Several months ago, some dopey expert suggested that a rep's initial conversation with an inbound lead might start with, "Hi name, I was notified that you came to our website and recently downloaded (reference the conversion event). Do you remember doing that? Great! What were you looking for help with?"
In October, I talked with a CEO that had a "stubborn salesman" that has been starting his sales conversations with, "How can I help you?" for a millenium and he's sure as hell not gonna change for some new fangled fad called inbound marketing that generates crappy leads anyway.
I hear this kind of thing every day, but these two examples were so quotable that I couldn't resist.
I wrote, What to say after "Hello"? for Sarah last October and it may begin to give you some answers.
I also got involved with a blogversation that got me remembering a conversation from 2007/8. I noticed a big name company doing a crappy job at a trade show. I knew somebody at the big name company and asked them who would be a good person to talk to about improving. I got referred to Charlie. I reached out to Charlie and I don't remember the exchange, but I do remember that Charlie accused me of using a stupid Sandler negative reverse on him. Don't worry about most of this. Focus on the fact that Charlie didn't like anyone making 'sales moves' on him.
I don't think Charlie's alone, as a matter of fact, I think that Charlie is the norm.
Add to that, the fact that over half of the buyer's journey is done by the time you're notified. Add to that, the fact that the average salesperson feels as though the buyer has all the power and knows what they want and will buy it when they see it. The average salesperson also may be a terrible buyer. Consequently, when they're shopping and dealing with a salesperson, the salesperson may try to use tricks, techniques and tactics to manipulate them into buying AND THEY DON'T LIKE IT. So, when the shoe's on the other foot, they don't want to use tricks, techniques and tactics to manipulate their prospect into buying, but it's all that they're taught. So, they feel helpless.
Hmmm! So, understanding all of that, how do you sell an inbound lead in 30 seconds?