Sales reps (and furthermore, women) are already hard at work fighting against the stereotypes out there. Rather than playing into them with “flirty” lines, here are three alternative prospecting call approaches that actually work.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “don’t mix business with pleasure.” So why are we being told we should flirt with our leads? The saying doesn’t just apply to your colleagues who physically sit next to you day in and day out, but also the people you interact with in any part of your business.
was published on the HubSpot Signals Blog on Friday. It’s from a sales associate who touts her feminine prowess as a way to engage her leads, even prompting her to ask herself, “Did I really just say that?” Well, you did, and guess what? It’s wrong!
Provocative, link-bait title aside, this article actually puts sales prospects into some dangerous “friends-with-benefits” territory. That doesn’t work in life, and it does not work in business. Sure, the benefit in this situation might be an opportunity, but is that opportunity really going to pay off for everyone invovled? And if it does, should it really come at the price of sexual innuendos and overly friendly comments?
At the end of the day, it’s this type of conversation that creates and permeates mistrust between the buyer/seller paradigm.
No, You Don’t Have to Flirt with Your Sales Leads
Here are three reasons why:
1) You are good at your job
You understand the buyers you are talking to and the product you are selling. You are able to articulate the value prop and in doing so, you hit on the pain-points that can take your prospect to the next stage in their buyer journey. You also know how to ask the right questions at the right time, not because you have to, but because you are genuinely curious.
2) You have a reason to call
If we’re being honest, let’s call a spade a spade — pick-up lines and one-liners are really just fillers. They are the roundabout scenic route to the real reason for your call. If you have a reason to pick up the phone, and you have a question to ask — ask it. Don’t waste your prospect’s time. Get to the point quickly. They will thank you later.
3) You respect yourself
Sales isn’t about friendships, it’s about adding value and closing deals. Reps can become great at building relationships, but that doesn’t mean they are very good at prospecting or closing. Respect yourself and your career. If you have to resort to middle-school tactics in order to get someone’s attention, chances are they are not the right person anyway. Do yourself and them a favor by dumping those leads, and moving on to the next.
3 Alternatives to Flirty One-Liners that Actually Work
What it comes down to is this — trying to flirt with sales leads is never a good idea. Rather than playing into stereotypes and reaching with pick-up lines and inappropriate humor, try these options instead:
One Liner: “Can I tell you something personal?”
Better Option: Don’t. Your prospect doesn’t care about how much your apartment costs, or what your student loans look like. If you want to have a conversation around their budget and their revenue, tee it up by saying, “Listen, this sounds like it could be a great fit, and I would love to set you up with a demo. There are just a few questions I need to ask in order to make the best use of both of our time…” and then dive in.
One Liner: “In full transparency…” or ” Can I let you in on a secret?”
Better Option: Just be transparent from call one. “The reason for my call today is…” will be far better received than “Hey Mr. Prospect, how are you doing today?” Cut the sh*t. They don’t want to tell you how they are, nor do you really care.
One Liner: “Honestly, I have to ask, is this the real problem?”
Better Option: “What happens if you do nothing?” Getting them talking about the consequences of not taking action will take you to their real pain and route of the problem.
What’s your take? Do you think flirting has a place in sales? Let me know in the comments below!