Whether it’s getting a stubborn past due debtor to pay up or wrestling a taxpayer ID number from a vendor, Finance needs to be pretty persuasive. So who better to take some tips from than these folks?
Few folks spend more time trying to coax others to their way of thinking the way salespeople do. One of the major components of their job? Cold calling. Talk about a time where you really have to make a compelling case!
So take these three best foot-in-the-door phrases ID’d by a top sales guru the next time you need to convince someone that your way is the way to go.
Successful Sales Angle #1: “Maybe you can help me out for a second”
Try this opening in a casual, relaxed tone of voice the next time you’re calling that customer who just won’t pay or that purchaser who never includes his supporting documentation with his invoices.
Odds are you’ll be met with a yes – it’s human nature to want to help another person out. That’s your route in. You’ve opened a dialogue in a non-combative way. If you can maintain that tone, you should be well-positioned to making some headway.
Successful Sales Angle #2: “I’m calling to see if you were open”
Again, few people are going to shut you down and say no right off the bat. After all, who wants to appear closed-minded?
The key issue: what you say next. It’s critical you frame your response in terms of the benefits to the other person. (Think about one of Sales’ key tools: WIIFM – what’s in it for me.)
So to that non-compliant employee who always messes up her expense reports: “I’m calling to see if you’re open to a new way of doing your expense reports that will mean they won’t get bounced back to you anymore.” A clear benefit that’s specific to the person you need to green light from.
At that point, sales experts say you can address the problem you think that person might be having: Marnie may be struggling with the Excel spreadsheet used for expense reports.
At this point, you should have ’em hooked.
Successful Sales Angle #3: “Where do we go from here?”
So you think that past-due account is finally going to cough up what it owes. You don’t want to go for the hard sell now – the other person could pull back and you’ll be right back where you started.
Byt putting the onus back on them, it’s up to the other person to take initiative to at least suggest a next step. Plus, you know people are more willing to buy in to an idea that they came up with, rather than one they feel was imposed upon them.