I have just listened to 35 sales calls from a team of recruitment advertising executives.
Selling recruitment advertising is a tough gig. The market is hugely competitive and the products have increasingly become commoditized. There are relatively few points of differentiation between the products, the client base is constantly shifting and every recruiter is suffering from a serious bout of sales fatigue. When a recruitment sales person calls they are often just part of the daily static. Like I say it can be a tough gig for even the most resilient of the species.
However I noticed that there was one simple thing, that more than half the sales people in my sample group just failed to do when they initiated the call. (so simple in fact that it is easily/often forgotten by even experienced sales people).
Calls would begin something like this;
Client: Hello David Jones speaking
Sales Person: Oh hello my name is Joe Smith and I’m calling from ACMEsoft………
Did you spot it?
More than half the people in my sample group failed to use the prospects name, even though they have provided it in their opening .
Our names have one simple function, they allow allow others to draw our attention. We cannot help but pay attention when someone uses our name. (Ever heard your name uttered at the other side of the office? You cannot help but take notice!) Not using the clients name (especially when they have tacitly given you permission to do so in their salutation) is just dumb.
Using a customers name gets their attention for a few precious seconds, failure to do so means you are already on the back foot.
Oh and we live in the 21st century now, people are more likely to be suspicious if you overly formal in your salutation, so unless your customer is over 60 and working in an arcane civil service department there is really no need for Mr Jones. The only people who call me Mr Kenny are the AOL call centre and the Police neither of whom I want to have much to do with)
I know that this is a simple hack and an obvious one but it is so obvious that only about 50% of people remember to do it.