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Let’s talk: Using conversation to convert sales

Break the sales ice with expert conversation techniques

Cathy Schmid
Cathy Schmid
EVP Sales and Client Services / Partner

Have you ever found yourself thinking of how to start a conversation with customers? Even for non-sales people, it’s a skill you can master quickly.

Forty-four percent of buyers don’t like it when you pressure them to buy your services; 25% believe salespeople are more into themselves than them.

At Volkart May we understand how to start sales-producing conversations with your current or potential customers. In other words, we know what to talk about when it comes to generating reliable leads in your B2B target audience.

Call us today and let us help you demonstrate top-notch skills in conversion conversation.

Why conversational skills are essential in sales

Business Insider advises that having the upper hand in customer-focused conversations will enable you to achieve critical business outcomes. Also, you will uncover new customer data by asking questions.

Customers don’t buy because they understand you; they buy because they believe you understand their challenges. Many people make the mistake of talking about their company and its services and not focusing on the prospect’s problems.

Here’s how to start a B2B sales conversation

To start a B2B conversation with a prospect, understand the value of that professional’s time (and your time), and be engaging but succinct. It’s crucial to find out who the decision-makers are concerning the product or service you’re selling, then communicate directly with those individuals.

Be engaging and friendly with whoever picks up the phone, but also discover who you need to speak with.

For example, if you have a moisture sensor that can improve soybean outcomes on the drying belt, ask to speak to the Operations Manager. Here’s a run-down of how a “cold call” conversation might go:

Salesperson: “Thanks for taking my call today. I’m looking to ask a few questions about your company, and I’d like to speak with the person who makes decisions about the moisture analysis on your soybeans.”

Once you connect to the person who can answer your questions, you can switch into listening mode. It’s essential to find out about the particular company in as short a time as you can. Remember, time is valuable for both of you.

Show a little background knowledge

Begin your conversation with a bit of background knowledge of the target company. Keep it short and relevant. You can establish credibility here in a short amount of time with two or three shared nuggets about their industry presence or company footprint.

Ask a “pain point” question

In the soybean example above, a useful pain point question might be something like this:

Salesperson: “So, how are you currently measuring the moisture content of your beans after the drying process?”

Prospect: “We take a random physical sample every hour from the line and run it through an off-belt analysis machine.”

Salesperson: “What are the challenges with that system?”

Now, you’re getting the prospect to tell you the challenges with the way they currently run their operation. And, you have an opening to talk about how your product or service could solve a real problem the prospect faces.

Now,  you can start helping them.

Dig deeper on the pain points

If the prospect is still engaged and talking, ask them to expound further. Continuing the soybean example, you may find information like this:

Salesperson: “So, with your physical sample, how satisfied are you with the accuracy of that test? And, how much extra time is it taking your staff to perform those checks?”

Prospect: “Well, to be honest, our moisture results are not that accurate, and we’re looking for a better system. We prefer to use our staff for more essential production tasks, and we’re spread a little thin right now.”

Qualify, qualify, qualify

Remember, time is vital to both of you. You want to keep the tone conversational with no sales pressure, while also determining if there is a next step in the sales process for both of you.

You might ask a question like:

Salesperson: “I’ve got a moisture sensor with a proven track record that may address some of your major challenges with this part of your production. Can I give you a general overview, and then perhaps schedule a time to chat more in-depth?”

Or, you could dive in with something like this:

Salesperson: “Where is your company at with addressing this issue?  Are you actively looking into new equipment or processes right now?”

At this point, their answer will dictate your next move. Your prospect may be ready for literature via a visit to your website, or open to a follow-up call, or in-person appointment.

Tips to improve your conversations for conversions

  • Listen more than you talk.Customers don’t buy from you because they know your services, they buy because they feel you understand their problems and will help them solve them.
  • Have an action point at the end.There should be an action point at the end of your conversation or call. Don’t jump from one conversation to another without conclusions or making decisions. If you were talking about generating leads, let the conversation end with a resolve on how to get it done.
  • The customer’s name is vital.According to Michigan State University, people are conditioned to respond to their names since they were young.

    The name of your customer can be a vital piece of information you can have. It’s unique, builds trust and loyalty, and makes people tend to like you more. Always mention the name of your customers when in a conversation.

  • Stay positiveYou can make this happen by painting a picture of a new reality and making the customer see the real deal and how they will benefit from working with you.

    Staying positive helps to maintain the conversation and ultimately brings excellent results.

When you need proven conversation techniques to engage, qualify, and generate leads with your B2B prospects, Volkart May is your go-to company.

Our calling professionals and lead generation experts will support your marketing and sales efforts. Contact us today.

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