I've recently been collating common sales questions for a forthcoming book answering all of the main sales queries and questions that sales and business people have. I thought I'd share the answer to this one with you...
Simple answer: You can never stop your cold call being viewed as an "interruption". Prospects are not wandering around with their phones under their arms hoping that you give them a call and brighten their days up! And, in a way, this is good news, because it should serve to remind you that you owe it to yourself and the person you are "interrupting" to make it a good call.
"How do I avoid my cold call being viewed as an interruption by my prospect?"
There are two types of cold calls... 1. Nuisance spam calls and 2. Legitimate new business calls.You need to make sure that yours is a legitimate new business call. If you don't you are never going to get the results that you want from cold calling and that means not enough opportunities and not enough clients.
We've all experienced one of those awful calls at home where you're cooking the dinner and your phone rings and, full of hope that it is one of your friends or family, you answer the phone. But it is a cold caller. You listen agitated as they launch into their pre-prepared, pre-packaged, pre-canned script and eventually you slam the phone down annoyed.
You can never guarantee that your prospects will buy from you. You can never guarantee that your prospects will connect with you. And you can never guarantee that they will even speak with you. That's just the way that it is...
But you can guarantee that you make cold calls that give you the best chance of being viewed as a legitimate new business call and you can guarantee that you can make your calls relevant to your prospects and not just yourself.
Here are my top tips for differentiating your call from nuisance spam cold calls...
Plan and prepare. Planning and preparation warms your call up. It tailors your calls for the individual prospect that you are calling. It demonstrates that you have thought about them, their issues and their business and it separates you from junk cold callers.
"Play from a 10". When you cold call you need to be in the right state of mind. I call this "playing from a 10" (where 10 is the best state of mind that you can possibly be in). A large part of cold calling success is down to your attitude or your state of mind at the time that you make the call. Being on top of your game helps you to make your call sound like the kind of call that your prospect would want to take and helps you to connect more effectively with your prospect than your also-ran competitors.
Add value. Think about how you add value for your prospect. Based on your research, what problems and challenges do you think that they might be facing? How can you add value for them? What experience do you have working in this area and how can this help them and their business? Now use this in your opening statement and in your questions so that your prospect can see that you are different, that you have done your research and that you are thinking about them not yourself!
Ask, "How convenient is it to speak?" Most salespeople don't ask if it's a good time for their prospect to take the call. When I tell them to, they say things to me like, "Well, do you expect me to let them get away?!" Look! This call is supposed to be about your client not you. Just because it is convenient for you does not mean it is convenient for them. Don't be so arrogant! That's one of the things prospects don't like about salespeople anyway.
(Footnote, as I am writing this sitting looking at the hills (in Spain), my phone just rang. Expecting it to be a client who was due to call I answered the phone, It was a cold caller from the UK who asked me, "How are you?" (Uggh!) then launched into a pitch. At 50ppm I canned the call. Did him not asking help him in anyway? Nope, got him canned faster.) Ask, "How convenient is it to speak?" immediately after you say hello. This way you have been polite and asked but you have also maximized your chances of them continuing with the call. If they are truly busy then you are better off taking this call another time anyway.