October 1, 2021

6 Ice Breaker in Sales to give you a head start

You’ve got your pitch, now you need to sell it. So here are 6 ice-breakers that will get your conversation flowing and help you close deals.

Every sales rep knows that the way to a customer's heart is through simple, casual conversation. It's much easier for customers to say 'yes' to someone they feel comfortable around. The question is, how do you strike up a casual conversation with a stranger to create ice breaker sales? How can you avoid cold-calling faux pas? What if your usual ice breakers are failing time after time?

Here are 6 easy ways to kick off the conversion process with prospects who have no interest in being contacted by your business. Following these tips will help take the pressure off of both parties and ramp up those conversions!

1. Point to Something Familiar

People often buy from reps who make them feel comfortable; this means putting prospects at ease right away. The best way to do this is by finding something in the prospect's office that you are familiar with. By pointing out a commonality, the rep creates an instant bond and begins to establish rapport.

If there is a picture of your college mascot on their desk, say "Oh wow, Bears fan?" or "Go Beavs!" This will put them at ease and allow them to see you as a peer rather than a salesperson. If smartly used it can be a great ice breaker!!

2. Offer a Compliment

To keep prospects feeling comfortable and open up the conversation, try offering them a compliment! As long as it is sincere and appropriate for business, people love compliments just like everyone else! Don't go too overboard or be too forward though; if they come off sounding disingenuous they might find it creepy.

A good rule of thumb is to compliment something specific in their office. Do not go for generalities like "nice desk". You can rather comment on their family photo in the frame next to their monitor. Also how they decorated their cubicle with pictures of all the places they have traveled.

3. Current Events

On days where the news is slow, reps should try taking advantage of this by speaking with prospects about current events. People are often interested in hearing about an incident in the news and sometimes even want to discuss it. What a great ice breaker it is!

Asking questions about what they think will open up a natural conversation. When discussing current events, remember to be tactful and professional so as not to offend your prospect or get into any political hot water.

4. Find Commonality

Keeping current events in mind, it is easy to find commonality between you and your prospect by discussing those very same stories! People love to talk about themselves and if a story is neutral enough, it is a fantastic way to start up a casual conversation with the customer. Instead of diving into sales right away, take a step back and let them do most of the talking for a while.

Not only will they appreciate being heard out, but making them talk about themselves can be an excellent way to get them interested in what you have to say!

5. Tell a Story

Everyone loves good stories; telling one yourself is an awesome tool for opening up conversations with prospects! Even if it is relevant to your product or service in only the most tangential way possible. People love hearing anecdotes about their peers. So long as you are not too specific (and don't accidentally drop anything confidential) it is fine to tell a story about something that happened outside of work. If it makes for good conversation, then why not?

6. Show your knowledge of the Prospect with your Ice Breakers

People like learning something new and feeling smart; reps who can teach them something always make excellent first impressions. If you happen to know something interesting about the prospect's business, feel free to pepper them with questions until they either learn more themselves or redirect you back onto sales! 

People will be pleasantly surprised when they discover someone knows their field well enough to ask pertinent questions. And they will remember that when it's time to make a buying decision.

In Conclusion

Remember, “Never Call to Sell”. The best reps always have a plan going in before meeting with any clients or prospects. Do your research so you know what their business is about and what kinds of products/services they offer. If possible, try writing down some ice breakers beforehand so when conversation stalls out you know exactly how to get things moving again! 

The more prepared reps are for the conversation the more likely they are to succeed and keep customers happy. By following the above tips and tricks and sticking with them, sales professionals can find themselves closing deals far faster and better than ever before. Just like any other skill selling takes practice but reps who put in the effort will be surprised by how much it can help them!

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Written by

Spencer Farber

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