Getting your Foot in the Door - 7 steps to successful cold-calling
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“The problem with my salespeople is they’re not cold calling
enough!” That’s the concern I hear
most often from
sales managers and business owners when I speak at conventions on how
sales. Yet when I
examine their cold calling
strategies, I generally find they’re ill conceived.
organizations soon grow weary of the large number of salespeople
them. So if you’re
not well trained when
you cold call, I guarantee that you’ll face a lot of rejection.
On the other
hand, when you
are professionally trained, cold calling is easy and tremendously
are 7 steps to boost
your cold calling success.
Create a targeted
Have the list
you’re going to contact within easy access so that you can make several
without stopping. You can create your list through trade association
directories, chambers of commerce and even your local library. You can
purchase lists from private companies listed under “mailing lists” in
The best list
referrals you obtain from current customers. Phone
your satisfied clients and ask them how
your product or service has been working for them. When they rave about
excellent service, ask, “I wonder if you could give me some advice?
(pause) I’d like to
contact other people
who might also be interested in this, is there anyone who you would
contact?” That’s it. The
key phrase is
that you are asking for their advice. People
are so flattered to
be asked for advice
that in general, they’ll go out of their way to help.
you are generating your list
of calls, it’s also a good idea to have a contact management system to
track of your calls and when you’ll follow-up.
2. Set a goal
and script your
clear about what the goal is for
your call; be it to set up a meeting, send literature, or whatever.
a script to achieve that goal. That’s
not to suggest that you’ll recite the entire conversation, just the
key statements. Though this may seem artificial, most successful
use a script to ensure that they consistently have a strong
impact. On the telephone you don’t
have time to make
word counts, so you must
3. Locate the decision-maker.
some cases, the decision-maker
is not necessarily the person who does the buying.
The organization may have a separate
purchasing department for that purpose.
So ask the switchboard operator or the receptionist to
speak with, “The person who makes the
attempting to contact the key
person, avoid leaving voice mail messages the first two times you call.
Unfortunately, it’s relatively rare that people who have buying
return unsolicited sales calls. If,
the third attempt, you still can’t reach them, then leave a voice mail
message. But make
sure you’ve scripted a
powerful message that has a compelling reason for them to return your
another reason why it’s important to
prepare a script in advance.
Do not ask a stranger on the telephone, “How
are you, today?”
yourself and get
to the point
Do not ask a
stranger on the
telephone, “How are you, today?” They realize that you don’t know them
really don’t care how they are. So
think you’re wasting their time. Don’t fake familiarity.
with the decision maker might begin: “Hello, Mary.
We haven’t met yet. My
name is Jeff Mowatt,
with JC Mowatt Seminars. I
wonder if you might help me. The reason I’m
calling is that I understand that you’re the person who’s in charge of
training. Is that true? Notice
phrase I wonder if you might help me. Showing
humility this way
appeals to the other
person’s desire to come to your rescue.
5. Give a
This is a
statement that indicates what the benefit might be
of them doing business with you. For example, “The reason I’m
calling is to find out if we might be able to enhance your staff’s
gain and keep customers.”
At this point
enough. It’s time for the other person to get some control.
So, follow that benefit
statement with, “Do
you have a moment to talk?” If they do, then go on to the next step. If
don’t, then ask when would be a good time to call them back and then
6. Share your Unique Selling Proposition
In 2 or 3 brief
share the benefit of your service,
what is unique about it, and one
piece of evidence that this works.
This is known in selling circles as your USP or unique selling
USP is the compelling
argument why people should buy from you vs. someone else. Of
course the sale only
begins when the
customer perceives a need, so you need to then shift the focus of the
conversation from you to identifying their needs.
If your goal
is to set up a
meeting, suggest to the person, “Perhaps we can sit down together and…
them a general idea of what you’ll do in the meeting – usually about
identifying their needs).”
Notice the phrase sit
implies a face to face meeting without the time consuming inconvenience
associated with having a meeting.
Keep in mind
prospects are so leery of telephone solicitors that they have to be
sold on the phone before they’ll agree to see you in-person.
So you need to know how to
make an emotional connection, ask for the order, and deal with
objections – all
the aspects of selling- before you start cold calling.
is the Key
doesn’t have to
be a demoralizing knuckle-biting activity. It can, in fact, be
extremely profitable - providing you have the right training.
About the Author
speaker and corporate trainer. His
is, “The Art of Client
Influence with Ease.”® For
self-study kits, and information about booking Jeff
or call 1-800-jmowatt
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-11-04 15:26:56 in Marketing Articles