Do you ask open-ended questions?
The goal of any outbound call is to get the person on the other end of the line involved. The way to do this is to employ a knockout combo. If you were a boxer, you'd follow up a jab with a cross hook and an uppercut! (the good ole one-two-three knockout!). If you're a telemarketer you follow the YES ladder up with open-ended questions. Here's how most of your combos should sound:
For your jab and cross hook combo use questions one, two and three (see Do you build a YES ladder to your outbound script?).
Here's an example of the kind of question you DON'T want to ask:
Question: Do you know a lot about .NET?
Figure: Bad example
This question is a show stopper! It's too easy for prospects to give a one-word response. If they say no, then you've effectively dug a really deep hole for yourself and it's tough to recover from this position to close the prospect. If they say yes, then that's not too bad but they're probably sick of hearing you speak and are waiting for something to wake them up. If you give your callers a sniff of how to finish the call quickly then like a lion to its prey, they'll pounce - NO NOT INTERESTED!
Then your knockout is going to be something like:
Question: So where do you see yourself fitting in with the move towards .NET for the next few years?
Figure: Good example
This question is great because of the following reasons:
- Stays on the topic.
- It's likely the prospect has thought about this.
- The answer is likely to give you some good points to feed off or identify what doesn't interest them.
- The question can't be answered with a quick yes or no and the prospect must think about how they really feel/think. This increases their involvement and investment into the conversation bringing you a step closer to a sale.