How a Little Hypnotic Language Can Improve Your Cold Calls
“Hello this is ….. from ….. How are you today?”
What is the first thing you think when you answer the phone to this introduction?
My first thought is “What are they selling?”
I suspect these poor telesales callers are working from a script which they repeat hundreds of times, day in day out, because they then burble out their name and company so quickly that I always have to ask “Who are you?” They forget that I have not heard it before.
Clearly they don’t really want to know how I am either; someone somewhere has decided that this is the polite way to start a cold call. I’m probably not unusual in that it puts me straight on the defensive. Whether it is someone trying to sell me a service that I might actually be interested in or another PPI or injury claim call, the shutters have already come down and I may even say I’m not interested and put the phone down before they’ve even had a chance to tell me what it is about.
I’ve been working on my book today and I would love to be able to ignore the phone but, of course, it might be a client wishing to make an appointment, so they have to be answered (most don’t like leaving messages and usually have questions to ask before they book). However, after the 12th call of this type today, it set me thinking – what would work?
I spent a few years training staff in call handling in sales and customer service and although I don’t claim to be the expert on cold calling, I did do it many years ago, using the same trite scripts that seem to be still being used today. I am an expert on NLP and Hypnotic Language Patterns, so could this bring something to the table? Well, yes, I think so.
So this is my take on those two opening sentences.
Hello, it’s …….. from ……. (pause)
I have caught you at a good time, haven’t I?
Make it sound like they should know you. They’ll be wondering where they met you. Give them a chance to say hello back, this makes it more difficult for them to put the phone down on you because they’ve already committed to an interaction with you.
Not only does this show respect for the other person’s time, the ‘tag question’ makes it difficult for them to say no. Say it with a descending voice tone, so it seems like a statement, not the normal ascending question tone.
It also gives the recipient the opportunity to say “I’ve only got 5 minutes” or “I’m just about to go into a meeting”. This can be a good thing because you can then arrange an appointment to call them when they have time to listen to your sales pitch. Remember, they don’t really know what you are selling yet (or even that you are), or if they really have met you before, so you have less chance of them not taking the call later and they have committed to giving you some time to listen.
A few minutes of thought and a slight tweaking of the words was all that was necessary. I’d also say however many times you make cold calls, always say it like it is the first time, because, for the recipient, it is.
Want more training? Contact me for team or 1-1 training on using NLP and Hypnotic Language Patterns in your sales.
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