Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
In the early stages of World War II, the Germans invaded Denmark and attempted to convert the Danish monarchy into a puppet government on behalf of the German Third Reich. One bold man stood in their way: the leader of Denmark, King Christian X. King Christian’s boldness and defiance over a large enemy thwarted the German efforts to recruit Danish men into the German war machine.
On the morning after the occupation, King Christian spotted a Nazi flag flying over a public building. Furious at the arrogance of the Germans, King Christian ordered a German commander to remove it. The German commander replied that anyone who attempted to remove the flag will be shot. The seventy-three year old king said “I think not” and proceed to remove the flag himself. Eventually, the King’s actions lead to his arrest which was the catalyst that provoked Danish men to launch hundreds of fishing boats toward England to join the allied forces.
Obviously, being bold can be difficult, but it can also be rewarding—especially in sales. Would you rather do business with someone who is bold and confident or timid and unsure? By implementing the following techniques you will be able to boldly and confidently communicate your intial value statement which will help you advance your cold calls to the investigation stage of the sales cycle.
Purpose of an Initial Value Statement
As previously stated, the purpose of an initial value statement is to obtain the customer’s consent to advance the call to the investigation stage of the sales cycle. In fact, the objective of every step in the sales process is to advance to the next step of the sales cycle. You want buyers to agree that it’s justified for you to ask them questions or meet with them personally.
Your Thirty Second Commercial
An initial value statement should be thirty seconds—never longer than forty-five seconds. Anything longer makes potential buyers antsy and frustrated. Long-winded cold calls force buyers to interrupt sellers just to get a word in. I am sure you have experienced that in the past when you literally wait for the seller to take a breath so you can jump in and say “Sorry, I am not interested.”
How to Craft a Bold Initial Value Statement
Many of the participants in my sales trainings have asked, “Do I really need all this to make a good cold call?” My answer is always a firm “Yes” because if you leave out or try to defer any of the recommended steps, you will not be as successful. It’s really that simple. People want to know to whom they are talking, what the purpose of the call is, and why they should listen.
- Introduce yourself, your company, and (optional) your location
- State a common reference
- Make a bold value statement
- State the purpose of the call
- [Walk Away Statement]
Begin crafting your initial value statement. To give you some inspiration, here is a sample initial value statement using the recommended steps. See if you can identify each individual step.
“Good morning Mr. Smith, this is Bastian Cowsert with Patrick Henry International. We provide sales and presentation training for medical device manufacturers. Some of our clients include ABC Corporation and XYZ Manufacturer. One of the primary concerns we are hearing from other executives is their frustration with ineffective sales presentations. The reason I am calling is simply to discuss with you how we help clients overcome this challenge and determine if we might have a few options worth taking a look at.”
After delivering your opening statement, be quiet and let the buyer talk without interruption. If he or she agrees to an appointment, say “Thank you”, confirm the date and time, and move on. Avoid a premature presentation on the phone or “spilling your popcorn in the lobby” by saying too much too soon.
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