Much of what you know about forging fruitful over-the-phone relationships with customers might have to be disregarded when you are focused on establishing strong relationships with other businesses. Here are several tips for helping to take your business-to-business calls further.
Be prepared beforehand
Before picking up the phone, write down what you would actually like to say during the call. Fast Company advises that you note the points you are interested in covering, the main question you want to ask, and the amount of time at your disposal.
Start with an “easy” prospect
If there is a particular business from which you especially confidently expect a positive reaction, then call this company first. Should your B2B calling efforts get off to a great start, this will help you develop confidence for the rest of the campaign.
Be direct and explicit
Once you have eased yourself into a readily flowing conversion through employing banter, be open about why you are calling. Words like “listen, the reason I’m calling is…” can help you smoothly shift attention to the crucial matter.
Resist launching into a monologue
This warrants emphasis because the conversation should not be a monologue, but instead a dialogue. Otherwise, the recipient could start losing interest. Break up your pitch with pauses to regularly ask them if they are following you – and, perhaps, request feedback.
Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint
During your initial chat with a corporate contact, assume that this won’t be your sole opportunity to converse with them. With this attitude, you should resist trying to stuff everything into one conversation – and your patience and persistence could be rewarded.
Don’t be long-winded
Once you have someone’s time, you need to respect it. Therefore, keep each phone chat relatively short and to-the-point; this will encourage the recipient to have further chats with you later.
Don’t delay the follow-up
If you decide to hold it off until “tomorrow” or an unspecified future date, your schedule could suddenly become clogged up and so prevent you making the follow-up at all.
Be persistent – very persistent!
Persistence can pay off handsomely in the business-to-business world. Business consultant Gordon Tredgold wrote for Entrepreneur that, when he made 2,000 B2B cold calls in 20 days, “only 6% of my calls led to a conversion, so perseverance and persistence turned out to be key attributes”.
Don’t overly fret about when you call
According to Tredgold, it “didn’t really make a difference” whether he called in the morning or afternoon. Therefore, don’t factor time of day too heavily into your B&B calling strategy.
Save money on international calls
Making plentiful B2B calls can run heavily into your business budget. This can be especially the case when you are phoning overseas contacts; however, when you register an account with us at Planet Numbers, you can regularly make international calls for as cheap as 1p a minute.
Our website includes many more details about how we can enable your business to make cheap calls in this way.