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Hello, is it me you’re looking for? (Getting that first phone call right!)

Top tips from Tom Priscott

You’ve got an enquiry from a company you’ve never heard from before and it evokes a mix of nerves and excitement, while thoughts of what you’re going to do when you close the deal are rushing through your mind.

As the nerves slowly increase, you begin to think about how your first call with them is going to play out. Are they going to speak to me? Did they mean to enquire? What if they hang up? Will they think we’re good enough?

With this all rushing through your mind, take a deep breath and remember you’ve got this.

They do want to speak to you, you are the best accountant in the land! You will save them that all important cash and can help them safely navigate the many obscure rules and regulations of the UK Tax Code.

However, my suggestion is before you pick up the phone consider these 8 tips to ensure the call goes as well as it can.

1. Do your research

Understand who they are, what they do and how they do it. This is vital to show you’re invested in finding out their goals and how you can help.

2. Thoroughly prepare

Pre-prepare a set of the most important things you need to know about them. I always have my questions written down beside me, so I’ve got a question to ask if I get stuck. (See my next blog for how to form killer questions: Tell me, explain to me, describe to me etc.)

3. Social media stalking

We don’t like to admit to it, but we’ve all done it at some point! Social media research is a very important thing to do to understand about the person you’re about to call.

Check out their LinkedIn profile and their website (if they have one) to find out who they are and are they the key decision maker in this process.

4. Don’t rush your pitch

You’ve called them, potentially out of the blue, you know that you’re going to need at least 5 -10 minutes to discuss the points you want to get across. It might not be a good time for them to speak, so ask if they’ve got 5 minutes to spare.

If they don’t have the time, be firm and don’t hurry your pitch. Get them to tell you when a suitable time will be for you to call them back.

5. Add insight

Now you’ve got their full attention, give something valuable. Share a piece of industry knowledge, today’s news, upcoming legislation impacts – show that you understand them and the challenges facing their business.

6. Show me the money!

Find out how urgent the enquiry is and when are they are looking to get things actioned. When you’re finding this out, find out what their budget is. You’ll then be able to start to introduce your services and how you can help them.

7. The follow-up chat

While you’ve got them on the phone, which you’ll know can be nearly impossible with some clients, tell them when you’re going to contact them next.

Have these dates arranged before the call and give them 2 options. At this point if both times don’t work they’ll hopefully give you a time that does, if they don’t – ASK!

8. Any other questions

Simply asking if they have any more questions is great, but an even better question to ask is “has our conversation answered all of the questions you had?”

 

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