Cold calling is dead. Or at best it's on life support.
Why? Because in 2006 anyone cold calling would make an average of 4 calls before getting through to speak to a person. By 2010 the average was 41 call attempts.
That said, if you have to sell anything in your role, you'll need to make many 'coolish' or luke warm calls somewhere along the way.
So this week...a few pointers to help you maximise those callsWhat's your objective?
Many people either don't consider this at all - or automatically suggest a 'sale' or an appointment. That's too much pressure. In most cases a more realistic objective would be to get permission to send them some details, or even just confirm contact details, email address, postal address, and role in the business.
It takes time to build a productive pipeline. Build a strong base first and you'll generate many meaningful enquiries and leads later. Go too fast too soon and you're toast. Who are you calling?
What can you find out about them -- and their company? Nowadays there's no excuse for not knowing the basics. Having information helps your confidence. That said, don't hide behind 'research' -- a few quick enquires then get dialling. Call structure
I'll never advocate a script, but I certainly advocate prompts to help you through the call -- a kind of loose script to which you add your magic as you go along. You can improve these prompts the more you practice.Visualise success
How do you feel immediately before dialling? Many are full of trepidation, mainly fuelled by that 'R' word, (the fear of) Rejection! This impacts on the success of the call. So -- have a quick mental run through beforehand of how brilliantly the call will go. Replace those thoughts of trepidation with your personal vibrant 'success movie'.Mindset check
Remember just before dialling...you're not trying to waltz off with an order in the next fifteen minutes, you're just 'exploring the possibilities' of a relationship, or if you prefer, laying down the foundations of a partnership. This is crucial to influencing your tone and pace on the call itself.
Stop thinking of the person who answers the phone as a 'gatekeeper'. Instead think of them as 'your new best friend - the door opener'. It helps your performance when you pick up the phone.
The call itself
Remember the pace and content of the call should depend on who you are calling. Do they need an overview, or a lot of detail? Go with their needs.
The generic flow would be something like ... (where you see a link, click through for additional information)
Moving on to 'the subject'Open questionsListen!
Follow up -- agree what will happen next
Make sure you've got some ideas for all of those areas. Confident -- but not too slick
If you sound too slick you'll probably put the other person off! Be natural. Try giving the impression you're an occasional caller. Ask for their help. Throw in a little hesitation in your voice. No need to be perfect in your delivery. If you sound too perfect you might intimidate them. Success...or learn
Getting a no is a fact of life. It's an old adage but remember they are not rejecting you, they just don't feel that your offering is right for them, at this current time. Nothing more. Always ask yourself what you can do better next time. Test your techniques, measure the results -- and act accordingly to get that sales success.
Remember...It's all about The Psychology of Selling
Until next time. Leigh