first time is exactly the same.

So take it slowly. Ask them a simple question, the answer to which tells you if they are the decision maker and whether they have a budget.

As soon as you know the answer to both these is YES and the client is one you REALLY want to work with, arrange a date. Much is made of the Timing in BANT, but sometimes I think it’s importance is overemphasised. Prospecting is the start of the sales funnel, not the end. And overemphasising the importance of the timing aspect of the initiation of the relationship can lead to the relationship never starting in the first place.

At that first date is the time for more in depth interrogation. Or, in the dating scenario, ‘wooing’. Wooing that may takes months of careful and thoughtful attention but never stalking, until maybe their current partner fails in some way and they turn to you for help. So remember, prospecting is the start of the sales funnel and you need to be gentle.