Sales prospecting is probably one of the scariest parts of selling. Yet, for many small business owners, it’s one of the most important hats they wear. Even for dedicated salespeople, prospecting can be a daunting challenge on a daily basis. One of the most useful sales tools is a “talk track” that can provide a structured sales path for the salesperson and their prospect.
All of us have good and bad days. On a good day, prospects are quick to say “yes” and can’t wait to schedule an appointment. Even skeptical prospects end up being persuaded. On a bad day, you can’t even get your mom to call you back. Using a talk track minimizes the ill effects of a bad day by giving you a consistent message and logical next steps. Let’s look at how talk tracks can be beneficial for different personality styles:
If you are a “D” personality and have made it this far in this post, I imagine you are saying to yourself, “I don’t want to be bound by a standardized process!” You love your freedom, and it’s easy to see why you think using a talk track might slow you down. Consider this is exactly why you should use one, even if it’s not “word for word.” You are so direct, you may just jump right to the closing conversation, rushing the prospect and creating an uncomfortable environment (consider the “S” style). Believe it or not, you are also emotionally attached to the results, even though you may not be personally impacted by a “no.” A good talk track gives you talking points and the steps you should go through before the ask.
When we are thinking about the result of the sales conversation, we are emotionally attached to the outcome of “Yes,” or in the case of the “I” style, it’s more about avoiding the “No.” This drives the behavior of not having the conversation about getting the sale, thus avoiding rejection, but missing the sale too. This is where using a talk track can get the salesperson out of that mindset and into a positive sales conversation by changing the focus from the outcome (Yes/No) to the process. If you focus on completing the process, and not the result, then you are taking your emotional attachment out of the conversation. Your prospect could have a need for your service, or they might have something happening you don’t know about that has nothing to do with you, and they don’t need your service at this time. Release your emotional attachment to the results and strengthen your commitment to using this process.
Similarly, if you are an “S” style, you tend to shy away from confrontation. Sales calls can often seem like a confrontation on a small scale because you don’t know the outcome. The good news is, since you like routine and stability, you also like process. So, focus on the process of having the sales prospecting conversation, executing it steadily and consistently with every sales target. Once you get in that groove, you’ll start to see results over time. Not everyone will say “yes,” but the talk tracks and process you use will lead to many prospects buying from you.
For the “C” personality, your emotional attachment is to possibly having as much information as possible and demonstrating your knowledge. Have you heard the term, “Talk a dog off of a meat wagon?” Again, if you commit to a talk track and process steps, including time limits for yourself, you will be more likely to have a successful sales closing conversation. Think about the question, “How much information is good enough to ask for the business?”
Our new sales prospecting course gives you more insight into this and other aspects of creating a successful sales process. Learn more about it here.