Posts tagged cold call
There are no magic tips guaranteeing successful cold calls. But there are six mistakes that may ensure failure and rejection.
- Making it about you and not them. Making it about you and not them. Prospects don’t care about your quota or what you want to do. They’re only concerned about how your product or service will save them money or help them do their jobs better. You’re making the call about you if you don’t prepare adequately or research the prospect thoroughly. Ask yourself what your prospects want and how you can possibly help them get it.
- Trying to go through, around, over or above the screener. Trying to go through, around, over or above the screener. Some salespeople forget that screeners hold the key to the buyer’s door. Salespeople who try to be evasive or fail to show screeners the proper respect usually have no chance of talking to the decision maker. Those who work with screeners instead of against them have a much better chance of meeting with the decision maker.
- Using opening statements that create resistance. Studies show you have about 10 seconds to grab a prospect’s attention. A general opening statement about your product or service without an accompanying benefit gives prospects the opportunity to make an immediate decision such as “We don’t need that” or “We’re satisfied with our present supplier.” You have to earn the right to a prospect’s time by communicating some value in your opening statement.
- Inadequate questioning and premature elaboration. Talking about yourself and your products without first asking questions may cause you to say things that are of no interest to the prospect. By questioning before presenting, you ensure that your description of benefits matches the prospect’s needs. A good cold call is always based on gathering information and then forming the best solution for the prospect.
- Leaving voice mails that create resistance. The goal with voice mail needs to be the same as with an opening statement: Put prospects in a curious, interested frame of mind and get them to want to meet with you. Voice mails should not be tricky, gimmicky, evasive or deceptive. When you prepare your interest-creating opening, be prepared to deliver it as your voice mail message. It’s a good idea to add a date and time when you’ll be calling back to provide more information to the prospect.
- Not “ritualizing” cold calls. The best cold callers set aside a certain time to devote to cold calls. How much time and when depends on what they’re looking to accomplish. It’s easier to get into the right frame of mind when they concentrate only on making cold calls.
Adapted from the book Cold-Calling Mistakes that Ensure Failure and Rejection by Art Sobczak, a sales consultant.
Prospecting via the phone isn’t as cut-and-dry as it used to be – but these five modern resources hold the key to turning cold calls into hot prospects.
- Email: Emails are a great way to preface cold calls, when they provide key selling points that’ll likely make prospects more open to taking your call. Some salespeople use email to ask prospects when the best time to call might be. Others use the info included in an email as a way to break the ice (e.g., “I sent you some information a couple of days ago about XYZ … Have you had an opportunity to look at that email?”).
- Social Media: A lot of companies look at social media as a way to engage customers on a regular basis. But social media profiles may also provide some valuable insight into prospects’ hobbies, interests and/or schedules. Salespeople may be able to use that info to establish rapport via the phone. It may also provide ideas for when and where to schedule an initial meeting with a prospect (e.g., If the prospect is a golf enthusiast, a salesperson might suggest hitting the links one morning).
- Search Engines: Most people assume a company’s website is the best way to research the company online. But the reality is a quick search may turn up a lot of information about the company you may not find on its website. Such a search may also provide valuable info about causes the company is affiliated with, challenges it faces and what type of new initiatives it’s currently focusing on. Have you performed a search for your company and taken a look at all the things that pop up?
- Video: In the past, one of the keys to gaining buy-in was scheduling a live demo of a company’s products and services. These days, sales departments can produce and email in-house videos that demonstrate key selling points and/or valuable features of a product or service the company is promoting. This way, salespeople can mention to prospects that they’ll forward a virtual demo of a product or service, not only providing the prospect with a visual of the product or service at work, but also some valuable testimonials.
- Digital Conferencing: Some sales organizations have latched onto video conferencing as a great way to connect with prospects. The strategy: Email a list of prospects, inviting them to take part in a free video conference, regarding a hot-button topic in your industry. The video conference is a perfect way to establish credibility, while also discussing the ways your products and services can help overcome some of prospects’ biggest challenges. The best part: After the conference is over, salespeople have a perfect way to follow up via the phone, gain some feedback and (hopefully) schedule a face-to-face meeting. Perfect Example: Linneman Web Conferences
Source: Inc. magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Negotiating