Outbound prospecting is important to any B2B sales program. With warm leads, you’re asking a lot of questions to determine what problems to solve. But, when you’re prospecting with cold leads, you better have a good story to tell.
This article provides a 6-step process for developing and delivering a narrative pitch that turns a cold lead into a warm prospect.
Here’s the scenario we see often. Your outbound prospecting efforts get you an appointment with a qualified buyer. You’ve generated interest over the phone, and now it’s time to turn that cold prospect into an interested buyer. When you meet the buyer, he’s going to expect an explanation of why he should invest in your products/services. The 6-step process follows:
Step 1 – Set a time frame
Everybody is busy. Communicating how long your pitch is going to take tells your buyer you’re busy as well and there’s limited time to talk. Limit your pitch to 20 minutes. Here’s what you can say…
“This presentation will take about 20 minutes and we’ll have some time after that for questions.”
Step 2 – Introduce yourself and the concept
It’s time to tell the buyer about you and your company. This shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes and should be limited to 3-4 highlights. Limit the highlights because the typically buyer will only remember the most impressive ones. You might say something like…
“We’ve been developing technology solutions for the trucking industry for more than 15 years. Last year we won 1st place at the National Trucking Show in Las Vegas for having the most innovative software solution. Our team is comprised of several people who have run distribution networks, and we’ve seen our technology solutions make meaningful impact on trucking companies your size all across the nation.”
Step 3 – Why now?
Now it’s time to communicate a sense of urgency and why your product/service is important now. During this phase, you want to communicate three reasons why now is the best time; 1) economic factors, 2) behavioral factors and 3) technology factors. This might sound something like…
“There are several emerging trends that make what we do for companies important right now. First, intense competition for drivers have driven up payroll costs. Second, studies are showing that 73% of drivers want to be home at night, requiring more sophisticated scheduling options. And third, technology and automation platforms in the trucking industry have become more cost effective for small and mid-sized businesses.”
Step 4 – Introduce the concept
It’s time to introduce your product/service. This section of the pitch should be comprised of four elements; 1) explaining the WIFM – what’s in it for them, 2) how it is superior to the competition, 3) it’s based on a proven system, and 4) there’s a guarantee. Here’s what you might say…
“For trucking companies that want to recruit and retain quality drivers, our technology enables you to predict transportation lanes and schedule more effectively, resulting in better routes for drivers and more nights at home. Unlike most routing software built strictly on cost effectiveness, ours balances cost and individual driver demands. It’s proven to work at several trucking companies, and we’re so confident about it, we guarantee it will work.
Step 5 – Explain the budget
Now it’s time to begin wrapping up your pitch. As one way to qualify your buyer, you explain some economics. Here’s what you might say…
“The initial Investment ranges from as low as $1900/month to as much as $6000, depending on how many drivers you have, route geography, and the extent of services that would be valuable to you.”
Step 6 – Offer the deal and ask for next step
At this point you’ve laid things on the line. Now’s it’s time to close the pitch and ask for the next step. You would say something like this…
“If you’re looking to reduce driver turnover, this is something to consider. It’s not for everyone but has proven effective for many. In order to provide a superior customer experience, we limit the number of new system installations to two per month, so we’re very selective about who we work with. If we decide to work together, we’ll be focused on retaining and developing your drivers. The next step would be to evaluate your current routing methods. Can we get started on that?”
Follow this sequence when making your narrative pitch, and you’ll turn more cold prospects into warm, qualified leads.