Here’s what do you need to know so that your conversations don’t come to an abrupt ending and your voice mail message are not responded to with the dreaded “Delete Key”!
Catching Someone’s Attention
Start a conversation by introducing yourself, your company and role, and your location. For example:
“Good morning Ms. Prospect. This is Sly Fox, Marketing Director for J&J Marketing and Entertainment. I’m located on King Carter Drive, just a mile from the Sea View Banquet Center.”
Can you see how much more effective this opening is as opposed to saying:
“Hi, I’m from J&J Marketing. I have a DJ company and I’d like to talk to you about my services.”
No More “How Are You’s”
If someone does answer the phone, thank them for taking your call. Ask them if this is a good time to share some best practices about event planning. Do not make it a general solicitation call. Instead create a connection that will spark a conversation.
“Is this a good time to talk about your wedding? I received your email requesting some information and have some ideas that I’d like to share with you.”
Voice Mail That Gets Returned
If someone does not pick up the phone, here are some key things to think about when leaving a voice mail message.
Be Brief: Leave a message in 20 seconds or less. You may have to train yourself by putting a stop watch in front of you. Be interesting and say something unique. If you are going to ramble on about your business, it is going to disinterest the person listening to the message.
Be Gone: Say your name, company name and phone number at the end of the message. People tend to leave it at the beginning of the message and if someone is not interested in your services they are going to delete it before they even hear the value you can add to the event.
Speak Slowly: Many people quickly give out a phone number and the listener does not have time to write it down. Most communications never get the circle completed because they have an inaccurate phone number, could not hear the message clearly or you spoke too fast.
Repeat: Repeat your phone number a second time so the client can check the number without having to listen to the message again. Everyone is in a hurry so make sure that your message is clear and concise and makes an impact.
Also, let the prospect know you will call them back. For example, if you leave a message on Monday. At the end of the message say:
“If I have not heard from you, I will call you back on Thursday at 9:19 am.”
Why would you do that? Because it creates a level of interest, and because many people will wonder if you are really going to keep your commitment. While 9:19 am may not be a convenient time for someone, if you do call and get voice mail and he/she hears that you called at 9:19, you’ve created a level of trust with that can help you to win business.
This has been a regular business practice of mine for several years. In fact, I won a major client because he sat at his desk waiting for me to call at the time I promised to do so. Mr. Prospect said I was a man of my word and someone with whom he wanted to do business.
Please notice that I gained new business not based on price, but rather the value and trust I created.
Landing the Appointment
When you do get someone on the phone, do not focus on price and commodity, but focus on what you can offer. All of us in the event business have a network of “centers of influence,” including wedding planners, bridal shops, florists, bands, photographers, etc. Why not take a group of fellow professionals with whom you have interacted for years, and make them a source for generating leads?
“Can I take a few minutes to share what I’ve learned and be a potential referral source for you.”
Many people are interested in learning information. They are interested in learning how to get the best value for their dollar – not the cheapest but the best value. You might want to say:
“An article just crossed my desk about how to hire the right DJ for your event. May I send you a copy of that article in the mail? Or if we can meet I’d be more than happy to bring the article with me.”
You have something that offers value to the client. Bringing your brochure or your price list is not necessarily value – you’ve now created a commodity.
Know When to Stop Talking
When you do get a client on the phone and they agree to meet with you, do not let this become a selling point. All too often vendors talk themselves out of an appointment because when they got the client on the phone they created an opportunity to sell.
The client will let you know when they are ready to buy. Keep any appointment setting conversations to two minutes or less. And never get into a sales pitch. Combining all of these techniques will help you come across as a trusted advisor to the planner.
Do you have an example of a sure-fire telephone sales technique? If so, please share it with us!
Jerry Bazata – “The Money Answer Man”
Jerry Bazata (Maine’s DJ Jaz) has over 25 years of experience as a professional DJ entertainer. His firm, J & J Marketing and Entertainment, is a leading consultant to the event planning and music industries. Jerry is a published author and is recognized nationally as an authority on the disc jockey business. He is also Senior Vice President of a global financial institution. To learn about Jerry’s DJ company, visit MaineDiscJockey.com and you can email him at Jerry@mainediscjockey.com.