Archive: Jul 2020
Our top 10 tips for effective telephone prospecting
Posted: July 9, 2020 10:13 amIf you’d like to be more effective when it comes to telephone prospecting then there are some simple ways to do it. These are our top 10 tips for getting more from the effort that you put in.
- Prepare a range of responses. Each call will either go to voicemail, be answered by the prospect or someone who handles the prospect’s calls. You need to have the right response prepared for each one of these scenarios so that you don’t waste time or opportunities.
- Find the right time of day. The more you experiment with call times the more likely you are to see patterns. The reality is that you may have a higher chance of success with some prospects before 9am and with others after 5pm. Experiment as you gain experience so that you have more of an idea of what is likely to work with each one.
- If you don’t believe in yourself why should they? Self-belief is essential if you want to get better at telephone prospecting. If you sound positive, energised and like you’re backing your own words then it’s likely your prospect will too.
- Focus on who you’re speaking to. If all you’re doing on the call is talking about yourself or the product you’ll struggle. Instead, focus on the prospect, what their needs are and what information they will find valuable.
- If you’re leaving a voicemail, be brief. Make sure you know what to say on a voicemail in advance of the call so that you don’t waffle. Keep it to 15 seconds and be succinct.
- Vary your approach. If you don’t get through on one day make sure that the next call is a different time on a different day otherwise you’re effectively just duplicating effort. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t leave the same voicemail twice so keep a record of what you’ve said, and when.
- Free up your hands. We are usually much more effective at being convincing if we’re able to use our hands expressively while talking. Even if the prospect can’t see you, being hands free can make you more compelling. That may require you to wear a headset.
- You may not get through straight away. It can take multiple attempts to break through to a prospect so if this doesn’t happen immediately that’s no reason to just give up. Plan for 4-6 contacts and if nothing is achieved after that then back off for a month or so and try again.
- Think about the other person’s schedule. For example, most meetings start on the hour so if you call five minutes before you might just be able to catch them.
- Stay the course. Telephone prospecting is very effective but persistence is essential – be ready to keep trying to achieve those exciting breakthroughs.
How to become a better project manager
Posted: July 2, 2020 10:45 amBecoming a great project manager is possible for anyone. No one starts out with exactly the right skill set and there are always opportunities to improve and do better. If you’re keen to evolve as a project manager then these are some of the simplest ways to do it.
- Be a consistent and effective communicator. This means ensuring that communication is maintained for all parties, from stakeholders to managers, and keeping lines of communication open. Use all the tools at your disposal to do this, from video conferencing platforms to email and face-to-face meetings where practical.
- Learn how to listen. Many of us listen to others while thinking or doing something else and, as a result, we can miss subtle emotional signs or behavioural cues. Being able to listen actively means being fully present with the speaker and learning how to empathise with their perspective and see what they’re saying from their point of view.
- Be clear about next steps. Every time a meeting takes place make sure that everyone walking away from it knows what they need to do next and when that needs to happen by.
- Be transparent and authentic. If you’re using access to information as a means of control then you’re likely to end up in a sticky situation because other people talk. Instead, be transparent if you want to build trust and work on your own authenticity – aligning who you present yourself to be with what you say and do.
- Deal with issues quickly. Establish a simple, routine project control cycle so that any issues that arise are being tackled as soon as they are identified and are not left to escalate.
- Work on self awareness. It’s easy to get set in your ways as a project manager. However, the best opportunities for improvement often arise from working on self awareness and through the constructive criticism of others.
- Always look for the problem you’re trying to solve. If you’re struggling to identify the end objective for a project then look at it from the perspective of the issue that it exists to solve. If you take the time to define this clearly then everyone involved will understand the goal.
- Use technology and templates. Both can save on time and standardise processes across the project.
- Stay on top of the process. It’s essential that parts of the project don’t end up without observation. Setting soft and hard deadlines can be a simple way to ensure that progress is measurable and everyone remains motivated. Regularly looking for project ‘gaps’ by checking in with time, cost, objectives etc will ensure that these don’t have the opportunity to become voids.
- Review and learn. Take the time, either within the project cycle or when it’s finished, to review recent progress and work out whether anything could have been done better.