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Did you know you can identify your prospect’s communication style in the first 10 seconds of a cold call?

The interesting thing about a cold dial is that you never know what to expect. Every call and every conversation can lead you down a different path.

With a few minor adjustments in the very beginning, you can determine how to shape the rest of the conversation based on how your prospect responds.

The key to identifying your prospects communication style is to get them talking early, even if they only give you a few words, this will help you adapt your communication style to theirs.

A great way to get the prospect talking, or make the call more conversational is by adding what we call a pattern interrupt. A pattern interrupt is something that changes the normal pace of a cold call.

Here is an example:

(John being the decision maker, Jane Doe as the sales rep)

John: “Hi, this is John.”

Jane: “Hey John, Jane Doe.”

John: “Hey, Jane?”

Jane: “John, it doesn’t sound like the name is ringing any bells for you?”

The last line is an example of a pattern interrupt. Instead of Jane jumping directly into what she does and the reason she is calling, she asks a question in order to get the prospect talking.

Based on the John’s response, Jane will be able to get a decent idea of John’s communication style.

John could respond a couple different ways.

For example:

John: “Jane… I am trying to think. Didn’t we meet at a chamber event awhile back, probably two or three weeks ago?”

Not always, but typically this is a sign that this prospect is open to a more conversational style of a cold call. The sign is that John is not completely direct, he seems to be a bit intrigued. You can also tell a lot from the tonality. Matching his/her tonality and speaking pace will also help to bridge communication gaps.

Another example:

John: “Nope”

This is obviously more of a direct style; this will let you know that you need to get to your point, and not to focus on non-essentials.

For example:

“This is my company, this is why I am reaching out, and does it make sense for us to talk any further?”

The key is to get the prospect talking early. Try to match and mirror the communication style displayed by the prospect. Follow this important rule for cold calling success: People buy from people they like, and people that are like them.

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