In an ideal world we would all have nice fat accounts that generate monthly recurring revenue and all we would have to do is check in with our clients from time to time, take them to lunch or out for a round of golf. But the world is not ideal hence we have to regularly prospect for new sources of revenue. And one of the most common ways to do that is to cold call. Cold calling is by definition the process of approaching a prospect either in person or by telephone who has not agreed to that interaction.
That being said people have an inherent distrust and dislike for sale people. Thank God for lawyers and politicians because without them we would be the most disliked group on the planet.
Lets face it cold calling is frustrating and difficult because you are often have to get through hurdles to find the right person and then when and if you do get pass the hurdles you are usually rejected, hung up on or dismissed summarily.
Cold calls are difficult for the person receiving them as well. The person receiving the call was expecting to maybe hear something they care about and instead they got some person on the phone giving them a canned marketing pitch.
There are lots of myths about cold calling.
COLD CALLING MYTH # 1 – “Cold calling is a numbers game.” The more people I ask the greater the possibility of getting a yes. Sales managers will tell you; you should be making X number of calls per day or week or month. I call it the throw enough shit at the wall and something might stick approach.
COLD CALLING MYTH # 2 – “Use a sales script to cold call.”
Yes use a script but DO NOT SOUND LIKE YOU ARE READING!!!!!!!!!!
People can tell when you’re reading from a script, even if you think you’re pretty good at it and getting away with it. There’s nothing personal about it and people can pick that up. Being artificial just puts you into the typical “Salesperson” category. “An amateur practices until he gets it right, professional practices until he can’t do it wrong”
Have a script but know your stuff and know something about the company you are calling. Have notes or points you want to address in this call. But be flexible.
COLD CALL MYTH #3: The public hates salespeople. People don’t hate salespeople they just hate people who are disrespectful of their time. Remember you are calling them and interrupting their day so be respectful of it.
Simple rules to cold calling:
1) Don’t expect to sell anything with a cold call. I know this sounds basic and it is. A cold call is just one of many ways to generate new leads. Generating a new lead means finding someone who might be interested in what your product or service can do for them. It does not mean finding a new customer. So make sure your cold calling goal is appropriate.
2) Your call will be an interruption. Get over it. It’s the 21st century. Everything is an interruption. None of us likes to be interrupted. But successful people are always open to new ideas, new opportunities, and new relationships. If you are bringing them the potential to solve a problem or create an opportunity, they might be happy you interrupted them. However, if your interruption wastes their time because they have no need for your product or service then they’ll show you the door quicker than you can say “no soliciting.” Or if you waste their time talking about you and your company, product, or service, you’ll also get a cold response to your cold call. Never waste their time. Make sure you’re calling on someone who is likely to want or need what you offer.
3) Be honest, be quick, and be gone. Be honest about why you’ve called them. Talk in terms of how you might help them. Make it fast and acknowledge the importance of their time and show them you’re not there to take time now. Ask their permission to meet with them at a later date.
Remember, we are social animals. Most people enjoy meeting new people if they are friendly and professional, if they don’t waste their time, and if they can help them solve a problem or create an opportunity.
By Charles Payne
Charles Payne is a motivational speaker, sales trainer, writer and comedian based in Calgary Alberta. Comments and booking information request can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org