Thursday, June 19, 2008

3 Way Calling - Why and When

When is the sum of the parts greater than the whole? Why are team sports so much fun? Why is synergy such a cool word? And why do I want to do a 3 way call?

With a degree in psychology, I learned pretty early on about Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
Once you get through your basic eat/breathe/sleep and safety needs, your most important needs are your social needs. The need for companionship, approval and a sense of belonging are among the strongest human needs. And this, in a nutshell, is why 3 way calling is such an important tool.

But first, what is 3 way calling? 

Mechanically, it is just a way to have you, your prospective customer/associate/employee and a credible, neutral third party together in a conversation. Any proper office phone has a conference call feature. Most cell phones do. And you can even set up your home phone to allow you the ability to talk to 2 people at once. If you don't know how to do this, practice on a friend or family member until it becomes natural. You DON'T want to practice on your prospective customers and associates.

Here is how it works.

You have a product or service to sell. You have a person you wish to sell this product or service to. The person is somewhat interested, but not convinced. Your job is to help them work through any fears, concerns, or objections they may have that are preventing them from saying "Yes" to what you are offering them. By using 3 way calling appropriately, you will address their social needs by letting them see you are part of a larger team and inviting them to be part of the team. You will be bringing in an "expert," which will let them know they are important to you. You will be building trust and friendship with them by taking the time to talk through their questions. If all this is done with a desire to do what is best for the customer, you will either "get the sale" or at least get a few referrals for other possible customers.

Your next step is to say something like the following.

"Mary, I can tell you have a few questions that I'm not able to answer for you. Would you mind if I bring Chris on the line for a few minutes? She has a lot more experience in the area you are asking about and she can do a great job of answering your questions."

When Mary says yes, use your telephone to dial Chris. Chris is someone who has a great deal of credibility and expertise in whatever it is Mary is uncertain about. Mary will be on hold during this time, so please don't make her wait more than 10-15 seconds. Remember how much you hate to be on hold.

When Chris picks up the line, give her a brief description of who Mary is, what she is interested in, and what her objections or questions are.  Then conference Mary into the phone call.

This next step is VERY IMPORTANT.

Introduce Chris by talking briefly about her expertise and why you asked her to join the call. Let's say for example Mary was interested in a weight loss product, but was uncomfortable about having to take pills every day. Your 3 way call might go something like this.

"Mary, I've asked Chris to join us. 

"Chris is a certified nutritional therapist and has been working many years with people who are looking for better ways to manage their weight. She has had  lot of success helping people with this product.

"Chris, Mary has been asking some great questions about our weight loss product. She really understands how weight management can work. But she has some questions about where our product fits in.

"Mary, please ask Chris the question we were just talking about."

Now the next part is for you to be very quiet and let Chris and Mary talk things through. If handled correctly, Chris will have left Mary feeling happy about purchasing your product. Or, if it turns out the product really is not right for Mary, she will know that you care about her and aren't trying to force her to buy something she doesn't want. When Chris hangs up, you move on to the next step with Mary. Either take the order, or ask for referrals. And enjoy the fact that you have made a new friend today.

As Angel Lee says, "Being a millionaire isn't about having a million dollars. Its about having a million friends."