Research shows it can take eight attempts before reaching a prospect. Just a few years ago, it took about four attempts. People are busy and aren’t willing to give their time to just anyone. That’s why it’s more important than ever to distinguish yourself from all the other sales reps out there.

Mike Brooks, the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, says you only have a few precious seconds to capture a prospect’s attention and make them want to continue the conversation, so it’s always best to make the most of your opportunity to establish a connection.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we highlight Brooks’ thoughts on how you can set yourself apart and make your prospects want to speak to you over your competitors.

Know what you’re up against. Chances are, other sales reps are using the same verbiage. They might say something like, “Hi, Mr. Smith. This is Sarah Jones with ABC Promo Company. We help companies like yours do XYZ.” You can immediately differentiate yourself by straying from the usual prospecting script. Prospects often expect salespeople to sound the same, so instead, aim to establish a real connection.

Don’t confuse pitching with building rapport. They’re not the same thing. If you use the typical opener, you’re not making any connection with the prospect. Instead, it just leads to a one-sided conversation. Brooks recommends thinking about how you would feel if someone interrupted your day with a pitch like that. You’d probably want to hang up immediately.

Quickly make a connection. Remember, your prospects were in the middle of something before you called. Aim to get them to interact with you in the first few seconds of your call. Brooks says you should acknowledge they’re busy by saying something like, “Hi, Mr. Smith. This is Sarah Jones with ABC Company. Listen, I know you probably get a ton of calls, so I’ll make this brief.”

Adapt, practice and implement. According to Brooks, 80% of your competition still barges in on their prospects and opens their calls with a long explanation about what they do and what they offer. They pitch their products and services without checking in with their prospects or establishing any kind of connection. You can separate yourself from the pack by considering the points above.

There’s an art to making prospecting calls. The goal isn’t simply to make a certain number of calls in a day – it’s to lay a foundation and establish a connection with the person on the other end of the phone.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, an inside sales consulting and training firm based in North Carolina.